Based on the examination of 101 scientific articles, using the best available scientific evidence and a number of assumptions, the Horticulture Innovation Australia research team and panel of experts came up with a rule of thumb to help people improve their plant life balance.
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THE RATING SYSTEM
"The Rating System" makes it easy to understand the health and wellbeing benefits of plants in different sized rooms. These are all based on medium sized plants (around 0.6m to 1.2m tall.)
Use the chart below to maximize the benefits of plants in your home.
PLANT SIZE MATTERS
Plants come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in their ability to absorb and eliminate pollutants.
Horticulture Innovation Australia took this into account and developed a plant multiplier, to help work out how many small or large plants would be needed to do the same job as a medium plant.
They assumed that leaf surface area would affect a plant’s ability to filter our pollutants and worked out the number of small, medium, and large plants needed to fill 1 square metre of leaf area.
As shown below, a small plant has a value of 0.3, a medium sized plant has a value of 1, a large plant has a value of 1.5.
The science above works on an averaging method. It’s designed to be simple, to give you a well-estimated rules of thumb for improving your health and wellbeing.
When it gets to the details, some plants are better at improving air quality than others. NASA’s Clean Air Study provides a good list of common indoor plants and the toxins they remove, click here to read the results of NASA’s study.