Having lots of indoor plants and enjoying indoor gardening is becoming an even more popular hobby, especially with indoor plant designs appearing on Instagram and online plant subscriptions to services such as Grounded and Lazy Flora on the increase.
Social media trends do tend to move in cycles and have a tendency to rise rapidly and then suddenly diminish. For example, many more people are enjoying online gaming, from the comfort of their homes, playing at a Slotocash Casino, and this may begin to wane once people are fully emerged in the outside world again. However, the rising trend in indoor gardening and plant cultivation is likely to continue because of the benefits of house plants to our health and wellbeing.
Below we look at the ways in which working with indoor plants can improve your life – according to what science and research has uncovered.
Indoor plants and their benefits
Many of us like to surround ourselves with beautiful plants and many people enjoy working and cultivating green and luscious spaces. Below are some benefits that science tells us are provided by having indoor plants.
Reducing stress levels
The Journal of Physiological Anthropology published a study that reported that indoor plants can make you feel “more comfortable, soothed and natural”.
The researchers had given two different tasks to the participants involved in the study. One was a short computer- based activity and the other was to repot a houseplant. Following the task, researchers measured the biological indicators associated with stress, that is blood pressure and heart rate. The results were that repotting the plant lowered the stress response while the computer task did the exact opposite and actually raised blood pressure and heart rate. The conclusion being that working with plants has the ability to lower stress.
Authentic plants can help you to focus
Only real plants will do. Researchers took a number of students, 23, and placed them in different classrooms. Some with either a real plant, a fake plant or no plant. Using brain scans, researchers found that those students who had been placed in the classrooms with real plants were better able to focus and pay attention than those in the other classrooms.
The therapeutic nature of working with plants
It has been found that people suffering with some mental disorder, can be helped by working with indoor gardening. Horticultural therapy has been used to help amongst other conditions, those suffering with anxiety, depression, dementia.
Plants may speed up your recovery from illness
Research has found that patients recovering from surgery or illness that were in a in a “green” environment or were able to look at and experience plants or flowers were less in need of pain medication and recovered more quickly than those who weren’t. This research focused on plants and flowers in hospital settings.
Plants may increase your productivity.
Productivity and creativity, according to many studies, is enhanced if there are plants in the workplace. A study often cited that took place in 1996 found that students learning in a computer laboratory were less stressed and worked 12% quicker when they were surrounded by plants. A further study in 2007 found that people who worked where there are plants in their workspace took fewer sick days and were more productive.
Plants may improve your relationship to work
Apparently having a potted plant on your work table can improve job satisfaction as much as having a view of beautiful park. According to a survey of 440 Amazon employees in the US and in India those workers who had indoor plants in their work environment were more satisfied with their jobs and more committed to the company than those who did not.
Plants improve air quality
Plants are known to clean the air of contaminants. In the 1980’s Nasa conducted a study to learn ways of purifying the air in enclosed spaces, such as a spacecraft. They learned that the roots of houseplants and the soil they were potted in “reduced airborne volatile organic compounds.” Further studies have also found this to be the case. However, more recent studies do suggest that you would need a large number of house plants to do what modern biofilters and other advanced technologies can now do.
There are a number of specific plant species that are known to freshen the air:
Ficus, Bamboo palms, Areca, Lady, Dwarf date, Boston Fern, Rubber tree and the Spider plant.
Make sure you choose house plants that are child and pet friendly
There are quite a number of toxic plants, or plants that have some aspects that are safe and some that are poisonous. It is important to do your research before you bring them into your home especially if you have children or pets. You can check with the National Poison Control center or the ASPCA.
Below is a list of number of plants that are known to be unsafe to children and animals, however, this is not a complete list.
Amaryllis, Aloe vera, Azalea, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Dieffenbachia, English Ivy, Jade, Jonquils, Lilies (many varieties), Mistletoe, Monstera deliciosa, Philodendron, Poinsettias, Pothos, Sago palm and the Umbrella plant.
Health issues worth considering
There are a few health risks involved in having an indoor garden that you should be aware of.
Houseplants can be a target for insects and molds and therefore you should not to use soil from the garden to repot. Make sure you are watering each plant according to their needs as overwatering can create mold and fungus to grow. Also check the leaves for signs of insects or eggs.
It is possible for houseplants to set off asthma or allergies. However, most indoor plants do not produce a lot of pollen so if your allergies or asthma is triggered by pollen you won’t have a problem. Be sure to be check the soil moisture of your plants if mold or fungus is something that triggers your symptoms.
There does seem to be benefits of having an indoor garden. They reduce stress, enhance productivity and purify the air we breathe. Having plants in your indoor space will make it a happier and healthier place to be.