Improving the aesthetics of your home with houseplants is undeniable – but the benefits don’t stop there. Let’s take a look at some of the POSITIVE IMPACTS indoor plants can have on your BODY, MIND and SPIRIT.
Growing up, our home was always filled with the green life of plants. All manner of trailing, arching, bushy, spiky, flowering and upright indoor plants filled the corners of every room. My Mom had two beautiful green thumbs…and quite possibly a couple of green toes for good measure.
I remember one of my favourite plants was a Norfolk Island Pine that perched on the edge of our Tyndall stone fireplace hearth. Mom kept this little Christmas tree-like plant on a tray of pebbles filled with water because it needed humidity to keep the tips from browning. It was so soft to the touch and we used to adorn it with tiny decorations during the holiday season. Mom gave me the job of misting it once a week with cool water, so I felt especially connected to its well-being.
Indoor Plant Lighting
There truly is a plant for every lighting condition in your home. A bright light by the window, a dim little nook in the corner of a bathroom or bedroom…I know you love plants or you wouldn’t be here with me now, so I trust you will do a bit of background reading to determine the right plant for the right place.
In their natural environment, tropical plants have adapted to a wide range of different light levels. The type of houseplant you are trying to grow will inform you where it needs to be placed to meet it’s requirements as far as possible. Light is essential to all plants, but in the spirit of keeping this simple, there are really only two factors you need to keep in mind:
- Light intensity
- Light duration (day length)
- Sunny (direct sunlight from a south-facing window for most of the day)
- Wandering Jew
- Filtered Sun (1 to 1.5m or 3 feet approximately from a south, west or east facing window)
- Arrowhead plant
- Asparagus Fern
- Parlour Palm
- Shady (2m or 6 feet away from a sunny window or near a well-lit north facing window)
- Prayer Plant
- Boston Fern
- Weeping Fig
- Low light (more than 3m or 9 feet from a source of light – not many plants will thrive here)
- Spider Plant
- Chinese Evergreen
- Long day plants require 12 hours of daylight or more to grow throughout the year
- African Violets
- Short day plants require less than 12 hours of daylight and will stop growing in late autumn
- Christmas cacti
BENEFITS OF PLANTS IN THE HOUSE
Houseplants are living beings that contribute to our quality of life in many known, but also surprising ways:
PURIFY THE AIR
In their search to discover better ways to clean the air in space stations, NASA completed a Clean Air Study involving houseplants which determined the following interesting fact:
- Every 24 hours plants remove close to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air
That’s GOOD NEWS for anyone suffering from headaches, eyes, ear or throat irritation – the plants pull those contaminants out of the air and into the soil to convert them into plant food at the root zone.
Part of the process of photosynthesis involves absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the environment. What does this mean for us? Breathing easier! Enough said.
Indoor air, especially in winter, can be very dry and part of the transpiration system of plants releases moisture into the air surrounding them. This significantly helps to reduce dry coughs, dry skin and any respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. Plants release approximately 97% of the water they take in, so symptoms of dry air such as sore throats and nosebleeds are greatly reduced by the presence of plants.
HEALTH BENEFITS FOR YOUR MIND AND HEALING
A brief romp through a Google search will reveal countless studies of the health benefits of plants to recovering patients in hospitals, reducing anxiety and fatigue as well as quicker release dates. On a day to day basis, the increased sense of well-being for those living with houseplants is perhaps a more intangible benefit to measure – but speaking for myself and my husband, there is a sense of belonging and peace that is felt daily by their silent presence in our lives.
A WORD TO THE WISE – BENEFITS TO THE STUDENT AND OFFICE WORKER
The Royal College of Agriculture in Cirencester, England completed a study that revealed a whopping 70% increase in attentiveness of students working in classrooms graced with houseplants…not to mention higher attendance rates.
Similar studies have indicated that workspaces can see improved focus, creativity as well as decreased fatigue, flu-like symptoms and 60% reduced sickness rates of employees in offices that allow plants in the workplace. That’s a no-brainer to a bottom line if I ever heard one…you work out the math. 🤔
Sick Building syndrome can develop into a rather serious and expensive liability…plants in the classroom, workplace and HOME will go a LONG WAY to mitigate that risk.
Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. Richard Branson
It’s not too big of a stretch to even consider plants can make us feel calmer – and perhaps happier by their presence in our homes. I came across another thought provoking article to share from the folks at Food Matters with their take on how plants can make us happier – worth checking out!
Let’s bring the life of plants into our interiors the way we embrace them outdoors…then sit back, breathe deeply…and reap the benefits day after day.
It’s a simple choice…and a wise one. Bring on the green!
Garden lovers welcome💚
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