A Case for Houseplants

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(images via sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Colt and I are talkers. We discuss, we dissect and we theorize, the two of us contributing whatever knowledge we might have to the topic at hand. Him, with his incredibly educated, 99% correct, left-brained logic and I, with my own, wordy and feel-injected jargon. Sometimes we’re in complete agreement, and other times—not so much. Regardless, we both enjoy a decent discussion. Most recently, our dinner conversation turned to the subject of our mutual love of plants. Specifically, houseplants. Then one of us got bold and claimed that these houseplants have been deemed “good for your health” in some University studies…

Before I disclose the fact that an internet search to confirm this claim resulted in my purchasing at least three more houseplants, I should tell you that I have always loved plants. Greenery, in particular, has always been a huge part of my life (as a native Floridian) and with the recent “back to basics” trend in home décor, I am now completely sold out for and immersed in the world of indoor flora. So allow me to make my [quick] case for the houseplant.

For the “Aesthetics Addict:”

Its no secret that green is in. Style-wise, eco-wise, etc. Plants can tie nearly any trend together, making it feel anywhere from ‘calculatedly elegant’ or ‘laid back and breezy.’ We’re seeing it everywhere now, regardless of geographical location or style preference. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to bring plants to life in your own home, check out this article on design milk.

For the “Zen Seeker:”

On a psychological level, there are now studies by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (yes, that’s a real thing) claiming that putting plants in your home can “increase self-esteem, improve mood and sense of well-being, induce feelings of calm, relaxation and optimism and reduce stress levels.” A study at Washington State University showed a two-point reduction in the systolic blood pressure of its subject’s while taking a stressful test in a room with plants, as opposed to the subjects in a room without plants. It’s small, but hey. I’ll take it.

For the “Health Enthusiast:”

If you’re in to cooking with fresh ingredients, then think “indoor garden.” It’s easier than ever to grow your own herbs and small produce plants on your windowsill, with all the indoor garden ideas on Pinterest and beyond. Also, plants can help fight colds. The research is spotty at best, but we’re finding evidence that indoor plants can decrease coughs, sore throats, fatigue and other cold-related symptoms by more than 30 percent. The reason? Researchers say that plants help increase humidity levels and can significantly decrease the build up of dust in your home.

For the “Eco-Aware:”

We all know that pollution has become a global issue, as of late. While working towards clean emissions and using lower energy in the outdoor world is undoubtedly helpful, new studies by the American Society of Horticultural Science revealed that Americans spend a whopping 90 percent of their time indoors. And since indoor air can be as much as 12 times more polluted than outside air (due to compounds in paints, furnishings, clothing, and building materials), it is doubly important to utilize the cleansing properties of houseplants wherever we can. Healthline.com claims that “Many common houseplants and blooming potted plants can improve your health by helping to fight these pollutants in your home. The ability of plants to remove chemicals from the air is called phytoremediation. A study conducted by Stanley J. Kays at the University of Georgia showed that some ornamental plants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air. And although it’s become common knowledge that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as part of photosynthesis, research by NASA has also absolutely confirmed that plants eliminate harmful gases from the air and their findings showed that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins.” For these air-quality benefits, try finding a dragon tree, ivy, ficus, philodendrons, spider plant, peace lily, fern, chrysanthemum, palm, or a rubber plant to place in your home.

Happy Planting!

(research via Healthline)

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