If you live in a climate where you can’t garden year-round, tending to household plants could keep your “green thumb” active in the winter. As well as making your home more attractive, major health benefits are linked to indoor plants.

 

Mental Health

It has been proven that being close to greenery makes humans feel more at ease. When an office is filled with live plants, workers tend to be more productive, take fewer sick days and be generally happier. There is also evidence that those in learning environments benefit from the presence indoor plants. Live plants can give you these same benefits in the comfort of your home.

Additionally, having the responsibility of tending to a living plant can help people coping with mental illness. Something as small as, “I have to water my plant today,” can give someone with depression the push they need out get out of bed. Those who regularly see natural beauty also report a perceived higher quality of life.

Many mental health issues come with sleep problems. Most plants release oxygen during the day, but plants such as orchids, succulents, bromeliads and snake plants emit oxygen at night. Keeping these plants in your room could lead to a better night’s sleep, therefore a better day.

 

Physical Health

Most people know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, but they actually do much more. NASA has done extensive research on improving air quality in confined spaces, and they’ve found that plant leaves and roots remove trace levels of toxic vapors from the air. Plants also remove low levels of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. Houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours.

Although my next point is likely connected to mental health benefits, hospital patients exposed to plants during surgical recovery have significant improvement in physiologic responses. According to a Kansas State University study, the physiologic benefits can include lower blood pressure, less pain, and less fatigue.

Interacting with plants also proved to reduce recovery time, improve concentration and memory, increase physical activity, and improve relationships and compassion. Plants can also help deter illness. Studies have shown that indoor plants decrease the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats, dry coughs, and even flu virus transmission.

 

A fake plant hanging on your wall doesn’t have nearly as many benefits as a real plant, mentally or physically. Plus, who really wants to go around their house once a month to dust their “plants”? Even if you already have an outdoor garden sanctuary, bringing more life indoors could significantly improve so many aspects of your life.