The benefits of houseplants

The benefits of houseplants

Like everything house plants tend to go in and out of fashion. But is that all there is to them? Science suggests not.
In fact, studies have shown that house plants are incredibly beneficial, and can  help with mental wellbeing and physical health.

The attraction factor.

Simply having houseplants in a room can make the room feel more cosy, and a more inviting place to be. But the benefits of houseplants goes deeper than that.

Just being able to see plants in a room lowers stress levels and creates a more calming environment. So for that reason alone they are a must have for any work place or home.

They can clean the air we breath.

Inside our homes and work places, the air quality can actually be worse than outside. Considering most of us spend a lot of hours in doors especially in the winter, this is concerning.
It’s thanks to the soft furnishings in our homes – carpets, sofa’s mattresses etc being made of man-made materials and also being sprayed with things to make them fire retardant.
As well as our cleaning products, so called air-fresheners, paint, and artificial fragrances in personal and hair care products. They all combine together to make the air quality pretty poor.
Combine this with houses being less drafty these days and better insulated we literally trap the bad air in.
A study by NASA showed that certain house plants have the ability to filter the air and remove pollution. Effectively improving the quality of the air indoors.
Admittedly you would need quite a few plants to completely clean the air in a room, but any amount is going to help at least a little.
You can find out more about this study and some reccommended plants from the book How to grow fresh air

Adding humidity.

The study by NASA also showed that houseplants can increase the humidity in a room (probably not enough to give you a bad hair day!) But, increasing the humidity in a room can help people who suffer from allergies by reducing the Irritation caused to the membranes of the nose and throat.

For this reason it can also make it easier for our bodies to defend against colds and viruses.

So benefits of houseplants are thought to include –

  • Decreasing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing calm
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Potentially cleaning the air
  • Adding humidity
  • and some people swear they improve sleep quality

All great reasons to invest in and love houseplants

Some things to be aware of though –

 

  • Plant miles – Some house plants can be shipped from a long way away. Try and buy local, or even better grow from a cutting or baby of a friends house plant.Our first house plant was a spider plant gifted from a friend from an off shoot of her own. He is still growing strong over 10 years on.
    And we have gifted Aloe Vera plants to friends and family – babies from our original Aloe plant.
  • Avoid plastic pots if you can. Plastic plant pots are almost never recycled due to being black, or contaminated. There are other options available such as biodegradable pots made from bamboo, coir pots (although they have a large transport footprint)
  • Avoid peat at all costs. – Indoors or outdoors. Plants might love peat as it is nutrient rich. But it is a disaster for the environment as it stores massive amounts of carbon. It is also an important habitat in its own right.
    Make sure any plants you buy do not come in peat based compost, and don’t buy/use peat based compost for repotting.
  • Not all houseplants are Child/pet friendly. This would normally involve them eating them, but always best to check so that you can at least make sure they are well out of the way.

We believe that houseplants add many benefits to any inside space. But as with anything it’s important to buy consciously, and make sure that the plant is going to fit well into it’s new home.

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