You don’t have to be an environmental expert to know the many benefits that plants can offer! Asides from adding colour and fragrance to our homes and offices, they boast numerous health aids! In fact, interior landscaping goes far beyond the aesthetic…
Plants help to reduce stress and boost well-being
Whether you enjoy picnics in the park or long walks through the countryside, for most of us, being close to greenery makes us feel more at one with our surroundings. Many feel lest stressed when surrounded by plants. To back this up, a substantial amount of academic research has gone into this subject, concluding that interior landscaping has dramatic effects on the wellbeing of home and office inhabitants. Offices brimming with shrubs and trees find their staff take fewer sick days, appear happier, make fewer mistakes and are more productive on a whole. The same goes for surgeries and hospitals, as patients greatly benefit from greener surroundings, while at home, plants help to purify the air and aid sleep.
Plants help improve air quality
SBS or Sick Building Syndrome is something that more and more people are learning about. Plants have proven hugely effective in fighting this modern-day phenomenon. The main causes of this ailment are excessive background noise, poor air quality, meagre lighting and humidity. Plants are able to assist in tackling some of these issues, mainly because they have large surface areas and exchange water and gases with their surroundings.
Particular benefits of interior plants
Interior plants have many benefits, including reducing carbon dioxide levels, lowering pollutant levels including benzene and nitrogen dioxide and increasing humidity. Other advantages of indoor plants include reducing airborne dust levels and lowering air temperatures.
Plants help lower background noise
Plants have been used as noise-reducing aids for many years now. Asides from creating separation between busy roads and houses, interior plants are also able to help reduce background noise levels inside buildings. They do this by using their leaves to absorb, deflect or redirect background noise, which in turn makes the environment more comfortable for the occupants. Certain plant species are very good at absorbing high frequencies, with the majority of plants able to absorb sound best in spaces that are acoustically live, such as those that feature an abundance of hard surfaces.
Adding colour to the home
Plants breathe life and colour into any room in the household, making it feel more homely and welcoming on a whole. Certain varieties release a subtle, natural scent that has the ability to improve air quality, and is a much better option than that of an artificial air freshener.
How do plants purify the air?
Indoors, pollution levels tend to be higher than that of outdoors. This is down to a combination of outdoor pollutants and indoor contaminants, including Organic Compounds (VOCs). These are released from paints, furnishings and detergents.
Asides from opening windows and ensuring natural ventilation is in place, plants greatly help to enhance indoor air quality. A great option in the colder months, as it’s often too chilly to open the windows.
In 1989, a study carried out by NASA showcased that household plants could aid in removing harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air. Certain plants are better than others – for example, English Ivy has been revealed to reduce airborne mould by up to 78%.
Increase concentration and productivity
When surrounded by plants, research has shown that people perform better when a high level of concentration is required. In fact, placing plants in the office can increase productivity by up to 15%. When we view plants on our desk, they act as a micro-break from our computer screens, which in turn helps to heighten concentration.
Relieve stress and anxiety
Plants reduce stress, whilst rejuvenating your body and mind. Although not as beneficial as a walk through the forest, bringing the outdoors into your home can aid relaxation, which is often needed at the end of a very long day.
The power of plants also clean the air, whilst improving your overall health. This is great news for those who struggle with anxiety, high blood pressure and sleep deprivation. One of the best plants to choose for these ailments is lavender. This is one of the reasons it’s often found in room sprays and essential oils.
Boost your mood in winter
The cold, dark months can have the effect of making us feel a little down and often attribute to ailments such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Both blooms and greenery can help energise you, whilst increasing positivity.
One of the best plants to purchase in the winter is Winter Jasmine. This indoor plant boasts a delectable scent and pretty white flowers. Another great plant to choose in the cooler months is the Goldfish Plant, as its hot-hued blooms are certain to brighten up gloomy winter days.
Help you sleep
Our sleep quality has a huge impact on our health. Plants can help you get a great night’s sleep by both purifying the air in your bedroom and releasing a relaxing scent. Popular options for the bedroom include snake plants, Aloe Vera and orchids – all release oxygen at night which help you to breathe more easily. They also absorb toxins from the air.
Pick the right plant for every room
Living rooms: philodendrons and peace lilies are the best options for living rooms. Peace lilies are a great option for those with busy schedules as they are extremely low-maintenance. Their attractive white blooms absorb indoor air pollutants and can grow up to three feet tall, complete with large, bold leaves. Philodendrons are another option if you wish to invest in an air-purifying plant. They come in the shape of vining and upright varieties, which means they are extremely versatile when it comes to matching them to your décor.
Bedrooms: orchids and snake plants. The majority of plants produce oxygen during the day, due to photosynthesis, and when the sun goes down, they begin to produce carbon dioxide. However, snake plants and orchids are able to do the reverse, releasing oxygen in the evening instead, which makes them perfect night-time companions.
Bathrooms: air plants and ferns. Bathrooms necessitate plants that enjoy moisture and heat, whilst also being able to withstand low light conditions. Air plants are almost impossible to kill, can get most of the water they requisite from the air and don’t require soil. Boston Ferns are a popular bathroom plant and thrive in moist air and filtered light.
Hallways: dwarf kaffir lime trees. These provide a lovely fresh scent, which will greet you every time you enter your home. You can also use their leaves in Asian cooking.
Kitchens: Aloe Vera. This plant has the double benefits of being a healing plant and is another low maintenance option.
Offices: Gerbera daisies and spider plants. Gerbera daisies help to remove harmful toxins from the air and add a splash of colour, whilst spider plants are both low maintenance and propagate readily.