A free augmented-reality app that helps people to see what difference a plant would make to their homes, and their lives, has been launched by the Nursery and Garden Industry of Australia under the Plant Life Balance brand.
The idea is to take a photo of the bit of your living space you are thinking of greening, adding a variety of plants suggested by the app from its 90-strong library, then measuring the beneficial change.
The program draws on a review of 101 scientific articles by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to help users to visualise the difference that a particular plant would make in a particular part of their living space.
This claims that a single plant can improve the air quality of a 20 sq m space by removing 25% pf airborne pollution such as the volatile organic compounds used in cleaning products, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
The other major benefit is to mental health. The developer says RMIT research suggests that a person’s mood and ability to concentration are improved by being next to plants, although in this case it is necessary to keep enough plants to create a “look”. According to Plant Life’s website, five 30cm-tall plants can create 60% more well-being.
The developer also suggests that larger plants are better than small ones, and that some species are better at scrubbing the air than others, depending on their appearance and the surface area of their leaves.