Has anyone else been sucked into the Pinterest tunnel of gorgeous houseplants yet? In favour of my purse, I should probably stop sliding into the shops that sell leafy greens in stylish ceramic jars, but the truth is you can never really have too many! In my research to find the biggest reasons why you should create an interior jungle in your home for greater well-being, there were a few things I was surprised to learn. Here's why you should bag some yourself!
1. Houseplants increase levels of happiness
This is perhaps the first that comes to mind when considering the benefits of filling your home with houseplants. It's pretty common knowledge that bringing nature indoors can brighten our moods by making us appreciate our surroundings. In this way, the presence of houseplants can actually work towards reducing stress, which is why we should be filling our workspaces with them!
2. Houseplants can improve concentration and productivity
Research has shown that by increasing the amount of oxygen in the air, our indoor plants are able to make a positive impact on our memory retention and workflow. Academic studies have even determined that, when placed in the work environment, plants can reduce the number of sick days taken and employees tend to make fewer mistakes! As a bonus, plants are also able to help lower background noise, so offices can battle the sound of traffic coming from main roads.
3. Houseplants purify the air by fighting airborne dust levels and absorbing toxins, meaning better physical health
Besides improving our mental health, plants make for a healthier environment to breathe in. They are able to increase the humidity of a room, therefore helping us to ward off dry skin, sore throats and common colds. The consumption of CO2 and, in turn, the release of oxygen makes it easier for us to breathe. Toxins such as formaldehyde, which is found in cigarette smoke and home materials like rugs and vinyl, and benzene, in paints and ink, can be removed from the air too. A few of the best plants to tackle odours and nasty toxins in the home are listed below.
4. Houseplants can improve our sleep
By having a holistically positive impact on our wellbeing, and improving the air in our rooms, indoor plants are excellent at helping us to better the quality of our sleep. Simply having a plant on the windowsill satisfies me, because I know that my plants are working to give me a better nights' rest.
5. On a deeper level of mental wellbeing, houseplants offer therapeutic benefits
Horticultural Therapy is a real thing that is used to improve mental health. Even if on the most basic level, waking up and inspecting my plants to see how they are coming along really helps me to feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Taking care of plants can help us to feel more in touch with nature, as well as giving us that ultimate drive and motivation when our plants bear fruit and flowers during the growing season. Just this morning, I went to see how my tomatoes and sweetcorn were coming along and seeing the germination process happening right before my eyes gives me a lot of joy.
Some houseplants for your home:
We have this growing on a windowsill high up. Whilst we are wary that it could one day start to consume our walls and pull them down (I am told there was a horror film made based around this?!), we love the way it trails down over the window ledge. Importantly, ivy is great for removing benzene from the air.
Peace Lily does more than just stretch gracefully into the air and look pretty. They are great for bathrooms because they can tackle the growth of mould!
The spider plant is wild looking, but pleasant all the same. It is especially able to relieve the air of formaldehyde. Some suggest spider plants be put into a newly renovated or decorated home, where this toxin (along with benzene) may be particularly present.
Added to this list simply because it is a beautiful plant. Also known as the Peacock Plant, the Zebra Plant and the Rattlesnake Plant, Calathea produces beautifully patterned leaves reminiscent of animal prints, and commonly displays varying shades of rich green and purple. I picked up a tall Calathea in Bunnings for £10 recently, and it now sits, in pride of place, beside my desk to brighten my workspace.