Many of us are familiar with the aesthetic value of having plants in our homes. They add colour to our living space and a touch of nature to life indoors.
From elegant orchids to exotic succulents and bromeliads, the benefits of keeping indoor plants goes far beyond their visual beauty, and can directly benefit our health and wellness.
How plants can improve indoor air quality
Plants are adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves.1 Acting as natural air filters, in addition to their well known ability to absorb carbon dioxide, many household plants are known to absorb organic chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
If you’re wondering how chemicals like these end up in the air we breathe, you might be surprised that we’re surrounded by many sources of indoor air pollution.
Reducing indoor air hazards is important for maintaining a healthy environment, and adding plants to your office or home can help with that process.
To reap the benefits, use plants with larger leaves such as Mass Cane, Rubber Plant, and Snake Plants, which purify air quicker. Other plants like Boston Ferns can help balance humidity by absorbing moisture, while English Ivy can even remove airborne molds typically found in humid places.
Check out the top 10 air purifying plants on One Green Planet for more ideas.
If your space is limited and you’d still to jazz up the decor with some foliage, consider hanging Ivy and Ferns, or adding oxygen producing Succulents to your wall decor with DIY wall gardens.
How indoor plants improve health and wellness
Drawing the attention from the scientific community for their many benefits, indoor plants have been found to enhance job satisfaction in office workers, reduce psychological stress, improve mood states, and enhance cognitive health.2
Studies have also shown that the viewing of foliage plants can lead to physiological and psychological relaxation.3 According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, interaction with indoor plants can reduce stress by promoting comfortable, soothed, and natural feelings.
Don’t have a green thumb?
Not to worry. Most of these good for you plants are easy to care for and don’t require much sunlight. Try visiting a garden centre for some ideas, or find out where you can find low-maintenance plants to enhance your indoor environment.
1 Live Science (2013). https://www.livescience.com/38445-indoor-plants-clean-air.html
2 National Centre for Biotechnology Information (2015). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4419447/
3 National Centre for Biotechnology Information (2019). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6427160/