There’s something warm and inviting about a well-placed, thriving houseplant. Experts call this “interior landscaping” and it’s becoming increasingly popular not only in homes but in offices and other commercial settings. I would have assumed that’s because houseplants can be quite inexpensive. But now we’re learning, they’re more than a cheap way to add a pop of green to a living space. Houseplants offer surprising physical and mental benefits as well.
Clean Indoor Air
A number of studies reported by NASA, give conclusive evidence that plants are excellent at removing toxins from the air—over 80 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours. VOCs are chemical compounds often found in common household items carpets, toys, paint, and more. These VOCs can evaporate and compromise air quality, posing health risks to inhabitants. One large plant, or two smaller plants, per 100 square feet is recommended for noticeably improving air quality.
Regulate Temp and Humidity
It’s pretty well known that planting shade trees and tall plants around our homes is a great way to control the temperature inside during hot months. But that can take years. Who knew that decorating with indoor houseplants can actually help regulate the temperature and humidity in much the same way? Plants release moisture into the air, which can help to both cool and warm a room depending on the temperature.
Healthy, beautiful houseplants have been proven to impact your mood. Research shows a definite link between the presence of plants and improved mood. One study points to tiny microbes, nicknamed “outdoorphins,” that are present in plants (indoor and outdoor) and their soil that act as natural antidepressants.
I find this totally amazing, if not completely understandable. Research has shown that houseplants help to boost productivity by as much as 70 percent, which has made interior landscaping extremely popular in workplace settings. You can be sure I’m taking this one seriously—I’d do just about anything to boost my productivity by 70%1
In fact, there is an industry out there made up of mobile indoor “gardeners.” These are companies that contract with residential buildings, hospitals, medical buildings, hotels, casinos, offices, restaurants, and more to strategically place and then care for houseplants of all sizes, shapes, and varieties.
I wouldn’t be surprised now to learn that well “indoor landscaped” businesses—where there are no dead leaves, no drooping flowers, or sick plants—have much better bottom lines than those that can’t be bothered to landscape their interior decor.
This is so cool. If you live in a noisy apartment or near a busy street, houseplants can help with noise reduction. Plants reduce background noise through the sound absorption quality of their leaf surface area. That means you want to select plants with large, dense foliage to get the maximum amount of noise-reducing surface.
As I look at the feature image for this post above, it gives me an instant feeling of calm and peace. Seriously! Just staring at it helps my mind to slow down so I can relax and breathe deeply. Am I the only one? Image a space in your home with this kind of serene, inviting calm.
Prior to researching for this post, I’d never heard of something known as “plant therapy,” but it is indeed a thing. In fact, research has shown that the absence of plants in our lives is linked to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. Alternatively, spending time in spaces with lots of plants—as indoor decor or an outdoor garden—for many people has a therapeutic effect that can lead to feelings of calmness and reduced stress.
Outdoor gardening and also caring for indoor houseplants has been shown to help reduce feelings of loneliness and depression instilling a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
Beautiful houseplants don’t have to cost a lot. In fact, careful shoppers can find all kinds of ways to keep the cost down. I love to wander around that big table at Home Depot with “last chance” kind of bargains—plants that need some tender loving care, priced so low they’re nearly giveaways!
If you have a friend or relative with a remarkably beautiful specimen, ask for a cutting. With a little research on how to propagate that particular type of plant, you just might come up with a beauty that costs you only time, no money.
Joy and Beauty
Well-cared-for, healthy, strategically placed houseplants do a lot of amazing things for our homes and those who live therein. But perhaps none more lovely than the joy and beauty they bring to our lives. That’s what I love about a tiny succulent gifted to me three years ago by my daughter-in-law, Wendy. It has now doubled in size, produced its own kind of “blooms” four times already, and as you can see, another is on its way.
I adore this gem. Its unique beauty always greets me with a special tiny spark of joy.
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