Pot plants add a dash of colour to any home - but they could be doing something far more important, by safeguarding our health.
Researchers from the State University of New York found that several common houseplant species actually remove ‘volatile organic compounds’ from the air.
Some VOCs - released by paint, from printers, and from dry-cleaned clothes - can be dangerous to health, and have been linked to deaths.
But removing them from the air could be as simple as buying a spider plant, the researchers say.
The best ‘all round’ performer for removing chemicals from the air was the Guzmania lingulata, or the scarlet star (Pictured), the Daily Mail reports.
Dr Tijana Blanusa of the Royal Horticultural Society, said: ‘The psychological benefits of indoor plants have been shown through the improved mood of people exposed to them, reduced stress levels, increased worker productivity in the working population, and increased pain tolerance, for example, where plants were used in hospital settings.
‘Indoor plants can also elicit a number of physical health benefits, including the removal of airborne pollutants, leading to better indoor air quality and associated improvements in physical health.’