Artificial plants are a popular decorating trend now, but if youâ€™re looking at brightening your space with greenery, consider going with the real thing instead. Live plants offer so many benefits; from improving the air to relieving stress and anxiety, houseplants are an easy way to freshen your home and your outlook.
Donâ€™t have a green thumb? Go with varieties that are easy to care for, such as plants on this list from Good Housekeeping. Along with researching plants that best match your skill level, be sure to check for potential toxicity if you have pets in the home.
Whatever plant varieties you choose for your home, youâ€™ll appreciate all that they offer:
1. Natural air purification
Although we think of air pollution as an outside problem, levels can also be high indoors. Thatâ€™s because toxins like formaldehyde and benzene are released through paints, furniture, and other home goods. Since plants release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, this not only freshens the air, but also helps to eliminate harmful indoor contaminants. So, when you canâ€™t open the windows during the winter to freshen your home, your houseplants are doing the work for you. In fact, a study by NASA determined that houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in just 24 hours. Experts suggest these species to be most effective for freshening the air: Boston fern, rubber tree, spider plant, Ficus tree, and bamboo palm.
2. Mood booster
Speaking of winter, the cold, dark days can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The scents and vivid colors of live plants remind our senses that the dark days of the season are only temporary.
Caring for plantsâ€”re-potting, watering, etc.â€”has also been found to soothe our stress response and provide a sense of accomplishment. A study by the American Society for Horticulture Science found that when residents in an assisted-living facility learned about plant care responsibility and how to care for them at home, their quality of life increased.
3. Improved physical well-being
When it comes to our health, plants have also been found to provide physical healing benefits. Researchers found that hospital patients with plants in the room required less pain medication, had a lower heart rate and blood pressure, and felt less fatigue and anxiety when recovering from surgery verses those patients without plants in their room.
4. Sleep enhancer
While the photosynthesis process releases oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide during the day, some plants such as orchids and snake plants emit oxygen at night. Along with helping you breathe better throughout the night, choosing a plant with a soothing scent like lavender can boost this benefit.
If youâ€™re new to the idea of caring for houseplants, itâ€™s easy to start small. With so many varieties, there is something for anyone wishing to spruce up their space and reap the healthy benefits.