The Benefits of House Plants
Beneficial House Plants
Now that I get to spend more of my time inside catching up on the latest in landscaping and getting ready for the big push that is coming with the spring thaw that is less than two months away, I find myself in my spare time reading about the various house plants that surround me.
When you decorate your interior spaces with houseplants, you’re not just adding greenery. These plants are living organisms that interact with your body, mind and home in ways that enhance the quality of your life, your surroundings and enhance the overall atmosphere for all.
As we breathe, our lungs takes in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels.
At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants – orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads – do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.
Reduce Respiratory Diseases
All plants release moisture as vapor as part of their photosynthetic and respiratory process, which increases humidity of the air around them. Most plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in. By placing several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay. Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.
Purify the Air
Plants remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint). Benzene is commonly found in high concentrations in study settings, where books and printed papers abound.
Modern climate-controlled, air-tight buildings trap VOCs inside. The NASA research discovered that plants purify that trapped air by pulling contaminants into soil, where root zone microorganisms convert VOCs into food for the plant.
Plants are good for your Health
Adding plants to hospital rooms speeds recovery rates of surgical patients, according to researchers at Kansas State University. Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner.
The Dutch Product Board for Horticulture commissioned a workplace study that discovered that adding plants to office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats and flu-like symptoms. In another study by the Agricultural University of Norway, sickness rates fell by more than 60 percent in offices with plants.
Plants also help you to say in focus as demonstrated in a study at The Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England. There the students demonstrated an increase of70 percent in attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms containing plants. In the same study, attendance was also higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants.
I, myself, have also noticed that as I find myself working more in the office that I am more relaxed and my thought process flows easier when I am gazing upon a plant, it’s foliage and flowers and the atmosphere thereof.
You don’t really need a lot of plants either, just healthy ones. You’d probably need approximately 20 plants per 2,000 sq ft of living space. I usually have two or three groupings of 2 or 3 per room inside the house in 6 to 8 inch pots. One large potted plant can purify about 130 sq ft of space.
Just get a couple of books on houseplants and read how to care for them and what their needs are. Everybody will appreciate it and benefit from your “indoor plants”.
Happy gardening – spring is just around the corner. And some of these plants you can take outside on the deck or patio to dress it up too. (that is in a forthcoming post) – there’s a process for that too.