Indoor gardening: Five secrets nobody tells you about houseplants
Fed by Instagram trends, millennials, and the recent lockdown, indoor gardening has been enjoying a major boost in popularity recently.
And while we know how much character they can add to a room, many don’t realise that houseplants provide various other benefits, including a boost to our mental health.
So here are five great reasons why houseplants should be a permanent part of every home.
1) They can help to improve your mood
The colour green is thought to promote healing, so simply having more greenery around you to look at is a natural mood booster and sure to soothe an anxious mind. Plants including aloe vera and lavender are proven to reduce stress levels and help both your physical and mental well-being.
A study also found that people who spend time around nature for at least two hours a week have the highest levels of health and well-being. With the colder months slowly approaching, we’ll likely be spending more time in our homes.
2) They can boost productivity levels
Research consistently finds that adding plants to the workplace increases productivity by up to 15%, as proven by a recent study. They’re a great addition to any office and help replenish focus.
Invest in a snake plant or peace lily to create a working oasis. Just looking at nature can shift the brain into a different processing mode, making employees feel more relaxed and better able to concentrate.
3) They can help to clean the air
During the day, whilst they are performing photosynthesis, good indoor plants reliably reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and increase oxygen to carbon dioxide ratios. Although they aren’t fully proven to rid all contaminants around us, there are a range of potted plants that contribute to improving air quality.
A Barberton daisy or English ivywill cleanse the home of toxins found in a range of household materials, including paint and furniture. To fully take advantage of this, place the plant in a room with plenty of natural light and keep the soil moist and well-drained.
4) They’re an interior must-have
For those looking for low-maintenance plants – such as tiny succulents and small trees – you can place these in any room for a pop of colour thanks to the influence of social media platforms Instagram and Pinterest.
There is a wide array of species that are perfectly suited for surviving indoors without direct sunlight and are easy to care for, such as a jade or a wax plant.
Alternatively, one of the fastest ways to instantly beautify your living space is by incorporating a set of artificial plants. Although they’ve had a shaky reputation in the past in terms of looking obviously fake, today’s faux plants are crafted with the express purpose of looking realistic. One particular trendy piece of greenery is pampas grass.
5) Interacting with plants can help give you a better night’s sleep
Getting enough sleep has a number of benefits – for example, you’re more alert and focused during the day. You can deploy plants to help achieve this too! A bamboo palm or gardenia gives a warm and clean feel to your entire bedroom. These plants emit a fresh smell that reduces stress and induces sleep.
According to a study, interacting with plants before going to sleep can help improve sleep quality for people living in small, isolated environments such as a flat or apartment. Astronauts have also benefited from this whilst up in space.
So whether it’s watering a little desk plant, creating an outdoor garden of your own, or simply taking more walks through nature, you can benefit from the plants around you.
Don’t forget, after a year or two, plants may need repotting with compost to maintain healthy growth. A multipurpose compost, houseplant compost, or loam-based compost is suitable for most indoor plants so that you can continue to enjoy these great benefits for much longer.
Photo by Annie Spratt