Woman sitting on couch near plants

You may not be a dog person.  Or a cat person.  But there’s no reason not to be a plant person – and you should!  Why?  Numerous studies have shown that not only do plants add a splash of color and decorative touch to your home, but they can also help their human owners live happier healthier lives.

After the pandemic began, many people who couldn’t have a pet – or didn’t want one – looked to houseplants to add a little life to their surroundings as they worked from home or distanced themselves from the outside world.  And guess what?  The vast majority are glad they did!

 

And here’s why.  Plants have been found to:

Man arranging plantsBoost your mood and reduce your stress level – Just like walking through a forest may make you feel relaxed and at peace, plants in your home have been shown to have the same calming effect, reducing stress and even lowering heart-rate and blood pressure.

Speed your recovery from an illness – A study of how plants affected hospital patients found that patients with plants in their rooms needed less pain medication and had shorter inpatient stays than those with no plants.  The same is expected to be true at home.

Purify and improve air quality – According to a 1989 NASA study, plants are helpful in removing chemicals from the air, and later studies have since confirmed this.  English Ivy was found to be especially helpful by reducing airborne mold as much as 78%.

Improve your sleep – Sure, your eyes may be closed while you’re sleeping but plants can still improve the quality of your slumber.  How?  By purifying the air in your bedroom and by giving off a soothing relaxing scent.  Snake plants and aloe vera give are known to give off oxygen that will enhance breathing, while jasmine or lavender are good choices for day or night aromatherapy.

Man working on laptop surrounded by plantsGive you a better outlook on your work life – a study of 440 Amazon employees discovered that potted plants in the work environment helped increase the employee’s commitment to the company and sense of job satisfaction.  The same is true for those working or studying at home.

Help you focus and boost productivity – adding plants to your office space has been found to increase your productivity by 15%.  Why?  Because a lingering glance at that greenery, gives your mind a break from your computer screen or phone.

Decrease dry skin and respiratory issues caused by dry air – In a not-so-vicious circle, we water our plants to help them thrive – and they give it right back to us!  Plants release water vapor into the air, which increases humidity levels and offsets dryness caused by winter heating systems.  That in turn, can reduce dry skin and respiratory issues, as well as headaches and allergies.

Room with many plantsAnd as a bonus?  Plant care is therapeutic – Horticultural therapy is an actual thing – often used to create a sense of well-being in people with anxiety, depression, dementia, and other conditions.  In fact, in Manchester England, potted plants and gardening are now being “prescribed” to treat patients with mental health concerns.

 

Green thumb not required

“But wait! I don’t have a green thumb!”  And if that was your first thought, don’t worry.  There are plenty of plants that experts describe as easy-to-care-for – even for the novice plant owner.  Just ask your florist or local greenhouse what plants might be best for you (keeping in mind that some may be toxic to pets and children).

Plants in modern living roomBut if even sporadic care seems like too much care, you’ll be happy to know that, yet another study found that “looking at decorative plants in their hospital rooms, patients recovering from surgery were reported to have lower blood pressure and less pain, anxiety, and distress.”  And yes, that does count the fake ones!  So, whether you choose live or artificial greenery, do add a touch nature to your living space.  Then sit back, relax, and take a deep breath.  Don’t you feel better already?