Indoor gardening is still enjoying a surge in popularity, fueled by Instagram’s green-inspired interior designs, plant podcasts. While social media trends are known for their rapid life cycle, indoor gardening could last longer than most, due to the many ways houseplants improve health and well-being. .

Here’s what research tells us about the benefits of living and working with houseplants.

7 benefits of indoor plants

Many people enjoy living and working in cultivated green spaces, and most of them enjoy having beautiful plants around them. But is there more than that? Here are seven benefits that science attributes to houseplants.

1. Indoor plants can help reduce stress levels

A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology showed that plants in your home or office can help you feel more comfortable, calmer, and more natural. As part of the study, participants were given two different tasks: repotting a houseplant or performing a short computer task. After each task, the researchers measured biological factors associated with stress, including heart rate and blood pressure. They found that the indoor gardening task decreased participants’ stress response. The computer task, on the other hand, caused a spike in heart rate and blood pressure, even though the study participants were young men well accustomed to computerized work. The researchers concluded that working with plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress.

2. Real plants can sharpen your focus

Sorry, plastic plants won’t help you pass your exams. In a small study of 23 participants, researchers placed students in a classroom with a fake plant, a real plant, a photo of a plant, or no plant at all. Brain scans of participants showed that students who studied with real live plants in the classroom were more attentive and better able to concentrate than students in other groups.

3. Working with plants can be therapeutic

For people with symptoms of mental illness, indoor gardening can be helpful. Researchers have used horticultural therapy to increase feelings of well-being in people with depression, anxiety, dementia and other conditions. Although horticultural therapy has been around for centuries, it has found modern expression: Medical clinics in Manchester, England, now prescribe potted plants to patients with symptoms of depression or anxiety.

4. Plants can help you recover from illness faster

Being able to look at plants and flowers can speed up your recovery from illness, injury or surgery. A 2002 study found that people who recovered from several types of surgeries needed fewer painkillers and stayed in the hospital for a shorter time than people who did not look green while recovering.
It is important to note that most research focuses on plants and natural landscapes in hospital settings rather than at home.

5. Plants can boost your productivity

A bromeliad may turn out to be the best office companion you’ve ever had. Many studies have shown that plants in the workspace increase both productivity and creativity. A frequently cited study from 1996 found that students in a campus computer lab worked 12% faster and were less stressed when plants were placed near them. In a 2004 study, researchers asked people to make creative word associations. They performed best when a plant was in the room with them.

6. Plants can improve your overall view of work

A view of the city park can improve anyone’s job satisfaction, but you might be surprised to learn that a potted plant can have a similar effect. Researchers interviewed more than 440 Amazon employees in India and the United States. They found that those whose work environment included natural elements such as houseplants experienced greater job satisfaction and greater commitment to the organization than those who did not work in the presence of natural elements. . According to the researchers, the natural elements helped lessen the effects of work-related stress and anxiety.

7. Plants can improve indoor air quality

Scientific support for phytoremediation, that is, the action of plants on air contaminants, usually begins with a NASA study conducted in the 1980s. Researchers, who were then looking for ways to to improve air quality in a sealed spacecraft, found that houseplant roots and soil significantly reduced airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since those early studies, researchers have both confirmed these findings and challenged them. Recent findings suggest that large numbers of plants would need to be housed to achieve the air-purifying efficiency of modern biofilters and other technologies.

If you decide to buy houseplants to clean the air naturally, here are some of the species that have proven to be the most effective:

areca palms, date palms, dwarf palms
rubber tree
spider plant

Choose indoor plant varieties that are safe for pets and children

It is nearly impossible to find a complete list of poisonous plants, as some plants have parts that are poisonous and others that are perfectly safe. Before bringing a new plant home to a place where children or pets might get hold of it, check with a reliable source that it is safe.

Here is a brief overview of common plants that pose a danger to children and pets:

aloe vera
lilies of many varieties
monstera delicious
sago palm
umbrella plant

This list is not exhaustive. If you have children or pets, check carefully before introducing a new variety of plant to your home.

Health considerations to keep in mind

There are many benefits to having plants in your home or office (or home office) but also some risks. Keep them in mind when deciding to install an indoor garden.

Watch out for pest infestations

Indoor plants can serve as a Trojan horse for insects, molds and other pests.

If you’re repotting a plant, it’s not a good idea to use soil from your garden.

When selecting plants, pay attention to the water needs of each species, as over-watering can create ideal conditions for mold and gnats to develop.

Remember to check the leaves for signs of pests (eggs, webs, holes) to nip the infestation in the bud.

Can indoor plants trigger allergies or asthma?

This question is the subject of debate. If your allergy or asthma symptoms are aggravated by pollen, you may be relieved to learn that most common houseplants don’t produce much pollen. Although some cut flowers, such as daffodils, can produce pollen, asthma researchers have found no evidence to suggest that houseplants themselves cause asthma attacks. If your symptoms are triggered by dampness, mold or fungus, you may need to pay attention to the soil moisture in your plants’ pots.

Exposure to mold, dampness and fungus indoors can worsen asthma symptoms, especially in children. If you notice asthma symptoms after introducing plants into your home, it’s a good idea to remove them until you can talk to a healthcare professional.

In summary

Having plants at home or in the office can be a source of pleasure. Indoor gardening relieves stress, boosts creativity, productivity and concentration, and promotes recovery. It would seem that indoor plants can also have a positive influence on the air quality in your home.

It is important to know which plants are poisonous if you have children or pets in the house. If you have asthma or allergies, watch out for species that make your symptoms worse.
Sharing your living or working space with living, “breathing” plants can make your environment a happier, healthier place.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.