Likely due to more time spent at home and social media popularity, house plants are making their way into more homes than ever. Whilst looking great is a good enough reason on its own to own a succulent, many studies show that indoor plants benefit our health, too.
Improve air quality
In the 1980s, NASA conducted a study searching for ways to improve the air quality in a sealed spacecraft. The conclusion: Houseplants. Scientists found the roots and soils of houseplants reduced airborne volatile organic compounds significantly.
More recent studies have confirmed these findings, although it is believed you would need a large amount of plants to compete with modern air purifying technologies. Regardless, it is still beneficial to have air purifying plants in your home and work spaces, some of the most popular houseplants shown to naturally freshen the air around you include bamboo palms, Boston fern, rubber tree and spider plant.
Reduce stress levels
It has been found that having plants around your home or office can help you feel more comfortable, according to a study. This study gave participants two different tasks: one completing a computer-based task and the other repotting a houseplant. The study concluded that those who participated in potting plants experienced a lower stress response, whereas those completing the computer task experienced a spike in heart rate and blood pressure.
Working with plants can also be therapeutic, research has found. Horticultural therapy can increase feelings of wellbeing in those with depression, anxiety and dementia.
Boost productivity and attention
Various studies have shown that plants in the workplace can improve productivity and creativity, with one particular study showing that students in a computer lab worked 12% faster and were calmer when plants were placed in the room.
Another small study compared the attention of students when studying in a room with a real plant, a fake one, a photograph of one or no plant at all. The study concluded that those with real plants in the room were more attentive and better able to concentrate than those in other groups.
If you’re interested in taking on a houseplant but not sure where to start, try looking at plants that require minimal fuss, such as Kentia Palm, corn plants or snake plants.