The Healthy Benefits of Houseplants

healthy benefits plants

Did you know that adding plants to your home or office will help you breath easier, stay more focused, moisturize your skin, or even help you relax?

That’s right, adding one or two plants per room will do just that. Adding flora to your home or office will remove toxins from the air, increase oxygen levels, increase air moisture, and contribute to your overall sense of well-being.

All plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Increasing the oxygen levels where you sleep can help you sleep deeper and longer. The snake plant converts carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, so that’s a perfect choice for your bedroom. Palms do their conversion during the day, so they would be good in your office. Pair either of these with a Golden Pothos, which removes formaldehyde and other chemicals from the air, and you’ll be breathing easier, reducing headaches and having less eye irritations.

Are you tired of itchy skin or a dry cough? Our heating systems sap the moisture from the air, adding plants to your home or office will increase the humidity in the surrounding air. Boston ferns, for example, restore moisture to the air by releasing water vapor in exchange for air pollutants which the plant uses as food. Maybe your cough is due to congestion. Eucalyptus plants will help to ease that. Their leaves are packed with a wonderful fragrance that will help to raise fluid levels in your respiratory tract loosening congestion.

If you’d like more focus during the day, try placing an ivy on your desk. Ivy absorbs and chemically neutralizes benzine, a chemical released by some paper products or office equipment. Spider plants are another good choice. They absorb carbon monoxide and formaldehyde which is emitted from some carpets or furniture. Snake plants, flamingo flowers, corn plants, and peace lilies are also great choices. Any of these will help to decrease headaches and the higher oxygen levels will increase your focus.

Caring for houseplants is easy. Just remember not to over-water them. That’s the number one problem people seem to have with houseplants. Simply touch the top of the soil, if it feels damp or moist, then your plant doesn’t need any water. Most plants like to be misted once or twice a week. Also, don’t forget to remove dying leaves or spent flowers to keep your plant healthy and fertilize them once in the spring, summer, and fall. Visit your local independent garden center and they will help you choose the right plant for your light conditions. They have many plants that will do well in a sunny window or in an office with no windows.


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Jan Wallace is a contributor to The Mill Magazine and the former owner of Sugar Creek Garden Center.