Gardening Column – Happiness and Houseplants

Gone are the days when writer’s like George Orwell could use houseplants as an allegory of English stuffiness (as in the novel, Keep the Aspidistra Flying). Instead, houseplants are in.

But it’s not all about keeping up appearances. It seems that growing houseplants can actually have a positive effect on our health. One study at Exeter University even concluded that growing houseplants in an office can improve well-being by 47%, creativity by 45%, and productivity by 38%.

And while this isn’t exactly rocket science, it turns out NASA carried out a study of houseplants looking at their air-filtering properties.

So to help in the pursuit of happiness and houseplants, here are some growing tips and ideas.


Air so Pure

Aside from looking stylish, these plants remove toxins, oxygenate the air, improve humidity, and are incredibly easy to care for.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) — Needs bright, indirect light (keep out of direct light). Keep soil moist and feed monthly to improve flowering.

Anthurium — Prefers bright, indirect light. Rarely needs repotting, unlike most plants they do best when pot bound. Keep soil moist and feed monthly to improve flowering.

Zamioculcas — Also known as ZZ plant. Thrives on neglect — only needs watering around once a month.


Hanging Out

Get creative, use vertical space, and grow delightful greenery in all sorts of peculiar positions.

Hanging Terrariums — Buy your own, or get creative and personalise by incorporating interesting, peculiar, or even sentimental objects.

Hanging Pots — While any small houseplant can be planted into a hanging pot, trailing plants often look best. Great planting options include English ivy, String of Pearls, Chain of Hearts, Bridal Veil, and various Tradecantia species.


Words: Billy Aiken