House plants can improve your well-being, but there's a catch

Joint research by the RHS and the University of Reading found surrounding yourself with shriveled plants makes people sadder than having no plants at all. As a result, researchers recommend removing dying plants from home to protect the mood. 

Lead researcher Jenny Berger, a Built Environment PhD researcher at the University of Reading and lead author of the study, said: “Our research has shown that when choosing houseplants, appearance is important. Plants which people find attractive and interesting are likely to give us the biggest well-being boost, and green, lush plants will bring a healthy feeling to the indoor environment. To keep plants looking attractive, choose ones that can easily maintain.”

Using images, participants were asked to score plants based on how beautiful, interesting, uplifting, and relaxing they found them. Unsurprisingly, healthy, lush, and leafy plants scored highest and were considered to have a positive effect on the way people felt around them. 

Popular plants included weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), Calathea, and Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa).

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