Many people love having plants in their homes. They delight in seeing flowers bloom and seedlings sprout – especially when cooped up inside during the pandemic.
Health Benefits of Houseplants
Others aren’t big fans of greenery. All that watering, repotting, and pruning. And who is going to take care of the plants while you’re away? Is all that trouble really worth it just to have a little green in your home?
The short answer is: Yes!
Science has shown that growing indoor plants has some stunning mental and physical health benefits. It’s an amazing way to improve your wellbeing and your lifestyle.
Keep reading to find out exactly how indoor gardening benefits your health.
They improve air quality
To begin with, indoor plants seriously boost your home’s air quality – especially species like ficus, spider plants, and bamboo palms.
For one thing, plants produce fresh oxygen for your body to absorb. For another, they can significantly reduce harmful volatile organic compounds.
In addition, the leaves of houseplants trap airborne particles like dust and animal hair. This is a major benefit for those suffering from allergies or respiratory issues.
Finally, indoor plants are also natural humidifiers. This is crucial in winter, when heating dries out the air. Besides causing dry, itchy skin, this also makes you more vulnerable to viruses. Plants rectify the situation by increasing the air moisture content in your home.
They boost mental health
A second incredible benefit of indoor plants is that they support your mental health in several ways.
Studies have shown that having plants in your home improves focus and concentration, and decreases stress. Especially if you, like many others, are currently working from home, this is a considerable benefit.
In fact, in a study on over 4,000 participants during COVID lockdowns, 74% experienced positive psychological effects when adding plants to their home office.
On another level, simply taking care of houseplants boosts mindfulness. If you’re spending all day on a screen, juggling notifications and responsibilities, taking the time to dig your fingers into the soil to do some potting, nourishing your plants with water, or even just watching your saplings grow strong is an invaluable way to slow down.
In fact, these benefits are so well-documented that doctors even prescribe this “horticultural therapy” to patients suffering from depression and anxiety.
They prevent sickness and speed up healing
Having houseplants reduces the frequency of illnesses.
It’s been known for a long time that your mental health has a major impact on your physical health. Since plants reduce stress and boost your sense of well-being, they also support your immune system, and help your body’s natural defenses.
If you do end up sick or injured, however, houseplants can also help you heal faster. In a study on people recovering from surgery, those who were looking at greenery had shorter recovery periods and needed less pain medication.
They are a source of fresh veggies and herbs
Finally, one of the most direct benefits of indoor gardening is that you can grow your own fresh veggies and herbs.
Whether you have a few pots of parsley, basil, and marjoram growing on your kitchen counter, or a tomato plant on your window sill, you can supplement your diet with fresh, tasty, and vitamin-packed home-grown produce.