By Mia Casey
Beyond being great from an interior design angle, houseplants can actually keep stress levels low, help with respiration, and encourage productivity. Who’da thunk it?
Do you even need any more reason to invest in some plant babies and start greening up your space? Well, regardless, here are 5:
1. Breathe easy
NASA (the people who send other people to space, and apparently study plants in their spare time), have conducted research into the benefits plants can have in living spaces. They discovered that plants not only produce oxygen – helpful – but also help filter out toxins in the air that occur naturally or can arise through cleaning products and the like, such as formaldehyde.
Plants are also great natural humidifiers as they ‘release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in’ (x) which is not only great for your skin (goodbye winter dryness!) but can also help with respiratory issues. Palms are a good option in this regard, although they can sometimes be a little more time consuming in the care department.
3. Goodbye fatigue and stress, hello productivity
Apparently, they’re also pretty great at reducing fatigue, minimising stress, and enhancing productivity – which is pretty stellar in the workplace when you’re trying to, yanno, work. Their ability to producing oxygen probably helps with this, producing fresher air and helping to fight a stuffy room.
4. Get well soon
Kansas State University has also been busy with their plant studies, finding that sick people with plants in their room or with views across a garden usually get well faster than their plant-less counterparts. So next time you’re sick, buy a fern alongside your cold and flu tablets and hey – you’ll be better in no time!
Plants are also good at absorbing noise, which can aid concentration by minimising that pesky background chatter when you’re trying to work or study. They’ve been used near busy roads to help keep the cacophony to a minimum for local residents, but more recent studies have indicated that a similar result can be produced by indoor plants as well.
So without further ado, here are 6 houseplants that look great, can help with all of the above, AND you may actually manage to keep alive:
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
This little guy is a pretty easy housemate (or work colleague) in that he does the whole ‘plant’ thing without needing too much TLC from you. Not only that, he also cleans air of toxins including ‘benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene’ (x).
And in case you were worried, this fellow is named for the little babies (tiny versions of the main plant) that grow off of the ‘mother’ plant, which kind of look like spiders (not for their ability to attract spiders, which I’d assume is about the same as a regular plant).
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastic)
The rubber plant has gorgeous glossy, dark leaves and does pretty well in a variety of lighting conditions. It’s also good on the ‘cleaning air’ front, and becomes stronger at eliminating toxins as time passes – particularly formaldehyde. Again, this one doesn’t need too much attention, and will not appreciate being overwatered, but is pretty forgiving aside from that.
Just be sure to note that this guy can grow pretty tall, so while he might start out on a desk or shelf, he may eventually need some floor space.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also known as ‘Mother-In-Law’s Tongue’ is a hardy son of a gun, and is pretty hard to kill. Aside from being Hulk-levels of indestructible, the Snake Plant is one of the few plants that does the whole ‘Carbon Dioxide to Oxygen’ thing overnight, which is fab if your work space doubles as your sleepy space.
Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
If you like hanging, draping, viney plants, then this beauty is for you. Also known as Pothos, this particular species comes in a range of colour options including Golden Pothos (with yellow variegation), Marble Queen (with white variegation), and Neon (a bright, vibrant green).
Like the other plants on this list, this one is relatively forgiving and can grow well in a variety of light conditions, which is great if you don’t have a space in direct sunlight. Also, as with the Pilea below, Pothos can be propagated (cloned, or reproduced) so can actually lead to more plants which is great if you don’t have a huge plant budget.
Pilea (Pilea Peperomioides)
A commonly featured plant across Instagram, Pileas are pretty easy to grow, look like mini green satellite dishes, and can grow quite quickly (which can give you that awesome endorphin kick if you’re patiently tracking its progress).
Like Devil’s Ivy, the Pilea can be propagated to produce new pot plants which is good if you want lots of plants for little money, or can be used as gifts.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace Lily is the strongest (according to NASA) of the air purifying plants. As the main flowering plant on this list, they make a lovely addition to a home or office and have the tall elegant flower heads that can help add some style to any space.
They tend to like humidity, but are a popular indoor plant option so can tolerate other temperatures if cared for properly.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.