9 Reasons to Bring Nature in with Indoor Plants
What’s a great way to bring the outdoors in and add life to your living space? Indoor plants! Attractive, purifying, and with a whole lot of health benefits, these natural decorations have become hugely popular in recent years. They’re especially great for apartment dwellers who don’t have a yard to work with. There’s a huge variety of indoor plants to choose from too – snake plant, dracaena, spider plant, rubber tree, aloe vera, you name it. You can place them in planters, pots, boxes, and balcony rails to suit your taste.
Here are 9 reasons to start keeping indoor plants!
1) They’re Stress-busters
Stress has become part and parcel of life, but just because it’s normal it doesn’t mean you should let it rob you from living your best life. Indoor plants can help reduce stress, fatigue, and anxiety. Even potting soil can help. How? It contains microbes known as mycobacterium vaccae or ‘outdoorphins’ that act as natural antidepressants. They help you release cytokines that encourage your brain to produce endorphins which boost your mood.
2) They Help You Tap into Your Creative Side
Feeling uninspired and unmotivated lately? Place potted plants around your home or office and notice a change. Nature can enhance creativity and magnify the directed attention needed when you’re trying to come up with new ideas. In a study of 17 qualitative interviews with Danish creative professionals, researchers found that nature evoked curiosity, creativity, and a flexible way of thinking.
3) They’re Purifying
Like their outdoor counterparts, indoor plants purify air and help keep lungs clear. A 1989 study by NASA found that they can remove cancer-causing volatile compounds from the air. And the bigger the plant, the better of a job it does as a larger surface area impacts the rate of purification. Think monstera deliciosa and philodendron green. Other top air-purifying plants include peace lily (only if you don’t have allergies as it contains pollen), chrysanthemum, and bamboo palm.
4) They Yield Produce
The importance of eating organic can’t be overstated. With all the pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics that go into commercial farming, people are waking up to realise the importance of going organic. And what better way to start than by growing some of your produce? You can try microgreens, carrots, hot peppers, lettuce, scallions, and tomatoes.
5) They’re Deliciously Fragrant
Who doesn’t love coming home to a fragrant living space that refreshes and rejuvenates? Instead of purchasing artificial room fresheners, many of which contain a long list of chemicals, invest in aromatic indoor plants. Opt for lavender, scented geranium, eucalyptus, gardenia, sweet bay, plumeria, and hoya. You can also go for angel’s trumpet, passionflower, and corsage orchid.
6) They’re Healing
Indoor plants are said to promote healing. By lowering stress and anxiety and boosting mood, you feel better about yourself and your life in general. Research by Kansas State University found that patients who had plants in their room had lower blood pressure and heart rate, and needed less pain medication. Some indoor plants have medicinal properties too. For instance, aloe vera can be used to treat minor cuts, burns, and skin infections while passionflower tea has been shown to increase sleep quality.
7) They Increase Productivity
Any guesses on how much time we spend staring at screens? According to a poll, 34 years of our life! It’s well-known that we need to shift our gaze to non-screen objects every 20 minutes. But what’s even better is taking a break by soaking in some nature. Research by Washington State University found that participants who were studied had increased post-task attentiveness and higher reaction time when in the presence of plants. One theory is that green, being a signal of growth, acts as a cue to improve on a task.
8) They’re Beautiful!
There’s nothing like a splash of nature to create a warm, welcoming ambience. The fact that there are literally hundreds of choices means you will find something to suit your taste. Whether it’s a cascading pothos on the mantel, a hardy ZZ (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) plant, colourful African violets, or elegant orchids, they’ll instantly brighten up your living space.
9) They Make You Feel Accomplished
Growing indoor plants can fill you with a sense of accomplishment and improve your overall wellbeing. Why? Because nurturing them from saplings to adulthood is a mark of responsibility, mindfulness, and learning from mistakes. All plants need care and to see your babies thrive, knowing that you had a hand in their growth, is priceless.
Indoor plants are a timeless and simple way to adorn your home or office. One point to note is to choose plants that are non-toxic to pets or children, if you have any. Visit your state’s horticulture department website or other authority for a list, and you’re good to go.