Indoor Plants: Science-Backed Benefits of Owning Houseplants for Mental Health and Well-Being

Owning houseplants has health benefits for your wellbeing

If you have ever found yourself considering houseplant ownership but have yet to take the leap, we implore you to read about the many mental and physical health benefits plants may bring upon you. These benefits will keep you in a positive state and improve your living environment along the way. Once you’re on board with the number of effects of having a green thumb, we’ll give you advice for a plant that encourages self-expression – choosing greenery that best suits you.

Reduction In Blood Pressure

Findings suggest that engaging in horticultural activities and caring for houseplants has been shown to confer a significant reduction in physiological and psychological stress levels, including heart rate and blood pressure. This improvement is partially attributed to the enhanced indoor air quality that plants provide and their ability to evoke positive emotions and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. The natural environment of green plants is relieving and breaks up the man made surfaces within an indoor space.

Improved Mood

Another benefit of caring for plants brings is improved mood. Having a number of plants gives you a tangible sense of fulfilment as you care for them, watch them thrive, and invest effort into their wellbeing. This improvement in mood comes from lowered physiological stress, translating to life and job satisfaction. Finally choosing and caring for plants can also be a great hobby!

Increased Attention

Alongside looking nice, one study found that the inclusion of real plants in your environment work to improve attention span. This is excellent news for plant parents who find themselves inside all day working long hours in the office or working at home. Lower levels of attention are detrimental to motivation for household chores like cooking and cleaning – lending an excellent excuse to choose plants suited for your household.

Elevated Feeling Of Escape

The hustle and bustle of our commitments may diminish our overall access to nature and keep us indoors on a more regular basis. Thankfully, studies have shown support for the presence of indoor plants alleviating the feelings of confinement in the home. The range of benefits provided by indoor plants can improve mental health aspects related to anxiety and depression, allowing us to feel as if we are away even if we are at home.

Heightened Connectedness With Nature

There has been long history with a robust body of research supporting what is called the Biophilia Hypothesis, which supports tendencies by humans to seek connections with nature. A meta-analysis has found support for these studies, stating that there is a “medium to large effect on increasing positive emotion and decreasing negative emotion” when people were in natural environments. From this analysis we can see that an increase in houseplants improve our overall psychological wellbeing.

Assist In Recovery

In addition to reduced stress and increased mood, we have found science-backed benefits to support recovery from an illness or injury that go beyond reduced stress and lower blood pressure. With the support of a high leaf area, recovery outcomes are likely to improve by way of reduced pain, decreased muscle tension, increased brain activity, and increased satisfaction. Additionally, houseplants act as natural air fresheners, removing excess nitrogen dioxide from the air, greatly improving your home air quality. These factors are not only benefit your health and wellness, but significantly improve healing, allowing for shorter illness, and recovery time.

Most Beneficial Plant Varieties

When deciding on choosing which houseplants to buy, consider searching for these qualities to get the most out of your plant ownership.

  • Real Or Fake: For the maximum benefits offered from houseplants, it is best to aim for the real plants over artificial ones. It should be noted, however that artificial plants are better to own than no plants at all. With artificial plants you will get some of their rewards without the responsibility. Living plants on the other hand offer a scent, texture, and vibrance unparalleled by their artificial counterparts. As a bonus, you can brag to your friends about successfully keeping your green friends thriving!
  • Quantity Of PlantsWhen purchasing your plants, it is best to aim for around five to reap the most emotional benefits. Of course the sky is the limit, however having at least a handful will allow you to feel immersed in the plant experience. Within this group of plants, be sure to look for plants with variations in height to include at least one plant that is tall.
  • Color Choice: While plants come in a full spectrum of color, it has been found that those with white leaves or flowers tend to invoke negative emotions. For the most calming and refreshing plant experience, look for foliage that includes purple, red, green, or pink. The brighter the color, the better!
  • Plant Species: If this is your first foray into plant ownership, you may be wondering which variety to chose from that offers leniency in its care (in case of over/under watering, or lack of light) so that you may be the most successful with your plants. For that, we recommend, Spider Plants, India Rubber Trees, Snake Plants, and Air Plants which all require light watering and indirect light to grow.

The Last Leaf…

Now that we know all of the ways plants improve mental and physical health, you are now ready to put your best foot forward into finding the perfect plant for you. With a nearly infinite variety of plants to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your living situation. Furthermore you will have increased wellbeing as a result. Enjoy your new houseplant journey!