While it may seem obvious that surrounding yourself with gorgeous greenery is good for you, there are also some very specific benefits to be had. Whether you’re looking to ease your mind, rid the air of harmful toxins, get a great night’s sleep or even calm your crying baby, there’s a plant to help you with that! Read on to find out how to maximise the wonder of your indoor garden.


Many of our homes contain VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), gases that can come from carpets, furniture, paint, candles or fires. A study by NASA concluded that 87 per cent of air toxins are removed by house plants every 24 hours. What more reason do you need to start filling your home with living marvels?

Areca Palm

This beautiful plant with feathery fronds was found to be the most efficient for purifying air. While it requires regular watering and repotting every two years or so, it will reward you by growing up to seven feet tall.

Rubber Plant

The large leaves of this glossy beauty absorb airborne chemicals and break them down to render them harmless. Bred for toughness, it is one of the easiest plants to care for and will work well in a room that has less natural light.


If you’re in search of an elusive good night’s sleep, adding plants to the boudoir that take in carbon monoxide and give out oxygen could be the answer. Being surrounded by nature also has a soothing effect on an overworked brain.

Snake Plant

AKA Mother in Law’s Tongue.
With tall, sharp leaves, this good-looking plant emits oxygen at night while taking in carbon dioxide. This purifies the air and can lead to a better night’s sleep. Very tolerant of neglect, it can also survive long periods if you forget to water it.

Pineapple Plant

Bothered by your partner’s snoring? According to NASA this tropical plant can actually help reduce snoring by improving air quality! If you’re sleep deprived on a regular basis it’s definitely worth a try. Water the stalk lightly with a spray bottle, put in a bright window and you may even be rewarded with a juicy pineapple…


Stuffy noses, difficulty breathing and wheezing are all horrible symptoms that allergy sufferers will recognise. While pollen from some flowers can aggravate these allergies, other plants can actively help by reducing toxins and increasing humidity in the home.

Peace Lily

With its robust dark green leaves and graceful white flowers, the peace lily makes a stunning addition to any home. In the NASA study it was also shown to be particularly good at reducing levels of benzene, formaldehyde and trichoethylene as well as boosting humidity. Easy to care for, keep the soil moist but don’t overwater.


Pretty and amazingly easy to care for, the Philodendron has many types and is noted for its ability to remove formaldehyde. This chemical, commonly used on paper towels and tissues, can cause irritation to your nose, mouth and throat and worsen allergies. Keep in indirect sunlight and don’t over water.

While simply the presence of plants in your home has been shown to improve mood there are specific plants that can help even more. Scent has a very powerful impact on your emotions as we can see from the highly perfumed duo below.


Long used dried in pillows and even in sprays, keeping an actual lavender plant will reap even more rewards. As well as sporting beautiful purple flowers, the powerful scent is known to be calming, particularly to crying babies! It is also reported to lower blood pressure, heart rate and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Place on a sunny windowsill and rotate regularly.


With its delicate starry blossoms, the exotic jasmine plant has been shown to reduce anxiety and soothe the mind and body. Inhaling its scent sends signals to the limbic region of the brain which regulates emotions. Make sure it gets plenty of light and consider putting outdoors in summer.