It’s no secret that we absolutely love houseplants here at The Contented Plant. I’m always looking for more reasons to add additional greenery into my home.
I wanted to know all of the possible benefits that my beautiful plants bring to my home. If you’ve been around the houseplant world for a little while you have probably heard that they are beneficial for you. This is what I found in my research.
There are so many benefits to keeping houseplants in your home. I was pleasantly surprised by what I learned! There were a few benefits that were new to me that I am excited about. I have houseplants in almost every room of my home. Including a plant in each of my children’s bedrooms and my bedroom.
Indoor plants help with anxiety
Studies have shown that plants can significantly help reduce stress and anxiety. Offices that have plants in them show reduced stress levels in workers vs offices that have no houseplants. A study from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that working with plants (touching, repotting etc.) can help reduce psychological stress.
Visually consuming the natural world can have a very positive impact on mental health. We spend more than 85% of our time indoors (even more for people that work from home) plants can help us connect with nature in a small way. As someone that has suffered with generalized anxiety for years, I’m excited to see that my plants can help me out.
Indoor plants can reduce physiological stress
Physiological stress is a huge problem in modern living. Many people deal with high blood pressure and increased heart rates simply from dealing with everyday stress. We lead busier and busier lives with few opportunities to slow down. We are constantly being pulled in thousands of directions with very little down time. Studies have shown that working with plants immediately reduced both blood pressure and heart rate.
Plants have also been shown to aid in recovery from major surgeries. a 2008 study followed 90 patients post operatively. The patients with plants in their rooms needed less post operative pain medication, had lower blood pressure and lower heart rates. The plants also improved the positive healing outlook of the patients.
If you have someone in your life that is going through a rough patch, maybe consider gifting them a plant. The study also showed that potted houseplants were a significant improvement over cut flowers for the most physiological benefits.
Houseplants can reduce depression and feelings of loneliness
Millions of people suffer from clinical depression. Feeling lonely and isolated can make depression even worse. Houseplants have been shown to help reduce both depression and loneliness. The act of nurturing and caring for something has been proven to increase mental health. Additionally houseplant soil often contains bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae. This bacterium actually boosts serotonin levels when it comes in contact with your skin.
mycobacteria “are very selective and specific.” They excite small subsets of serotonin-releasing neurons and pathways in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, where they directly impact cognition and mood regulation.Psychology Today
Actively caretaking your plants like pruning, watering, repotting etc, can help boost your mood and positive feelings. A word of caution though, I have found many people in the plant world actually struggle with taking care of their plants during bouts of depression. Some even found that feelings of guilt over not caring for their plants made it even worse.
Plants can help remove household allergens from the air
If you are a person that suffers from allergies, particularly a dust allergen then houseplants might be a great option for you. Researchers found that houseplants can remove dust and mold from the air around them. The plant leaves are crucial to this step. The dust accumulates on the leaves, and some plants can pull mold spores from the air onto their leaves and absorb them for plant food. The best kind of plants for this type of benefit are ones with large leaf surface areas (the elephant ear is a good option) or leaves that are very textured and curly.
Make sure you dust your plant leaves with a wet paper towel once or twice a month. Don’t use a dry paper towel or you will risk kicking up the dust and mold into the air. Cleaning your plant leaves from the dust and debris will also help your plant photosynthesize more effectively.
Houseplants can filter your air and improve the air quality
This is a controversial topic in the science world. Some scientists argue that the study done on houseplants in 1989 studied houseplants in small closed containers. The study concluded that a variety of houseplants have the ability to remove harmful toxins and chemicals from the air around them.
Scientists argue that because the area studied was so small, the same effect won’t be seen in a home. They argue that you would need hundreds of plants to see a significant change in your homes air quality.
However, houseplants do filter the air and exhale fresh oxygen into the air. Here’s our list of some great houseplants to filter air. Is it enough air filtering to make your home toxin free?
No. If you want to significantly improve air quality in your home you should look into purchasing a large air purifier.
Plants can help improve your sleep quality
Some studies point to plants to help with improved sleep and less restlessness at night. According to the CDC somewhere around 70 million Americans suffer from sleeping problems. This can result in a lower immune system, poor performance at work and a host of additional issues. How do plants help with sleep? This is what I found.
Plants can help improve sleep in many ways. They can reduce the noise level in the bedroom. Plants can help reduce background noise and reduce the room sound by 5 decibels. Houseplants with smaller leaves were better at scattering sound and reducing the overall noise.
Another great benefit is the pure oxygen that plants give off at night. Many plants such as the Snake Plant absorb Carbon Dioxide all day and exhale pure oxygen at night making it a favorite nighttime bedroom plant. Higher oxygen levels in the bedroom help promote a deeper sleep.
Plants can aid in improved memory and focus.
If you are struggling to keep focused at work and remember a myriad of tasks throughout the day, consider adding a live houseplant to your desk. A study conducted by the University of Michigan showed that simply being around plants increased memory retention by 20%. This benefit has been noticed in both children and adults.
Focus is harder and harder to come by in our digital laden world with lots of things vying for our attention. Plants can help with that! A study from Texas A&M showed that employees that were in environments where plants or flowers were present had increased problem solving skills. The employees also showed and improvement in the ability to generate fresh ideas and creativity.
Our favorite beneficial houseplants:
Plants have a myriad of benefits and co-exist with humans in some fantastic ways. If you are interested in getting into houseplants, I would encourage you to take the leap. Many plants that are the most beneficial are very easy to care for plants.
If you want some additional information on specific houseplants, take a look around our website at some of the plant care guides.
I hope this article was helpful to you and you found all the information you were looking for. Please let us know if you have additional questions down below and we will do our best to help you out.
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