Colour me happy

08 June 2022

I’ve written many words over the years about the benefits of plants, from their ability to improve the air we breathe by removing CO2 and harmful toxins while also increasing humidity to the biophilic boost we get from simply seeing a plant.

Until today, however, I had not appreciated the impact the colours of plants had on my mental state. In an Washington Post article offering a comprehensive look at various banks of research confirming how plants are good for us, I spied a section on how different colours of plants can affect us in different ways. Green, apparently, can increase our cheerfulness, while purple, green, red, pink and white flowering plants could lower people’s blood pressure and heart rate, with purple and green flowers the most effective at lowering anxiety and improving our mood. Beware whitish green leaves, though: these have been found to stimulate more negative emotions…

A quick search on academic texts covering this phenomenon yielded pages of results. From ‘Foliage colors improve relaxation and emotional status of university students from different countries‘ to ‘Human brain activity and emotional responses to plant color stimuli‘ and a more specific look at how plant colour displays have an effect in conferences, there was a world of research looking into this area of the effects of plants on humans.

It’s always fascinating to learn more about how we respond to plants, especially as it helps us to create planting schemes which create the right effect, both visually and emotionally, on our clients. Adding colour to our design process offers fresh possibilities to bring homes and workplaces to life.