Houseplants can be a great alternative for those who don’t have access to green spaces outside. They are stylish, affordable, and a good way to get a dose of nature. Indoor plants are not just pretty. They also have many other benefits, the most important of which is that they can improve your mental health. You don’t have to be a “plant parent” in order to reap these benefits.
Only one in eight UK homes have access to a garden. Those with a young age and those of minority ethnicity are the least likely to own a garden.
It can have a variety of health effects if you don’t get out into nature. This has been associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as other health conditions such as asthma and cardiovascular disease. Houseplants provide a link between nature and many people.
There’s still a lack of solid research about the benefits of gardening and green spaces for mental health. One study showed that those who gardened daily had higher levels of well-being and less stress than those who didn’t.
The same as walking, biking, and eating out, gardening also reduces depression and anxiety. Increases positive feelings. These outcomes may also be true for houseplants.
This article is a part of Quarter Life. It’s a series of articles about issues that affect those of us who are in our 20s and 30s. The challenges of starting a career, taking care of your mental health, and the excitement of having a child or adopting a pet are all part of the Quarter Life series. These articles explore questions and provide answers to help us navigate through this turbulent time in our lives.
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A recent review of 42 studies demonstrates that even just being in the presence of indoor plants can improve mental and physical health. These experiments compared participants doing various activities in rooms with or without plants.
Plants were found to improve cognitive performance, such as sorting and memory recall. They also enhanced pain tolerance when holding hands in cold water. The aesthetic appeal of plants is also important. Separate research has shown that people tend to react more positively when they see lush, green plants with rounded, dense foliage.
Most of these studies focus on the presence of plants. We can infer from research that gardening has many emotional benefits. These include pride, social connections, satisfaction, fascination, and mental resilience during times of stress.
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You can also benefit from houseplants in many other ways.
Plants are able to eliminate pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide (from traffic), dust, and volatile organic compounds from air fresheners, cleaning products, and cooking. Indoor air quality is important for people who spend most of their day indoors.
Carbon dioxide concentrations can affect cognitive performance, such as memory and concentration. Meanwhile, prolonged exposure to indoor pollutants can lead to health problems over the long term. These can range from minor irritations in the eyes or throat to cancer and respiratory problems.
Most people are not able to remove enough indoor pollutants from plants. They would need a large number of them in a bright room. You can try it by choosing plants that have a large leaf area, such as the India rubber tree ( Ficus elastic) or Devil’s Ivy ( Epipremnum Aureum).
Plants are good for your health in other ways, too. Antonio Diaz/ Shutterstock
Theoretically, plants could also increase the humidity of indoor air. The majority of our buildings have too little moisture. Keep humidity at an optimal level to prevent viruses, fungal development, and eye, nose, and skin dryness. Although it depends on the other conditions of the room, such as size, lighting, and airflow flow, English ivy, Devil’s ivy, and Peace Lily are some of the best-performing plants to increase humidity.
Houseplants are easy to grow, even if you don’t have a green finger. Even the most experienced gardeners can make mistakes. Some plants may not thrive in all environments. They might struggle with infestations or adapt poorly to water and light conditions. Don’t get too hung up on the setback. You can always try again with different species or with more knowledge.
Look for plants that suit the conditions of your home. Some plants can even thrive in neglect. The spider plant, the parlor Palm ( Chamaedorea Elegans), and any of the succulents or cactus families are good choices for beginners.
Herbs are also an inexpensive and good way to get started for newbies. There are apps available that will help you care for your plants by providing you with advice, reminders, and a forum where you can ask questions.
Houseplants have many benefits to our health, especially for mental health. This can be a fun hobby that teaches new things, promotes self-expression through choosing and caring for plants, and provides a tangible feeling of fulfillment.