The Benefits of House Plants

16th September 2019

Indoor plants offer important benefits for us, including improved mental and physical health; as well as looking good in the home. Researchers at NASA also published a famous study that showed plants are incredibly effective at removing dangerous carcinogens called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air.

As everyone will know from science lessons at school, plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, which is a pretty essential component to life on earth and greatly improves the air quality in the home environment. Indoor plants also play a vital role in providing a pleasant and tranquil environment in which to live.

A few of the physical health benefits of indoor plants:
Less breathing problems created by better indoor air quality
Reduced blood pressure
Increased immune system
Better sleep
Reduced fatigue and headaches by up to 20-25%

A few of the psychological benefits of indoor plants:
Improved mood
Reduced stress levels
Increased productivity
Improved attention span
Reduction in anxiety

Indoor plants and air quality
House plants are an incredible way of removing pollutants from your living space. Incredibly, air pollution levels can often be higher indoors than outdoors.

Indoor air represents a mix of outdoor-derived pollution and indoor-derived contaminants mainly made up from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted from cleaning products, furnishings, paints etc... Additionally fungal and mould spores and bacteria also add to indoor pollution.

All these contaminants contribute to Sick Building Syndrome. Sick Building Syndrome can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, chest tightness and wheezing, respiratory allergies, headaches, fatigue and skin dryness / irritation.

Opening doors and windows and naturally ventilating indoor spaces can help to remove indoor contaminants. However, during winter months, or for those living in areas with high levels of outdoor pollution, VOC concentrations indoors have been found to be at their highest. This is when the addition of plants into the household will be of great benefit.

Which plants to choose?
Different plant species have differing rates of removal of contaminants and oxygen production rates. Another point to note is that growing plants in soil offers a much better uptake of indoor pollutants than other growing medias, such as hydroponics.

Six easy care houseplants to improve air quality in the home:
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica) 
Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)
English or Common Ivy (Hedera Helix)
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’)

What to do if your plants run into trouble?
Busy households with animals and children will only be too aware of the problems of house plants being knocked over, and the resulting soil spillages can be time consuming to clean up. Households like these often think that houseplants are not for them and their circumstances, when, in fact everyone would benefit greatly from the inclusion of plants in the environment.

Now there is a revolutionary new product – Potstars. This is a range of smaller gravels and sands in differing colours to suit your colour scheme. Created to use as a contemporary Pot Topper, you simply lay the topping over the soil and spray. The result is a non-spill topping around your plant that allows water through the surface, but keeps the soil in its rightful place in case of accidental knocks and bumps.

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