4 Most attractive indoor plants (UK study)

Spathiphyllum Sensations at FLOW ST8 studio Palm Beach

In a 2022 paper published by the University of Reading, PHD researcher Ms Jenny Berger (and others) found Pothos, Ficus sphere, Ficus column and Palms to be the four most attractive indoor plants.  

Co-authored by Psychology Professor Philip Beaman and Berger’s PHD supervisors Dr Emmanuel Essah and Dr Tijana Blanusa, the study analysed the psychological responses of 520 participants to 12 specific images of indoor plants (below).  

The appearance of 12 indoor plants and their effect on people’s perceptions of indoor air quality and subjective well-being
Image: Berger, J. et al, 2022 

Surveyed during the 2021 lockdown, participants of Berger’s (et al, 2022) study were not notably female (69%), under 50-years of age (63%), with no professional experience in environmental studies (71%). Interestingly, while 96% of subjects like indoor plants, 25% “did not like looking after plants at work” (Berger, J. et al, 2022, p.3).  

Plant selection was kept limited in consideration of subject fatigue and chosen based on common usage in domestic and commercial settings. The plant choices, while based on popularity in the UK, have considerable overlap with our own interior landscaping client data. With the exception of the Echinocactus Grusonii (plant 3) and Dracaena Marginata (plant 12).  

Most attractive indoor plants in Queensland

As an indoor plant hire business based in Brisbane, Australia servicing South East Queensland, our clients range from CBD corporate offices to five-star resorts on the Gold Coast.   

In contrast to the UK study’s referential interior landscaping company, Ambius, our most used indoor plants would also include Philodendron Congo, Spathiphyllum and Zanzibar Gem. The two former sharing similar aesthetic markers to the ficus and pothos varities. Specifically, plants with soft, broad leaves had the highest perception of indoor air quality and well-being (Berger, J. et al, 2022).  

Spathiphyllum Sensations at FLOW ST8 studio entrance Palm Beach
Spathiphyllum Sensations at FLOW ST8 studio entrance Palm Beach

Advance Plants interior landscape designer, Kelli Forward agrees. “I can imagine that, because they’re lush and soft. Their growth habit is fuller. Examples in an Australian context would include the Spathiphyllum Sensation, Ficus Lyrata, Calathea, Monstera, and Walking Iris. The lyrata in particular because it’s bushy, full and thick.  

“The fuller the foliage, the more healthy people associate it to be. Scraggly, thin or sparse leaves would be considered a dry growth habit. Such as plant 12 in the study.  

“Rhapis palms for examples are quite a divisive plant for this reason, as they are spikey. Other clients love them however as they make a statement.”  

With shape identified as the primary characteristic influencing plant attractiveness (Berger, J. et al, 2022, p.10), the study’s findings offer a shortcut to achieving a healthy office atmosphere with the highest return on investment.  

Are you looking for indoor plant hire and maintenance in Brisbane, the Gold or Sunshine Coasts? Contact our interior landscape designers today for a custom quote, or visit our pricing page for more information on corporate packages.  

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