The Benefits of Owning Houseplants
An Englishman’s home is their castle, or so the immortal saying goes, and no English home is complete without a garden. What to do, however, if a garden isn’t possible? Space is at a premium these days, and often gardens are not always available in inner-city homes. Especially if you’re living in a block of flats.
Why not make the matter moot by bringing the garden indoors?
Potted plants have been a fixture in homes for centuries since it’s very easy to make even the drabbest homes lighten up with a few pots of green stuff strategically placed here and there.
But beyond mere aesthetics, there are numerous other advantages to having potted plants in the home as well!
You’ve learned in primary school about photosynthesis, no doubt. The whole shebang about how plants take in carbon dioxide and then release oxygen. It should, therefore, come to no one’s surprise that houseplants are great for cleaning the air inside the house and making it fresher.
In inner-city homes, poor air quality is especially a prime concern for people who spend all their time surrounded by exhaust fumes from traffic, and not all parts of urban areas will have sufficient plants to clear it up. 4 million people a day die worldwide due to poor air quality, so any steps you can take to keep your air clean should be taken up.
Having a few potted plants dotted around your home will ensure you’ve got plenty of oxygen to hand to keep the lungs full and healthy.
Be aware that at night most plants reverse this process, and so soak up oxygen to release carbon dioxide. Orchids are one of the plants that are reversed, to begin with, so keep a couple in the bedroom to ensure plenty of oxygen at night for sounder sleep.
Taking a walk through the woods is a common method taken towards relaxation. Unfortunately, not all of us can just drop what we’re doing and find the nearest forest, however, houseplants can produce a similar feeling of calm and serenity. It’s not the forest so much as it’s the presence of something natural and alive.
Studies have shown that the presence of greenery in offices reduces the number of sick days taken and mistakes made while increasing productivity and happiness. Meanwhile, patients recover faster and more effectively if plants are placed in their wards.
Beyond the mere aesthetic, homeowners can also find moments of calm simply tending to the plants. After a rough and hectic day, the peaceful ritual of watering, pruning and tending to your plants can be surprisingly therapeutic.
Now people do not typically associate improved humidity as a good thing in a home but hear us out. Common respiratory problems, such as asthma or colds, are caused by the presence of still, dry air. Our homes are generally sealed, and climate controlled to a degree, so air does not always move very freely through it and is often dry too.
Houseplants release water vapour as part of their photosynthesis process. Indeed about 10% of the water vapour in our atmosphere is believed to be thanks to plants.
Humid homes sound like they could be unpleasant, but studies show that higher humidity is great for people suffering from dry skin, coughs, colds, and other such complaints. Humidity is also great for reducing the survivability and reproduction of certain viruses.
As we said before, your home is often a sealed environment. This means that quite a lot of nasty stuff that can be left floating around in the air will stick around for quite a while, and eventually, this can start to mess up your health. Whether this is cigarette smoke from a smoking housemate, airborne chemicals from the carpet, or floating fungal spores and bacteria.
NASA, which often must deal with its astronauts spending extended amounts of time in self-contained environments, has devoted a lot of time into thinking about how to keep the air in them fresh. They’ve found that plants help absorb some of the more harmful chemicals that can be found in the air.
Its recommended that you have one potted plant per 100 square feet of space, with plants such as chrysanthemums (Japanophiles rejoice!), spider plants, mother-in-law-tongues and peace lilies being especially effective.
It’s actually a fairly common bit of city planning wisdom that planting trees alongside busy roads that can help reduce sound pollution. It’s less commonly known that plants have a similar effect in the home. The leaves of plants help absorb, reflect and refract background noise in the home, such as the humming of a fridge or the buzzing of electronics.
This is especially true in areas with lots of hard surfaces, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
As such, for a bit more solace within the home and create a truly Zen atmosphere, consider placing some nice big leafy plants around. And if you’re not sure where to buy said leafy plants, here’s our guide on the Best Places To Buy Your Plants In London.