Studies have shown indoor plants can make us feel better and have many benefits.
- Boost moods, productivity, concentration, and creativity
- Reduce stress and fatigue
- Be therapeutic
- Adds life to dull spaces
- Creates privacy
- Reduces noise levels
- Absorb toxins
- Increase humidity
- Captures carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen
Plants Make Us Happier
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors.
A stroll through the park can lift your spirits. We feel better when we are in nature. Studies show that spending time in nature helps us unwind, revives us when we’re feeling mentally drained, and develops our capacity for logical thought.
Although having plants is not a replacement for being outside, they can offer comparable advantages. According to studies, even a brief encounter with plants can have a calming effect.
Studies have shown that workplaces with plants have higher performance, better personal well-being, and fewer sick leave absences. Plants are calming and restorative.
Talk about plants with benefits!
So why do plants make us happier?
One theory as to why plants make us happier is that our connection to nature and living things is in our DNA. Although philosophers and scientists have studied humans’ connection with plants, biologist Edward O. Wilson brought it to the forefront in a book he wrote in 1984.
Wilson wrote about the biophilia hypothesis that suggests that humans have a natural tendency to want to connect with other forms of life, whether that be humans, animals, or nature.
This connection is rooted in our biology. As more people live in urban areas and interact with technology, the biophilia hypothesis becomes very relevant today.
Indoor Plants Improve Our Environment
One of the benefits of plants is that they can help improve air quality.
Plants help to filter out pollutants and improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
Additionally, plants help to reduce noise levels and create a pleasant environment.
Indoor Plants That Remove Toxins
There are many toxic substances present in our everyday lives, often without us even realizing it. Common household items such as cleaning supplies and furniture can contain harmful toxins.
Fortunately, plants can help clean the air by removing harmful toxins. Studies have shown that plants can absorb airborne toxins and convert them into harmless compounds.
Here are 9 common indoor plants that remove toxins from the air, are easy to keep and work well in your home or office.
- Spider plants remove formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, and styrene from the air. They have long, thin leaves that resemble the legs of a spider. Spider plants are popular houseplants because they are easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. The only drawback to them is they keep producing babies that you need to remove. Stick the babies in a small pot with dirt and give them away. It makes a great housewarming gift!
- Peace lilies are great at removing formaldehyde and are very easy to care for. They are flowering plants that look good in any home and make excellent houseplants because they don’t grow very tall but spread out and fill a 3 foot space with long stems that gracefully expand into long emerald leaves and produce a cream colored hood over a large stamin. Although pets normally don’t chew on them, the whole plant contains an irritating toxin that can be dangerous if ingested.
- English ivy removes formaldehyde, acetone, xylene, and ethyl benzene. Ivys can be trained to grow where you want, or you can let it find its own path and see what happens. If you want your ivy busher then pinch off new growth between your thumb and forefinger. English ivys do well planted in containers or baskets where its trailing vines can hang down. Grow in part or full shade and watch your kids and pets because it is toxic.
- Boston Ferns are great at absorbing volatile organic compounds such as trichloroethylene, trichloroethane, and chlorinated solvents. Boston ferns are classic houseplants and are easy to care for, as they don’t need a lot of sunlight. Outdoors, these plants thrive in swampy, humid, and forested areas so they want to be in a room without direct sun that is somewhat humid. They love bathrooms. Their sword-shaped, blue-green foliage contains tiny leaflets and grows upright, arching only when fronds grow larger.
- Coleus removes formaldehyde and benzene from the air. They are very easy to grow, and can thrive in either full sun or shade. Coleus plants have square stems and leaves that grow opposite each other. The plants produce small blue to white flowers, but they are not very significant and are removed to conserve the plant’s energy. The foliage on Coleus plants can vary widely in shape, style, and color. The bright green color on the outer part of the leaves is always a striking contrast with the color next to the stem. Pinch out the growing tips when the plants are about 6 inches tall if you want the plant to spend its energy on leaves and not flowers and seeds. Plants that aren’t pruned frequently become leggy, lose their attractive shape, and their lush foliage.
- Aloe vera removes formaldehyde and benzene. Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has leaves which contain a soothing gel. The gel is used on sunburns and skin irritations. Aloe vera needs bright, natural light and sandy soil or a cactus potting medium to thrive in containers. Aloe prefers to be watered regularly, as long as the soil dries out completely between waterings. Mature plants will often produce many pups, making it easy for you to move them to pots and can give them to friends.
- African Violets are known for their ability to absorb benzene and formaldehyde, making them one of the best plants for improving air quality. These low-maintenance plants are perfect for busy people because they are easy to care for and the long lasting blossoms are so pretty. Plus, they grow quickly and thrive in cooler temperatures.
- Mums (Chrysanthemums) make beautiful floral arrangements and are excellent at purifying the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloro. They are easy to grow indoors, requiring only good soil, drainage, and regular watering. Once the blooms are spent, you can enjoy the plant for its deeply etched foliage. A tip for growing chrysanthemums indoors is to position them in a spot where they will receive bright light during the day but won’t be exposed to street or security lights at night. Excess lighting can interfere with the plant’s bloom production and cause it to stop flowering.
- Snake Plant (Dracaena or Mother’s In Law tongue) is known for its ability to remove TCE, benzene and formaldehyde from the air. These plants are easy to grow and are nearly indestructible. They will thrive in very bright light or almost dark corners of the house. Snake plants will grow slowly in low light, but moving it closer to a window will boost growth if it receives a few hours of direct sun. Water the plant only if the soil is completely dry. They can go two months between waterings in the winter months. When its warmer out, don’t water more than every two weeks.
If you’re looking to create a healthier home or office, then you should consider incorporating some of these plants into your space.
It’s a win-win-win situation; they purify the air, calm the nerves and soothe the soul.