For many people, one of the most frustrating things about winter is trying to cope with how dreary the days can be. The beautiful flowers and green grass you see during the spring and summer are gone and the leaves have fallen off the trees, leaving little color to see when you go outside. While it’s too cold for many types of plants to grow outside during this time of year, houseplants are a great way to get some exposure to that plant life that you miss so much.
Not only do houseplants make a beautiful addition to the home and help you feel more connected to nature, many studies have shown that houseplants can offer a wide variety of other benefits.
Improved Air Quality
By far, one of the biggest benefits to keeping houseplants is that they can help improve your home’s air quality. Not only do they generate fresh oxygen, one study conducted by NASA found that plants can remove upwards of 87% of toxic VOCs from the air, including formaldehyde and benzene. English ivy, spider plants, and snake plants are all excellent air purifiers while peace lilies can also help remove mold from the air. Improving the quality of air in your home will also help improve your overall health by reducing exposure to allergens and reducing the rate of colds.
Since plants are a part of nature, being around plants tends to have a very soothing and calming effect on people. Houseplants can help lower stress and anxiety while making you feel more optimistic, calm, and energized. Keeping stress and anxiety down can also have its health benefits, such as lower blood pressure.
Furnaces can cause air in the home to dry out, making dry air a very common nuisance during the winter. When air gets too dry, it can make your skin dry and irritate your throat. The way plants breathe causes them to release moisture back into the air, making them natural humidifiers. Boston Ferns are particularly effective in this regard.
If you have rooms in your house where you spend time when you’re trying to concentrate on things, like a home office or a study, houseplants may help you be more productive. Several studies have linked plants to sparking creative inspiration and improving concentration and memory. One study conducted by the Royal College of Agriculture in England found that students who were taught in rooms that contain plants had a 70% higher level of attentiveness. Another study by the University of Michigan found that exposure to plants can help improve memory retention by as much as 20%.
Some types of plants can serve very practical purposes around the house. If you keep an indoor herb garden, you’ll have an easy and affordable way to add some flavor to your meals. Aloe Vera is another plant which can be grown indoors and can be used to help soothe the pain of burns.