In the past few months, I have personally seen a growing trend (excuse the pun) of people adding indoor plants to their interior design. It’s not something that one would expect, walking into an entrance hall and being welcomed by a mini garden, but I think I may have fallen in love with this gorgeous, eco-friendly craze!
I don’t have the greenest thumb around, I can barely keep an orchid alive for a week, but I’ve taken it upon myself to do some extra research, and just today I saved my avocado pit from my lunch and I’ve popped it into a glass of water. I’m so excited to watch it grow!
Besides for the fact that plants are an affordable way to touch up any spot in your home that may need that extra bit of decoration, plants have health benefits, too. Buying a pot plant or a hanging cactus is one of the simplest ways to add character to your previously uninteresting space, but it’s certainly not all about the aesthetics, and I’m super interested in why this stunning trend can also benefit your wellbeing.
We all know that plants reprocess the carbon dioxide that we exhale back into the oxygen around us via a process called photosynthesis. Remember biology class in school? This isn’t only the job of larger plants in your garden! Every plant has the power to clean our air. Imagine filling your home with beauty that helps you breathe better! What a bonus.
Plants are known to reduce stress and lower various pollutants, too. Plants remove toxins from the air –up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke, and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents, and paint). Benzene is commonly found in high concentrations in study settings, where books and printed papers abound (www.bioadvanced.com). So you suddenly have a relatively reasonable way to decorate, and with any luck clear the air of toxins at the same time!
Another benefit of having plants inside your home is that they’re thought to make people more creative and productive. What a win! For someone who often works from home, creativity and productivity are incredibly high on my list of needs, especially needing the motivation to sit down and get the work done with so many distractions around me. Feeling creative and productive at home is not only crucial for those of us who have a home office. We spend more time in our home than we can imagine, and feeling a push to be productive is vital to our everyday mood and experience.
I know that you’re already blown away by the facts I’ve given you, but believe it or not, there’s more! Another surprising tidbit of information is that just by looking at plants, your sensitivity to discomfort can be tempered. In a 1993 study, researchers put white panels, abstract paintings, and landscape photographs in different hospital rooms. Unbelievably, the patients looking at the landscape photographs didn’t just report less anxiety than the other patients, but they also needed less pain medication. Having plants in hospital rooms have been proven to speed the recovery rates of surgical patients, according to researchers at Kansas State University. Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner. Scientists have found that by lowering cortisol levels and improving one’s mood, plants can assist in quickening the healing process (thethirty.byrdie.com). Imagine having this incredible (affordable) health machine in every room of your home! Who wouldn’t?!
I always thought that my aunt was a little crazy for filling up her entire indoor balcony with plants. The place looks like a nursery! They’re hanging from the roof, on the tables, on the floor. I don’t know how she maneuvres around them to water them all. But she does, using hundreds of liters of water a week to keep them growing and thriving. Walking into her home feels different. You can almost taste the air that you’re breathing into your lungs. Bright, fresh, crisp. The feeling you get when you go camping in a non-urban area and you can see all the stars in the sky at night. Ah, the peacefulness it brings. Now it all makes sense!
Knowing now how incredibly beneficial indoor houseplants are, how do we know which ones to buy? Have no fear! I’ve combined a list of some fantastic (and very aesthetically pleasing) indoor plants that will improve the air quality in your house or apartment, and also give you all the wellbeing benefits that we’ve just learned:
Golden Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is an extremely common houseplant and one that you will most likely recognize. It is best known for being difficult to kill, and while this may not seem important to you green-thumbers out there, it is on the top of my checklist when choosing a houseplant. Although pothos isn’t the most potent air-purifying plant, it’s effortless to care for, which makes it a great one to start your plant adventure with.
When I think of ivy, I immediately imagine an outdoor plant that adds rustic charm to old buildings, but this isn’t true at all! When you keep your ivy plant indoors, it not only assists in purifying the air in your home but is especially useful for absorbing mold in the air, according to Allergy and Air. A study authored by Hilary Spyers-Duran found that English ivy was able to absorb a large portion of airborne mold when placed in a container with moldy bread, so placing this gorgeous plant in your bathroom could help with the sticky air that causes mold. Make sure to put this plant somewhere with a lot of natural light, so if you’re going to put it in the bathroom, make sure that it’s a specifically sunny spot!
Honestly, this is one of my favorite plants. My aunt bought me one as a gift and no matter how many times I neglected it, it always came back to life after a few days of water and care. It stuck with me, and I’ve learned to appreciate and love it even more! I also learned that it needs indirect natural light too, so I moved it from my lounge to my kitchen and it’s thriving!
The peace lily is another plant that NASA found to be great for absorbing compounds in the air. It’s renowned for its ability to break down compounds like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. This is a stunning choice for an apartment plant for anyone who doesn’t get a lot of natural light (like me!).
Honestly, I love any plant that resembles a cactus, because it means it doesn’t need much water or attention and it’s just so beautiful. But I’m lazy, so don’t mind me. You might already know about the health benefits of aloe vera for your skin, it is such a healing plant, but the plant itself is also great for purifying the air. It works to absorb airborne compounds from paint or cleaning agents, and you can also have it handy for treating your sunburn!
Another excellent houseplant for beginners, the snake plant’s health benefits is that it absorbs CO2 and converts it into oxygen! Isn’t nature just incredible! They’re a great plant to place in your bedroom because they’ll improve the air quality as you sleep, according to Lifehacker. Snake plants also work to remove xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene from the air in your home. Also, placing it in a stylish pot adds to the interior design of any room in your home.
I don’t know about you, but I just learned a lot about indoor houseplants, and I can’t wait to go out and buy more! There’s nothing like an inexpensive way to add instant color and glamour to home interiors, with added wellbeing and health benefits for you and your whole household.