How keeping houseplants can benefit your physical and mental health
Buying plants for your home sounds like a great idea. They’re a brilliant way to add life, color, and vibrancy to a room. But there’s always that nagging chore of having to look after them. And if you don’t, rather than being a perky addition to your home they can make it look dreary and depressing.
So do the benefits of houseplants outweigh their pain-in-the-ass factor?
What are the benefits of keeping houseplants?
Apart from being an affordable and attractive way to decorate your home (which we’ll get to shortly), plenty of research is being done on the health benefits of houseplants.
You may already be familiar with NASA’s research into air-purifying plants. But there’s more to love about houseplants than just their air-cleaning abilities.
The mental health and physical wellbeing benefits of houseplants are regular research topics for academics around the world. Their findings suggest (if not prove) that houseplants can:
- ease fatigue
- reduce stress
- increase productivity
- lower blood pressure
- speed up post-op recovery.
One of the most recent studies, carried out by the University of Seville, evaluated the mental health benefits of houseplants during the first COVID-19 lockdown. This international study asked 4,200 people from 46 countries what effect houseplants had on their emotional wellbeing between March and June (when much of the world was experiencing lockdown for the first time).
This is just one example of positive plant power. Another small Japanese study in 2019 found that tending to plants during moments of work stress lowers a person’s anxiety and pulse rate. Minimizing stress—whether at work or at home—frees up more space for creativity and productivity.
But just how much more creative can someone be simply because they have a few plants to look at and care for?
Well, a 2015 global study can tell us just that. Looking to answer the question of how plants influence creativity and productivity, the study involving 7,600 office workers in 16 countries found that people working in offices furnished with plants and natural elements reported being 15% more creative compared to those working in environments without them.
And if they help in the workplace, there’s every reason to believe indoor plants will have the same benefit when kept in our homes.
Keen to put these findings to the test? Experiment by getting some plants for your home. After you’ve had them for a few months, take some time to consider the difference they’ve had on your wellbeing.
But if you’re still worried about them being a pain to care for, there’s more good news. Most plants are low maintenance, and some even do great in low-light homes.
10 plants for your indoor oasis
- Bird’s Nest Fern
- Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
- Peace Lily
- Snake Plant
- Dracaena (Janet Craig, Red Edged and Massangeana)
- Spider Plant
- Rubber Plant
Should you keep houseplants in your bedroom?
The jury’s still out on this one. While having plants in your room gives you many of the benefits we discussed earlier (fresher air, calmer vibes, etc.), there are arguments against having them in bedrooms.
The main concern is that once plants stop photosynthesizing—a daytime plant activity—they start emitting carbon dioxide and taking oxygen in, which can affect air quality. But unless you’re creating a bedroom jungle, the amount of CO2 one or two plants will release is tiny. The chance of your plants suffocating you is slim to none.
Decorating your home with plants
Buying some plants and placing them in your home is a great way to start enjoying their benefits. But if you want to enjoy more than just their air-purifying qualities, these tips on how to decorate with plants are for you.
Match planter with your decor
Make your plants part of your room by using containers that match your existing décor and furniture. Look for planters and pots that match your furniture’s patterns, are of a similar style, or have colors that complement the tones in the rest of the room.
Playing with height
When an open space in your home is crying out for an indoor garden, think about grouping plants instead of searching for a single plant to fill the entire space. Choose different varieties such as tall, slender palms; short, plump succulents; and broad-leaf pot plants. Mixing varieties, textures, and even colors adds extra interest. Tie the whole display together with matching or similarly styled pots for each plant.
Fill bare shelf space
Shelving isn’t only for books, photos, and ornaments. They’re for plants too. Nestle plant pots into gaps on your shelves, or to the tops of kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Small, trailing plants work well on shelving. Devil’s Ivy or Donkey Tail succulents are just two examples.
Create a living wall
What’s great about a living wall is the opportunity to garden without needing a huge amount of space. Fix pots to the wall or, if you don’t want to nail things in, dedicate a bookcase to indoor plants or use trellising that allows you to hang balcony pots (ones with hooks on the back of the pots).
Indoor hanging baskets
Hanging baskets are often used as outdoor planters. But there’s a wide range of indoor-friendly hanging basket systems. And the trend for macrame brings a softness to indoor hangers.
Here are some tips for using indoor baskets.
- Search out empty room corners. Hanging baskets do a great job of filling spaces.
- Make sure your ceiling is strong enough to withhold the weight of a hanging plant pot. Fastening it into a beam within the ceiling is ideal.
- Consider the height and length of your hanging basket so people don’t risk hitting their heads.
- Choose trailing plants such as ivy and fish-hook succulents for a dramatic hanging planter look.
Start feeling the benefits of houseplants in your home
If you’re excited to see how tending to plants can improve the look and feel of your home and, more importantly, your mental and physical wellbeing, we can help. Buy your first houseplants here or pop into our Las Vegas store. Not only can we help you pick out the perfect plant for your home, our friendly staff can also provide you with care tips and even fix you up with an eco-friendly pot that matches your home décor.