By guest writer Caroline Knight from Perfect Plants
10 Reasons to include house plants in your home
Do you love plants? All plant lovers know that they are good for us, but not all of us have thought about the benefits of plants inside the home as well as outside. Surrounding yourself with house plants and office plants can enhance your health and your life. And it’s not just about aesthetics. Plants have calming properties that help to combat stress. They also help people stay healthy.
A strategically placed house or office plant can have a dramatic visual impact on a space too. In fact, there are at least 10 reasons why you might want to add house plants and office plants to your home and workplace:
1. Cleaning the air you breathe
House plants absorb gases and impurities that can be harmful to humans. These include benzene from some plastics; pesticides; formaldehyde which can be found in cosmetics, detergent, fabric softeners and cleaners. Air pollutants, including ozone, have been linked to many acute conditions including asthma and chronic diseases including cancer and respiratory illnesses. How do we know that plants can do this remarkable thing (known as phytoremediation)? Studies carried out by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) have shown that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 per cent of air toxins in a 24-hour period.
Some plants are better at this than others, but all have the ability to clean the environment around them. Microorganisms living in the soil of potted plants also play an important role. You need a plant for approximately every 8 square metres of indoor space. Here’s an interesting thought: indoor air has been measured as being around 12 times more polluted than outside air in some areas. So, could the air you are breathing be making you ill?
2. Sick Building Syndrome
Linked to the above, something called ‘sick building syndrome’ is now widely recognised as a problem in many offices. It is caused by various combinations of air conditioning, insulation and lack of ventilation. Modern synthetic furnishings, computers and electrical equipment and plastics can produce harmful substances that are trapped in a hermetically sealed environment. This can cause headaches, nausea, sore and itchy eyes and many other problems. Plants can help neutralise the environment, mop up the toxins, produce much-needed oxygen and help people to feel more ‘grounded’.
3. Keeping you healthy
House plants have been found to help people fight off colds and sore throats. A study by the University of Agriculture in Norway discovered this fact. The research showed a 30 per cent decrease in coughs, colds, sore throats and other cold-related symptoms in people occupying spaces that had adequate houseplants. The reason? Plants help to increase humidity levels and decrease dust – as well as purifying the air. Research shows that the air within plant-filtered rooms contains up to 60 per cent fewer potentially harmful microbes including mould spores and bacteria.
Studies by the American Horticultural Therapy Association have shown that there are many positive benefits for those who keep house plants including increased self-esteem; improved mood and sense of well-being; reduction in stress, anxiety, depression; increased feelings of calm and optimism; increase sense of stability and control and a decrease in headaches. There have been many different studies relating to stress levels and this has been measured using blood pressure readings. Results show that people in a plant-filled room experience a four-point drop in blood pressure readings.
5. Helping you Think
House plants can also help you think! Studies have shown that there are mental benefits connected to having houseplants within your environment and this can aid better concentration; improved memory; a heightened sense of attention and even a boost in creativity.
6. Mental Health
House plants can help to improve mental health. Looking after a plant is therapeutic and many people who are unable to keep a pet gain a great sense of satisfaction from having the responsibility of tending to a plant. Feeling needed is important to people!
7. Enhancing your Home
House plants look beautiful! They add a sense of architectural structure to a room. Some plants move as the air wafts around them and the graceful swaying of a palm frond, for example, is soothing to the eye. The Kentia palm, for example is an architectural beauty that suits perfectly an indoor environment.
8. Home Comfort
Use House plants soften the straight lines and angles of a home. They can also help to visually raise a low ceiling or to lighten up a dark corner. Just choose the right plant for the right place – many are happy in low light levels.
The colour green and all the variations within it is good for you! Green is the colour of balance and harmony. It helps boost the heart and the emotions, finding a natural balance. It is the colour of growth; renewal and re-birth and it represents positivity. It restores energy levels.
10. Feng Shui
House plants are frequently used in Feng Shui to balance and harmonise the home. It’s all about the shape, the size, the pot and vitally, the placement. Lucky Bamboo house plants are highly popular for this reason but any house plant can enhance the décor and the flow of positive energy. Did you know that the best time to add a new plant to your home is at the beginning of a new month or especially at New Year? It is said to be symbolic of a healthy new beginning for the occupants.
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