A Beautiful Thing

Here at Pretty Green HQ, we’ve been appreciating the house plant for quite some time. But as I write this blog and think about plants more often, I begin to notice the background of moments on telly realising the carefully placed plants are dotted all around the scene. From the talking heads on the news to the drama kitchen scene where uncle Brian confesses to using the last tea bag, house plants are always present.

The plant lends a certain air to the space; a curious calm, a place where peace prevails (or not in Brian’s case). I guess they also suggest a care element of the owner but nothing can convince more than the presence of healthy and vibrant house plants of the benign atmosphere of a room. There is an assured serenity that is unmistakable. The eye is drawn to their presence and that glorious deep green of a healthy leaf reassures the soul. Poetic nonsense maybe, but their qualities cannot be underestimated.

It’s not new information plants can brighten up any space where natural light is available. There is also the air-purifying qualities plants allegedly have on their CV’s. Pretty Green HQ research has struggled to find scientific facts and figures regarding this and just how many plants are required to purify the air where a Border Collie is present. Certainly, more than we have room for.

A famous NASA study back in 1989 claimed house plants removed all sorts of air nasties such as formaldehyde (who knew!?) and a range of airborne toxins. The problem with that research is that it was experimental and therefore performed in experimental conditions. Not a terraced house in Southsea. Predictably, the research was seized upon by leading lifestyle magazines and advertising of the day making fantastic claims of indoor air purifying miracles. Claims which are prevalent to this day.

This was an urban myth I was more than happy to live with. Joyous as I watered my plants confident, they were cleansing my environment. But while it’s effectively true, the facts suggest you’ll need at least ten plants per square foot to make any impact on the air quality, a veritable indoor forest. So, in the light of this devastating news, my top tip is to just open the window occasionally. Job done.

Nevertheless, facts that science cannot dispute are the benefits to our well-being and mental health house plants around the home can deliver. You love them, and they’ll respond. Now that’s a beautiful thing.

By Jules