As a nation of garden lovers, we know that tending plants can boost our mood, help us connect to nature and feel better. Some of us don’t have the time or space for gardening, but we can still get all the good stuff from having plants in our homes. Any plants can have a positive impact on our home, but some stand out as mood-boosting – let’s take a la closer look …
Can plants improve our mood?
First up, here’s a little science to explain why it is a great idea to get some mood-boosting plants into your life, whether it’s at home or in the office.
Indoor plants may reduce stress levels
One study compared two groups of people, they were assigned one of two tasks – caring for a plant or a short computer activity. After each task, the plant carers had lower stress rates, heart rate, and blood pressure. This shows us something most gardeners will tell you – looking after plants reduces stress levels.
Plants may help you recover from an illness
Looking after plants, even in simple ways such as watering a plant, has been shown to help people recover from illness, injury and even surgery. This particular study was in a hospital setting but it is possible that the same benefits could be viewed in your own home.
Plants may help you feel more productive
Various studies have shown that people who have a plant in their office area will be more productive than those without one. With more people than ever working from home, this is particularly useful as you get the productivity benefits and all the other benefits of having a plant in your home.
Plants may improve indoor air quality
Finally, improving air quality in your home with plants can also have a positive impact on mental and physical health. We are all surrounded by countless toxins and pollutants that we are unaware of and anything that reduces this, particularly in a natural way (using plants) has to be positive.
What are the best mood-boosting indoor plants?
Any plant can have a positive impact on your indoor space, but some stand out from the crowd for various reasons.
Aloe vera gel can assist with acne, burns, and dry skin; both physically and mentally. Place your aloe vera plant in bright, but indirect sunlight and allow it to dry in between waterings to help it grow.
The common cactus is an essential houseplant. There are so many different varieties, you will be able to easily pick one to suit your home, my particular favourite is the Cuddly cactus.
The even better news is that cacti are low-maintenance, they don’t require much watering, even less in the winter.
English ivy, absorbs mould in the air, which can help to purify your home; it also has qualities that aid in the reduction of restlessness, allowing you to relax better at night.
Keep your English ivy in sunlight and make sure its soil is moist to keep it flourishing.
Gerbera daisies are the most efficient plant for removing benzene from the air, as well as other pollutants. They also provide oxygen during the night, which makes them great for anyone who has sleep apnea.
Gerberas prefer a location that has part sun and part shade through the day, to avoid the sun scorching their leaves. Place it under a light in the winter to assist it to grow.
The smell of lavender flowers especially is popular as a sleep aid. Place your lavender plant in your bedroom and it will help to reduce stress levels, allowing you to sleep better. Water it regularly and keep it in a location that gets a lot of light to allow it to develop.
The Monstera (also known as a Swiss cheese plant) is popular on social media, but they purify your air and might improve your mood. You can also cultivate new plants fairly easily from their cuts.
Monstera plants are poisonous to pets and small children, so you must be careful about where you put them. They thrive in humid places away from direct sunlight, making the bathroom the ideal location.
Peace lilies are wonderful houseplants since not only do they trap mould particles in the air; but, more importantly, they absorb their own water and then release it back into the room.
If you want your peace lily to blossom, simply expose it to morning light in the mornings and shade it from late-evening light. You should also keep its soil wet and lightly spray its leaves regularly.
Peace lilies are dangerous to dogs, so be careful to keep them out of their reach.
Peacock plants help to purify your home by eliminating chemical vapours from the air.
They do, however, need a lot of attention since they prefer temperatures of 18-27 degrees Celsius. Keep your spider mite infestation at bay by storing it in an area with high humidity and indirect light.
Have you had difficulties keeping plants alive in the past? A snake plant is a great choice since it requires little upkeep but may greatly improve your health by providing moisture and releasing oxygen. They’re particularly beneficial for people with allergies, as they provide moisture to the air while also releasing oxygen. Every so often they produce new shoots that can be split up to create more plants.
Venus fly trap
While Venus fly traps don’t purify the air, they’re quite successful at removing flies and spiders from your house (great news if you’re afraid of those 8-legged monsters!).
They like to be fed bottled or filtered water, so wherever feasible, avoid pouring straight from the tap. Leave your Venus fly trap out in the light on warm days before returning them inside in the evening if you have a patio or garden.
Which plant is your favourite? Are there any you would like to try in your house?