Feeling Down? There's An App To Improve Your Mood (With Plants)

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The science is in: indoor plants make your home healthier, and your brain happier.

But how do you know what plants to use, how many, where to put them? There's an app for that.

Plant Life Balance promotes itself as "Australia's first virtual greening app", and uses augmented reality to help you figure out your plan to fill your home with plants.

Okay, how does the app work?

You take a photo of your living area, then select the number and size of plants currently in the space.

Then the app uses information from a whole bunch of collated plant studies from RMIT University and the University of Melbourne (who are part of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub) and you get a rating on how healthy your space is.

Using augmented reality you can then drag and drop different plants to work out what should go where for the ultimate healthy home. It works with over 90 plant recommendations - from Bird of Paradise to Night Blooming Cactus, to help you work out exactly how to improve your air quality.

There's also an interactive styling tool - designed by horticulturist, Georgina Reid from The Planthunter - which features seven unique plant "looks" to try in your space, which you can create a shopping list from to take to the nursery.

Okay, but yeah - the science. How does that work?

"Our aim was to take the world of research and synthesise the knowledge into a scale of benefits provided by plants by grouping them into two categories: air quality and wellbeing," said lead researcher, Dominique Hes, Director of the Thrive Research Hub at the University of Melbourne and part of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub.

The researchers found a rule of thumb based on articles, scientific evidence and assumptions, to help people improve their plant life balance and inform the basis for the app's funcationality.

For example - to improve air quality simply adding one medium sized plant to a medium sized room increases air quality up to 25 per cent. And when it comes to improving wellbeing, five or more plants leads to feeling healthier and happier, (with direct benefits including improved mood and concentration, and indirect benefits things like productivity).

You can download the app from today here.

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