Plants Improve Student Performance

Find out how keeping plants in the classroom can improve student performance

How plants can improve children's test results

There have been many studies investigating how plants can improve concentration, purify our air and more but what about improving children’s performance in the classroom?

A study conducted by John Daly, Margaret Burchett & Fraser Torpy looked into exactly this.

The aims of the study were to investigate the effects of indoor plants on classroom performance in Year 6 and 7 students. The trials were conducted in three independent schools in the Brisbane region, with a total of over 360 students in 13 classes. Half of the classes received 3 plants per classroom, and students were tested with standard tests before plant placements and re‐tested after about six weeks of plant presence (or absence). Test measures included spelling and mathematics in all three schools, while in one school tests of reading were also included, and in another school, tests in science.

So, what did they find?

In two of the schools, significant improvements were found with plants present, as compared with classes without plants, with increases of between 10 and 14% in test results. Improvements of 10% or more in these fundamental subjects are regarded by educationists as significant in student progress. However, one school showed no differences in performance between classes with plants and those without. It seems likely that the reason for this is that the school has an active gardening program, involving both ornamental and vegetable species.

Improvements in test results with plant presence

Increase in score 14%
Increase in score 12%
Increase in score 11%


Because of the number of classes and students involved, the differences can be accepted as real improvements in classroom performance resulting from plant presence. Improvements in performance of 10% or more in the fundamental tasks of spelling and mathematics are generally regarded by educationists as significant in students’ progress in education.


With other studies backing up the claims of increased attention capacity with plant presence, the evidence show a clear correlation on improved performance with plants whether in the classroom or in the office.