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The Health Benefits of House Plants

Robert Parmer

As a huge advocate for houseplants, my living rooms and kitchen are filled with them. My living room is a jungle, and I love it! Surrounding a living space with plants offers many benefits, which segue to mental and physical health.

An Aid For Seasonal Depression When blankets of snow cover the landscape, many struggle to be released from Winter’s firm depressive grip. Seasonal depression prevalence in America ranges in accordance to the climate of the area. The range of those affected varies significantly, with depression rates around 1.4% in Florida and as high as 9.9% in Alaska. The harsh realities of Winter are taxing on humans, especially as seasonal and climate shifts become more apparent in the world. Areas of the East Coast this year faced record amounts of snowfall.

 For example, Boston, MA had over 100 inches of snow this year! When extreme conditions like this present themselves and challenge society, it’s easy to put mental health and well-being on the back burner. However, in times like those it is actually more important to treat seasonal depression and other related mental health issues. With the aid of houseplants, anyone can brave the most brutal seasonal changes from the comfort of indoors. Creating your own personal plant paradise will create an indoor illusion. It’s pretty incredible how much of a difference this makes. Green plants are a symbol for health and life. The off seasons of Fall and Winter paint a much bleaker and more depressing landscape than the brighter months of the year.

Growing houseplants in a well lit room creates an atmospheric setting, where the body and mind can reminisce on better weather. Subconsciously the lush foliage will make you feel happier and so will the sunlight and attributed Vitamin D. Related: Wellness resource for more ways to combat seasonal depression. Cleaner Air Equates to a Healthier Life It’s a well known fact that plants benefit the Earth. They make the world we live in cleaner and quite literally serve as a ‘breath of fresh air’ for life forms. But just how beneficial are plants for indoor air quality? In the article titled “Top 18 houseplants for purifying the air you breathe, according to NASA” the best air filtering houseplants are highlighted. These useful varieties filter out many toxic chemicals from the air including ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene.

This is particularly helpful when living in cities and areas with bad air quality. On top of that plants obviously produce crucial oxygen. The difference between homes with no plants versus many plants is almost comparable to the feeling one experiences when entering an outdoor or camping setting.

The air just seems cleaner, and the most obvious byproduct is a more comfortable, breathable environment. Where to Start Starting from scratch can be very overwhelming when it comes to introducing indoor gardening to your life. But don’t fret! Creating an ideal plant sanctuary is surprisingly easy, you just have to know where to begin. A post from the blog at GardenCommunities.com really hits the nail on the head with these tips: Start on a budget. It is easy to go overboard with purchases when you houseplant fever hits a person. Which means it is important to not go overboard when buying items like pots, soil, and the plants themselves. If you need help deciding on which plants to buy for the first time, this list of the top 10 indoor plants helps highlight the best ones to purchase. Place plants in the proper location.

Decide which plants are the best fit for a home based on the amount of windows in a room and its access to sunlight. Consider the following: does the sunlight from a window generate rays all day long or for only a portion of the day?

Is the plant in question going to benefit from excessive sunshine or does it fare better with low light? If you’re unsure, it’s better to do your research and figure out the ideal amount of light for a plant. Tip: it usually states this information on the tag that labels the plants at the store/nursery. Water your plants the correct amount. One of the most common failures associated with houseplants is simply forgetting to water them. Obviously plants need water and sunlight for photosynthesis, but it’s important to note that overwatering is also a common problem. The best bet is to also research the amount of water a plant craves, and set a watering schedule accordingly. Create a rhythm for your life. Houseplants aid in managing organizational stress at home. They require both long-term attention and planning, which are characteristics that drastically help promote organization.

Make your home greener in more ways than one. While the obvious color change in scenery will occur, houseplants make your living space greener in other ways as well. Reuse old glass containers for terrariums, turn a broken piece of furniture into a planter, or create a repurposed indoor herb garden. Why throw these items away when you can make them into something beautiful? Furthermore, growing indoor herbs is an easy endeavor and an excellent starting point. Herbs are simple to grow indoors at any time of the year. Use them for cooking, their aromatic properties, or simply for decoration. Challenge I’ve created a Wellness goal titled “Surround Yourself With Houseplants” and challenge you to start your own indoor jungle. Your life will be changed forever once you introduce plants indoors, especially if you struggle with seasonal depression or poor air quality.

Post a photo of your new living areas once they are overhauled with greenery in the comments section, or suggest your favorite variety of indoor plant to the Wellness community.