Human beings love plants. We take long walks in nature, we obsess over our lawns and gardens and we bring flora into our homes in the form of houseplants. But more than mere window dressing, indoor greenery offers several benefits. Here are the common perks of keeping houseplants in your home or office.
Plants can improve air quality
Powered by photosynthesis, plants naturally produce oxygen and filter the air. As NASA research has noted: “Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals…can be removed from the indoor environments by plant leaves alone.” While the contribution houseplants make to indoor air quality is minor, any benefit is likely to be welcome. Check out this list of plants for varieties that are well-suited for purifying the air.
Plants can boost focus
If you’re looking to sharpen your focus at home, plants may help. In a study by the University of Exeter, researchers found that adding plants to an office significantly increased workplace satisfaction, self-reported levels of concentration and perceived air quality. Even more encouraging, they found that offices with plants increased their productivity by 15%. Other studies have shown the benefits that plants can have on the mind, including increased attention, creativity and mindfulness. Check out this list of plant recommendations for home and office workspaces.
Plants can be therapeutic
While plants have long been used in traditional medicines, simply being around them has been shown to benefit healing as well. One study found that patients recovering from surgery in rooms with plants had less stress, more positive physiologic responses and lower ratings of pain, anxiety and fatigue than patients in rooms without plants. Another study concluded that “contact with plants is directly beneficial to patients’ health, providing meaningful therapeutic contact.” Personal preferences vary, so whichever plants you’re fond of may provide you with these benefits.
Plants can be edible
Even in small spaces, many plants grown in a home vegetable garden can also be grown indoors. With the proper preparation, your dinner spread could include fresh produce harvested from right inside your home. Some suggested indoor crops include avocados, carrots, salad greens, tomatoes, mint, rosemary, chives and mushrooms.
Plants can be decorative
Last but not least, houseplants are a one-of-a-kind decoration that can add life, color and interest to almost any room. They come in a range of sizes, shapes and hues and can be arranged in pots and planters on floors, furniture, walls and more. The internet has a wealth of plant decorating inspiration, including idea lists such as this one.
Houseplants provide multiple benefits, but they are living things and require the right attention. Make sure your plants receive proper water, sunlight and care, and be careful when introducing toxic plants into your home if you have pets or young children.