There are so many great reasons to have plants in your home, including some major benefits that you might not even be aware of. It’s true: while plants are great for aesthetics, they’re also great for body, mind, soul, and the environment—not too shabby for something you can buy for 10 bucks at your local home improvement store. So whether you just moved in or you’re looking to do some sprucing up of your current space, here are seven big benefits of having plants that you may not know about
1. They clean your air
Plants breathe just like we do but in reverse, absorbing carbon dioxide and then releasing fresh oxygen into the air. And according to research from NASA, this makes them quite effective at removing airborne toxins, with some plants having the ability to remove up to 87% of toxins in the air within just 24 hours. They can’t take the place of clean air filters in your home, but they can help make sure that the air you breathe is as clean as possible.
2. They boost your mood
One of the biggest benefits of having plants is their ability to have a calming effect on your mood. This study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that active interaction with indoor plants—i.e. touching them, transplanting them, smelling them—can actually decrease our blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system activity, in term making us feel calmer and more relaxed.
3. They reduce stress and anxiety
If plants can boost our moods, it stands to reason that they can reduce stress and anxiety too, right? It’s not just conjecture: in a Japanese study, participants who kept a small plant on their desk reported significantly lower levels of stress and anxiety after a four week period, during which time they took three-minute breaks when feeling signs of stress to tend to and interact with their plants. About 27% of those participants also experienced notable decreases in their pulse rates, which is a quantitative sign of stress reduction.
4. They help you focus
If you’re working from home, a plant can be your best co-worker. Keeping plants and flowers around your workspace has been found to offer substantial improvements in concentration and creativity, and even to increase memory retention. And in a study out of the University of Exeter, 47% of respondents reported that plants aided their concentration, increased their productivity, and boosted their well-being at work.
5. They can help keep you from getting sick
Most types of plants release about 97% of the water they’re provided back into the air, which helps create more humidity in your home and is particularly good news during cold and flu season, when low levels of humidity can spread viral particles. To take full advantage of the immunity-boosting benefits of having plants, keep plants in the rooms of your home that you spend the most time in, such as your home office and your bedroom.
6. They can keep you company
This may sound like one of the stranger benefits of having plants, but it’s actually true that plants can help with loneliness and help you feel less alone. Plants require our attention and commitment, and when we give it to them, they respond in kind by blooming and thriving. This symbiotic relationship is attune to the type of give-and-take we get from pets, even if the level of responsibility (and the degree of engagement) isn’t quite as high. It’s for this reason that seniors in elder care facilities are often encouraged to keep and care for plants—and why you might find yourself looking to the succulent on your desk for a bit of support after a stressful day.
7. They offer allergy relief
Allergy sufferers might be rightfully wary of filling their homes with pollen-producing flowers, but the more greenery the better. That’s because rooms with foliage have been found to have less dust and mold than those without, with the leaves of plants acting as natural filters for catching the airborne particles and allergens that might be floating around.
Do the Benefits of Having Plants Apply to Fake Plants?
A lot of the benefits of having plants are tied to the biology of plants themselves, such as the way they release oxygen and H20 into the air. That being said, any plants are better than no plants at all, and while there’s no definitive research available on the subject, you’re likely to enjoy plenty of mental health benefits from having any sort of greenery around, regardless of whether it’s real or fake. Take, for example, the study out of Stockholm that found that just looking at pictures of the forest was successful in improving people’s moods.
How to Choose Plants for Your Home
We’ve talked before about how to go about choosing indoor plants, but here’s a quick overview for anyone who is ready to enjoy all of the benefits of having plants in their home.
- Evaluate your conditions. Any home is suitable for plants, but the specific conditions that your home offer will help decide which types of plants in particular will thrive there. Take account of what windows bring in good sun and for how long each day, since some plants require longer access to sunlight than others. No reliable sun? No problem. There are plenty of plants that do just fine in low-light, you’ll just want to know in advance so that you choose the right ones.
- Think of your pets. If you have furry creatures at home, it’s crucial that you choose plants that won’t put them at risk. Many plants are toxic to dogs or cats (or both), and it’s much easier and safer to avoid having them in your home at all than to just hope that curious paws stay away.
- Consider your skill level. Happy plants make us happy, but sad, dying plants might have an opposite effect. Save yourself the disappointment by sticking to the types of plants that are within your skill level. There are plenty of easy plants for beginners or those with a less-than-established green thumb, including snake plants, aloe vera, cast iron plants, and pilea. The more effort and practice you put into caring for your plants, the better you’ll get at it and the more difficult types of plants you can try your hand at (we’re looking at you, orchids and fiddle leaf fig trees).
- Let there be flowers. Flowers have many of the same benefits as green plants, and they require a lot less commitment than their potted peers. If it fits with your budget, try to pick up some fresh flowers once a week or so and place them somewhere prominent in your home. This is especially beneficial during the winter months, when it’s easy to forget how much natural beauty can exist in the world.
There are so many great benefits of having plants in your home, and pretty much no drawbacks. Regardless of the size of your space, make room for a plant (or twelve) and see what sorts of benefits it brings to body, mind, and spirit. Plants are especially beneficial in areas where you tend to feel stressed, so be sure to bring them into your workspace if you’re working from home. Even a little plants should serve to boost your mood, your productivity, and your enjoyment of your home.
Referenced from moving.com site