Bringing Nature into the Home: Benefits of Indoor Plants

Our world’s population is becoming increasingly urban. According to the United Nations, in 2016 an estimated 54.5% of people live in cities. By 2030, 60% of people globally will dwell in an urban area. If you’re a part of this statistic, it’s probable you’re living in an apartment situated in the center of the concrete jungle. But there is great news for city dwellers, green-thumb activities aren’t limited to large yards or gardens and research shows that bringing nature into the home has both physical and mental benefits. Whether you are a a self proclaimed “plant lady” or struggle to keep succulents alive, here are a few reasons you should adorn your home with greenery.

Benefits of Indoor Plants
  • Provides cleaner air:
    One of the most significant and talked about benefits is a plants ability to clear toxins. Plants help remove dangerous compounds and carbon dioxide from the air by trapping them in their own tissues. They break those compounds down and release pure oxygen just like the plants in a forest. An extensive NASA study in 1989 showed that certain plants were effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from the air. 
    Tip: The research suggests having at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.

  • Lowers risk of illness: Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning products are the culprits of emitting the toxic chemicals listed above (benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, etc). They have been linked to common symptoms such as irritation in the mouth, nose and throat, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, and coughing. Cleaning up the air we breath lowers our exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals.

  • Boosts mood: Studies show that spending time outdoors and in nature can provide stress relief, encourage physical exercise and even help soothe anxiety. But the reality is we spend 80-90% of our time indoors. Our daily lives are often spent in front of screens and disconnected from peaceful green spaces. If you can’t get out into a green space, bring the green space inside to you to receive the perks.

Ready to spruce up your indoor space with these natural healers? Read on for a list of easy to care for plants that deserve a spot in your home.
  1. Snake Plant:
    Snake plants have major advantages. They don’t need much light or water to survive, so your chances of accidentally killing it are slim. They also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the night (while most plants do so during the day), so add one to your bedroom for a clean-air boost. Another great location is the bathroom. These plants thrive in low light and humid conditions.

  2. Philodendron: The heart-shaped philodendron is a popular plant choice for the indoors because they’re easy to care for and have fun decorative vines. They are good at absorbing xylene (used as a solvent, a cleaning agent, and a paint thinner). They can live for many years when properly cared for and thrive in some sunlight with moderate watering.

  3. Spider Plant: Rich with foliage and very resilient, these plants (also known as airplane plants) make the NASA list of the best air-purifying plants. They are effective at fighting pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Spider plants are also non-toxic to animals which is a huge plus if you have furry friends in the home.

  4. Aloe: This easy-to-grow succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene from the air, which come from chemical-based cleaners and paint. It thrives in direct sunlight so and is a natural healer for cuts and burns. Aloe also makes NASA’s list of best-purifying plants.

  5. Bamboo Palm: Also known as the reed palm, it tops the list of plants best for filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene. As an added benefit, it acts as a natural humidifier making it a great plant for dry climates. They prefer bright, filtered light and enjoy being watered frequently when growing. And grow they do! They can reach up to 20ft in height but you can limit their growth by keeping them in small pots.