Benefits of Houseplants

You probably heard that houseplants are beneficial for your home.  A few benefits are:

  • Improves air quality
  • Increases indoor humidity
  • Improves emotional well being and reduces stress


Although there are a host of other benefits, let’s focus on ones call out in this article.

pots, plants, cactus

Improved Air Quality

Plants are known to improve air quality.  They are also known to filter out pollutants in the air.   

For many reasons, we don’t always open our windows and doors to allow air flow for many reasons.  Some of us don’t have the luxury to allow natural air flow through our homes and offices.   The inside air becomes stale and stagnate without proper air flow.  We rely on air conditioning (or HVAC) systems to do this work. These appliances, along with chemical produces we use on a daily basis, contributes to the higher amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) gases in the air we breath.  This is where indoor plants play a role.

CO2 is all around us.  It occurs naturally from the earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas.  All living things (plants, animals, and humans) produce CO2 through respiration and natural decay of organic matter.   Plants also use the CO2 during photosynthesis.  Natural occurring CO2 is not dangerous and is vital to the cycle of life.  However, too much CO2, and no plants to absorb it, is a detriment to breathing fresh, clean air. 

Increased Humidity

If you have a plant terrarium, you may have noticed the amount of humidity within the terrarium enclosure.  You may also observed that the terrarium is essentially self-watering.  It’s resembles a miniature rain forest biome.  If you live in a climate either is seasonally dry in the or stays arid, your living space will be dry as well.  

In the winter months where I live, my home dries out considerably.  With the cold, dry air outside and running my heating unit inside, the moisture level hovers at 20% to 30%.  I feel the profound dryness on my skin and hair as well as my in my eyes, ears, nose, and throat.

Having an abundance of plants clustered together naturally generate more moisture in the air.  Through photosynthesis and respiratory process, plants release moisture vapors in the air.  However, you should be mindful of your heating system thermostat setting.  Too much heat will evaporate the moisture the plants produce and also dry out the plant itself. 

Improved Wellness and Reduced Stress

Have you ever visited a botanical gardens and noticed the calmness of your surroundings?  While looking at the different plant species on your visit, did you notice how relaxed and calm you were?  You may have also noticed that you slowed down and took your time to focus on each plant that caught your eye.

Well, that was likely not a coincidence.  For many years, scientists have been studying the beneficial effects that plants have on our well being.  Plants are used as part of some form of therapy and meditation.

According to an article from the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, studies have shown that plants and nature in general have a calming influence conducive to a person’s ability to concentrate on completing tasks and retain memory up to 20%.  The article also pointed out another study that shown the positive affects on mental health.  The time people more spent outside in nature have significantly more positive outlook on life than of those who spent more time indoors.  Perhaps, such studies have influenced individuals and corporations to redesign their personal indoor and outdoor space to replicate something of a botanical or zen garden.

Lorna Hawkins
Lorna Hawkins
Articles: 14

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