Five reasons to get more houseplants (besides cleaner air!)
Houseplants create healthier indoor air for us humans, countless studies have proven the case. Our leafy pot plant pals help cut carbon emissions by absorbing CO2, neutralise harmful toxins like protective sponges, and help dust allergy sufferers by naturally humidifying the atmosphere.
Just these benefits should reserve houseplants space in our homes, but in case you’re in need of a little more gentle arm-twisting, here’s five more reasons why bringing more living greenery into your home is a total no-brainer…
1) Houseplants let us grow our own food in tiny spaces
Container growing turns a spare windowsill or conservatory corner into your own mini-farm!
Chillies, spring onions, lettuces, cherry tomatoes, spinach, carrots, radishes – even beans and peas – can be part of your harvest, and the sheltered location indoors will give you a far longer and more flexible growing season versus conventional outdoor grow-your-own.
Keen cook? Why not pot up some of your favourite herbs? Given at least six hours of bright sunlight each day, chives, basil, dill, parsley, mint, rosemary and thyme are all manageable and flavourful when container-grown indoors.
Choose a windowsill that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day
2) Certain houseplants can improve our sleep
The somewhat naff name of ‘Mother-in-law’s Tongue’ does a disservice to this incredible plant.
Sansevieria trifasciata originated from West Africa and the fibres in those gorgeous variegated leaves were once used to make deadly strong bowstrings. But why would we want one in our bedroom?
Well, along with kindly removing four out of five of the major airborne toxins associated with sick building syndrome, these plants have the rare habit of releasing stored oxygen from their leaves after dark. Better oxygenated air in the bedroom is known to promote deeper sleep and help avoid grumpy, groggy mornings.
Looking after these useful beauties is child’s play. Put Sansevieria trifasciata into a pot with plenty of growing room, locate in a bright spot in the bedroom out of direct sun, water once in a blue moon and watch those sculptural spikes multiply like billy-oh.
Make sure Sansevieria trifasciata has plenty of growing room
3) Houseplants can help us super-charge our lives
The benefits of plants to our physical health haven’t been the only area of study; numerous experiments have explored the idea that surrounding ourselves with plants might be better for our mental health too…
Well-being wins from houseplants have been shown to include increased productivity in offices, increased speed of reaction to a computer task and improved attention span.
Even more interesting, when used in hospital settings, the presence of plants in a patient’s room has been proven to increase that patient’s tolerance of pain. Seems like plants can help us become better versions of ourselves!
One interesting study showed that the presence of plants increased speed of reaction to a computer task
4) Houseplant care is a form of therapy
Ever hear of horticultural therapy? Patients engage in gardening and other plant-based activities as a mindfulness practice, gaining in confidence as plants flourish under their care and taking a welcome dose of peace and positivity in the beauty of nature.
Most houseplants are pretty forgiving and respond gratifyingly quickly to a little appropriate nurturing.
If you feel like the human world is getting you down, try spending some time with a sympathetic plant!
Gardening can be used as part of a mindfulness practice
5) Houseplants are just plain good-looking
No matter your style, there’s a houseplant to fit your chosen aesthetic. No matter low light level, the humidity or temperature, there’s a houseplant that will cope. No matter your space restrictions, there’s a houseplant that will grow within your constraints.
There's a houseplant to suit everyone!