Houseplants are such an incredible way to bring warmth and life into the home at any time of the year. Right now, while it is cold outside and the garden has not yet woken for spring, it’s an especially good time to focus your energies on warming up your house with beautiful houseplants. We all know how much character they can add to the look of a room, but many people don’t realise that houseplants provide many other benefits.
So here’s five great reasons why houseplants should be a permanent part of every home.
1. They clean the air in your home
A study by NASA found that certain plants inside the home help to neutralise the chemicals that are found in furniture, household cleaning products, and paint. Of course, all plants also increase oxygen levels in your house.
Here are three of the best air-cleansing plants for your home:
Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata or mother in laws tongue)
This plant gives out oxygen at night and combats chemicals like xylene, toluene and benzene (found in detergents) in the air.
Aside from the gel inside an Aloe Vera plant being great for treating burns, this clever little plant fights benzene and formaldehyde (the chemical in varnishes).
These orchids are absolutely beautiful but they also give off oxygen at night, cleaning the air and helping you breathe better!
2. They improve health and speed recovery
Researchers at Kansas State University have found that patients staying in hospital rooms with plants have a higher speed of recovery. Apparently, patients in rooms with plants have lower blood pressure, heart rates and get released from hospital sooner than patients staying in rooms without plants.
Caring for plants has also been shown to improve our mental health. There is a sense of purpose and reward from tending to a plant’s needs and watching it grow that is very good for us, in the same way that caring for pets has been show to be good for us. Caring for other living things allows us to turn our thoughts outward rather than inward for a time, which can be a helpful exercise.
Humans also benefit from spending time in a more natural environment, and plants help to create that within the home.
University Mental Health Day is coming up on 1st March, and is aimed at promoting the mental health of people who live, work and study in Higher Education settings. For information on the campaign check out their website here: www.unimentalhealthday.co.uk
If you or someone you know is in need of support for mental health concerns, the charity SANE are a fantastic service that you can reach out to. Go to their website for more details: www.sane.org.uk
3. They make beautiful decorative features
Houseplants are an interior designer’s best friend. Unsure of what to put on that kitchen windowsill? Or use on the shelf in the hall? Houseplants are an easy and relatively low cost decorative feature that keep on giving.
For a statement feature, consider a Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata). Despite its name, it’s not a true palm but it grows up to 3 feet tall so is a great addition to a blank space.
4. They can be very easy to care for
Some houseplants require minimal care and are easier to look after than those in the garden. Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), swiss cheese plants (Monstera deliciosa), dragon trees (Dracaena marginata) for example are fast-growing plants and look great. As long as they’re kept in a well-lit position and watered weekly, they’re quite happy. The ponytail palm mentioned above is also a great, easy-care option.
5. They can add gorgeous fragrance to your home
Of course, houseplants can also add wonderful fragrances to the home, which can be incredibly relaxing and uplifting.
Forget plug-in air fresheners and reed diffusers; for some beautifully scented and showy flowers try:
Gardening is such a healthy and rewarding hobby, and starting with houseplants is a great way for people to begin their journey. The benefits are enormous, and it’s my goal to inspire as many people as possible to engage with plants, whether it is outside or inside the home.