An Urban Jungle - The Importance of House Plants



(Photo credit: Ceyda Ciftci)


Not only do indoor plants style your home perfectly, but recent studies have shown that plants boost your mood, increase creativity, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants — making for a healthier and happier all around individual.


Have you ever noticed your mood to automatically lift when you step into nature? That's because the earth can assist with reducing mental fatigue, stress and depression, whilst inducing feelings of happiness, self-satisfaction and peace. In a study conducted by Lee, Lee, Park and Miyazaki (2015), it was identified that an active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress when completing work tasks. Additionally, the study found through the implementation of indoor plants, staff-wellbeing increased dramatically. Furthermore, Koga and Iwasaki (2013) found that people experience an unconscious calming reaction to touching a plant and therefore concluded that plants are an indispensable element of the human environment.

"Plants are an indispensable element of the human environment." - Koga and Iwasaki (2013)

So with this all said, nothing contributes warmth and style to a space the way plants do. They provide the perfect architectural element and hold down the space in an organic way. And no matter your personal design preference, a dose of green is a universally modern choice. There are no set rules when it comes to decorating with plants, only a thousand possibilities.


Things to consider when buying a plant:

  • Make sure that the plant you buy is appropriate for indoor spaces! Some plants thrive on indoor air while other will wither and wilt. Normally this information will be on the label of the plant you buy, but if for whatever reason it is not, do not be afraid to ask the shop assistant for guidance.

  • Different plants require different levels of light, temperature or humidity. Consider where you intend to place your pot of greenery and then check the label.


Great Houseplant to consider:

Mother-in-law's tongue

The mother-in-law's tongue (sansevieria trifasciata) is a very popular house plant that originates from West Africa. This beautiful, no-fuss tropical evergreen has long, stiff, and dark-green, vertical leaves, which feature striking light-green bands. Benefits include:

  • Tolerant to low light levels but equally as happy in sunlight.

  • Frequent watering is not required.

  • It absorbs toxins, such as nitrogen oxides and is great for improving indoor air quality.

  • Beginners can work with it as it doesn't require much maintenance and grows quite quickly.

  • Occasionally, this plant will sprout small, white flowers—usually when it is a few years old. How beautiful!

(Photo credit: Jake Goossen)


Fiddle Leaf Fig

Native to the rainforests of western and central Africa, the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus lyrata) is a stunning plant with huge green leaves and an even larger following of houseplant fans. Despite its popularity, it's certainly not the easiest houseplant to look after, but its visual impact in a space is unmatched when given proper conditions and care. Benefits include:

  • Not only are they aesthetically appealing, but they’re also wonderful for improving air quality by providing high levels of oxygen and cleaning the air of allergens.

  • Just like you, it will need sun, water and T.L.C.

(Photo credit: Lauren Mancke)


Philodendron:

Known for their beautiful flowering leaves and bold appearance, Philodendron’s not only make a statement in any interior, but also absorb high levels of Formaldehyde from the air. Unfortunately, since they soak up large volumes of harmful toxins, this also makes them poisonous to consume, so be sure to keep them out of reach from children or pets!

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Knight)


Aloe Vera:

We’re all familiar with the incredible healing effects that aloe has on cuts and burns, but what many don’t know is that it also removes Benzene from the air, which can be found in many chemical cleaners and paints. Plus, Aloe Vera plants are almost foolproof for anyone who doesn’t possess a green thumb, making them one of the easiest plants to care for, with the most benefits!

(Photo Credit: Kevin Bessat)


Disclaimer | Some plants are harmful to young children and pets, so do your research before bringing a plant home.


References:

  1. Koga, K. and Iwasaki, Y., 2013. Psychological and physiological effect in humans of touching plant foliage - using the semantic differential method and cerebral activity as indicators. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 32(1).

  2. Lee, M., Lee, J., Park, B. and Miyazaki, Y., 2015. Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 34(1).

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