Home EnvironmentalExploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
EnvironmentalBy Trista -

Indoor plants are a fantastic way to brighten up a room and bring some life into a space. Apart from having an aesthetic effect, do these plants affect your health as well as this? NASA researched this very topic, and it turns out that plants can be beneficial, but you would need a whole jungle of them in your home. So, your one-pot plant in the living room won’t have this effect. Do you have a home that needs more plants? They could do so much more for you than just look good. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
They cannot completely filter out your air as NASA once thought, but they have plenty of other benefits. Shutterstock.

You’ll Need A Whole Forest

So even though houseplants won’t filter our air sufficiently as NASA once thought they might, they still have a whole range of other unique benefits for us. Firstly, they have an incredible impact on our moods. 

If you’re feeling a little bit down in the dumps, a walk outside can do wonders for you. Getting in touch with nature helps to reduce stress and also allows us to relax. Just a tiny bit of exposure can make us feel calm.

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Just like you stroke your animals and pets, touching plants can have a calming effect as well. Shutterstock.

Plants Have A Calming Effect

Even more than seeing plants, touching them has an unconscious calming effect as well. Studies have been done on performance in workplaces and improved when plants were present in the environment. 

Plants seem to make people feel a lot happier and improve their general well-being and reduce sick days taken by employees. It’s incredible how the work environment impacts people. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
If you find yourself feeling ill or sick when you are in a building, this is a real issue because of indoor air pollution. Shutterstock.

Sick Building Syndrome

Have you heard of the term ‘sick building syndrome’? This idea is when healthy people experience symptoms like sudden allergies, headaches, and respiratory issues when they are in a building. 

When they leave the space for a while, these symptoms disappear. Sometimes you might feel like you are allergic to work, and you quite literally could be. This notion is due to indoor air pollution in workplaces. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Buildings start to release toxins as they break down in the construction materials and need to be fixed. Shutterstock.

Beware The Toxic Emissions

It can happen due to toxic emissions from the building materials, viruses, mold, and other pollutants. In these buildings, air circulation is somewhat limited, which means they will somehow impact you. 

It’s not just your big work building that you should be worried about; it can be found in homes. Most of us are spending more and more time indoors, which can have a detrimental effect on our health. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Houseplants and indoor landscaping can be a great option to reduce the harmful effects of a sick building. Shutterstock.

Houseplants And Indoor Landscaping

As building materials start to break down over time, they release compounds into the air we breathe, affecting us negatively. Is there any way that we can stop this without completely redoing a building or quitting our jobs? 

The solution is house plants. Indoor air quality can be improved with house plants – it can be fixed entirely, but it will positively affect. Plants can absorb these toxins and then break them down. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Allergies at home can also be reduced with houseplants’ help as they filter the air and catch these particles. Shutterstock.

Plants Can Reduce Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, you might find that having more houseplants around will provide you with some form of relief. Research has been done and shows that rooms with plants have less dust. 

A room with foliage compared to a room without vegetation in this study showed much better results. The leaves and plants are acting as a sort of natural filter to catch these allergens and particles. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Make sure to wipe off the dust on plants each month as the dust can eventually affect the plant adversely. Shutterstock.

Clean The Dust Off Your Plants

While plants are an excellent way to reduce the dust in your home as it collects on the plant instead of causing havoc for your allergies, dust isn’t great for plants, and you will need to keep an eye on this too. 

When too much dust settles on a plant, it can stop the leaves from photosynthesizing effectively. Just take a damp cloth and wipe down the plant each month. You could also rinse the plant gently, depending on how sturdy it is. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Consider getting a Chinese evergreen to help trap the allergens that are floating around your home. Shutterstock.

A Chinese Evergreen

There are some great plants to consider to get this job done. If you don’t have much light in a room, maybe look at purchasing a Chinese evergreen or even a peace lily. Both of these will look beautiful in the space as well. 

Plants that are good at trapping allergens are violets and other plants that have textured leaves. You’re going to want to make sure you avoid getting plants with pollen or spores, though if you suffer from allergies as that will only make it worse. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Plants like lavender have so many ways you can use it: in oils, in tea and also just to look pretty in your house. Shutterstock.

The Lovely Lavender

Plants like lavender won’t be suitable for those of you who suffer from allergies, but if you don’t, then this plant is terrific for your home. It is a very fragrant flower that has been used in herbal medicine for years. 

Lavender is also a wonderful plant to look at, which has a significant effect on people. You can further use this plant and make it into oil or even boil the leaves and use it in a tea. Lavender is also great for calming purposes. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Heating systems take their toll on our bodies, so buy some plants to put inside to combat this. Shutterstock.

The Effect Of Heating Systems

If you are indoors quite a lot, you could be feeling the effects of the heating systems or air conditioners in the space. This reaction is a big issue in workplaces and sometimes, even in your home. Houseplants can help with this. 

Humidity levels indoors are affected by these, most notably in winter. It increases your chances of getting sick and even getting itchy skin. Houseplants can add much-needed moisture to the air around you. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
A spider plant helps boost the humidity in a room by a whole 10%, and it does work – order yours now! Shutterstock.

Spider Plants

One plant that has been tested for this exact purpose is the spider plant. Spider plants boost the humidity in a room from 20% to a much better 30%. If you are experiencing this issue, get your plant today. 

You don’t need to put these plants all over your home, instead, pick rooms that you spend quite a lot of time in, like your bedroom or living area and put a few in there. You’ll notice a difference soon after doing this. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Add some plants to your room to help provide extra oxygen, which will help you sleep better at night. Shutterstock.

Struggling To Sleep?

If you’re finding it hard to sleep these days, plants in your bedroom could be the solution. When plants take in your carbon dioxide, they give off oxygen in return. Gerbera daisies are also capable of giving off oxygen when the sun is down too. 

Add a few of these happy plants to your bedroom, and the extra oxygen being distributed in the space might help you sleep better. Even if it doesn’t, these beautiful plants will make you smile through those sleepless nights. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Plants have been shown to help people recover faster if they are ill – it’s a great thing to take to hospitals. Shutterstock.

You’ll Feel Better Soon

Speaking of resting, potted plants are among the most popular items to take to an ill person. This notion is a lot more than just the thoughtful gesture we think it is. It could help them get better sooner. 

The research was completed one on this topic, and apparently, people who had surgery and had plants in their room ended up recovering faster. That was also apparent in the people who had a view from their room of nature. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Greenery in hospital rooms also helps patients to tolerate pain better too. Shutterstock.

Greenery Is Great

This study also found that the people who were surrounded by greenery in their rooms could tolerate their pain better and even required less medication. It’s amazing what plants can do. 

So, if you have someone who is feeling ill at the moment and you can visit them safely, it would be a fantastic idea to take this type of gift along with you. Even if the effect is a placebo, it’s still worth a try!

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Aloe is a terrific natural way to treat many different skin ailments, including burns and sunburn. Shutterstock.

Aloe Is A Natural Skin Remedy

This next type of house plant has another way of healing people. It might not be able to do it through just having it in your room, but it has become a trendy home remedy and natural one too over the years. 

We’re talking about aloe. Aloe is the perfect way to treat sunburns and any other burns you might have. It also is ideal for several other skin conditions. You’ll find aloe in many skin products. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
The color green has been found to help people focus, which might help you in your home office. Shutterstock.

Improving Your Focus

Another thing that houseplants can improve, apart from your air quality, is your focus. If you’ve found yourself losing focus quickly these days, go and buy some pot plants as soon as possible and see if it makes a difference. 

It’s all about the green effect. The color green is meant to help people focus better, and this has been shown in classroom studies – some had plants, and others did not. It’s worth a try since we all tend to get distracted these days very easily. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Plants are also a useful tool in reducing background noise in the workplace, so you might want to invest in some. Shutterstock.

Lowering Background Noises

You might also be fascinated to know that plants also help to reduce background noises in spaces. This concept goes for outdoor plants and indoor plants. When driving, you might notice thick hedges next to the road. 

That helps to block out the sound of traffic in the homes that are positioned near to the road. This trick is a simple and effective way of soundproofing your home. So, it’s great to know that this method can work inside too. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
By reducing background noises around you, you might find that you are more focused and productive. Shutterstock.

Plants Absorb Sound

Plants and their leaves can absorb and diffract background noise. This concept helps to make specific busy environments quieter for people who are in the space. Select plants do this better than others. 

Plants tend to absorb sound the most effective when they are placed in acoustically live spaces. You might want to start researching how you can landscape your office’s interior or even your home. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
You’ll need to know a few things before you buy houseplants so you can make sure they live a long and healthy life. Shutterstock.

Know What You’re Looking For

So now you are probably keen to get going and buy the indoor plants that you’ve seen all the excellent benefits they can have on various aspects of your life. But, there are some things you should know before you do this. 

Like, how much light do indoor plants need? If you decide that you want succulents as your house plants, these will require continuous and daily doses of sunlight. It all depends on the foliage of the plant. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Different plants need different amounts of sunlight each day. See what you can provide for them in your home. Shutterstock.

How Much Light Do They Need?

Plants with foliage need about 8 hours of light per day – this is also how much sleep they might help you get. You will, of course, need to do specific research into the plants that interest you so you can take care of them properly. 

Some tips will come in handy when you go and select your houseplant. First of all, make sure they have a sound root system. Try and see if the roots are thick and light in color – this means they are healthy. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Check a plant’s health before purchasing it – you want to start with the best chance of success. Shutterstock.

Check Your Plant’s Health

You can also check a plant’s health by looking at its foliage – that is a good rule of thumb to go by: if you can’t see through it, the vegetation is thick enough. You should also check for disease on the plant before buying it. 

If the plant has a pest problem or disease, you might notice some white dots or even sticky residue on the leaves. The plant also might emit a foul odor, so give it a sniff before you walk out the store. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Some indoor plants prefer a lower light environment, so do your research on which plants you like. Shutterstock.

Low Light Plants

Some indoor plants will work better in low light environments. One of the most common houseplants is a philodendron. This plant also is not a pest attracter, so that’s always a plus. 

It also tends to adapt to its environment very well and is a hardy plant too. If you find it hard to keep plants alive, this might be a good option for you as you learn how to treat plants and keep them living and thriving. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Devil’s Ivy is a beautiful plant with its leaves and can thrive in most of the environments it is placed in. Shutterstock.

Consider Devil’s Ivy

You could also consider Devil’s Ivy. It is quite a pretty plant because of its colorful leaves. It also tends to thrive in a variety of different environments and even additional lighting conditions. It can adapt to bright light or low light. 

A peace lily is also a lovely idea for an indoor plant that doesn’t need much light. You’re going to want to keep the soil nice and moist though – but don’t drown the poor plant either. To get the flowers to appear, move it to a darker room. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Aspidistra are plants that don’t need much water and also can survive in low light. Shutterstock.

Beautiful Aspidistra

If you want indoor plants that aren’t succulents or cacti, other plants are good at tolerating the lower light and humidity. They also don’t grow too much, which is great as you don’t want to spend your time pruning your plant. 

Try out an aspidistra. This plant doesn’t need much water and also handles low light very well. If you go away quite frequently without someone to water your plants, this is a fantastic and pretty option. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
You can also try out succulents and cacti if you are known for killing your indoor plants regularly. Shutterstock.

Don’t Have A Green Thumb?

If you really don’t have a green thumb but desperately want to invest in some houseplants, succulents, and cacti are probably the best option. The great thing about cacti is that they can tolerate a lot of inadequate care. 

They might even surprise you with flowers when you think you’ve killed the plant. If these plants are cared for properly, you’ll see their lovely little flowers by their third year in your home. Flowering can also happen when the roots are filling the pot. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
These plants don’t require too much attention, and you can get away with misting it with water every few days. Shutterstock.

Are You New At Plant Care?

If you are new to plant care, here is an excellent option to start with, as it is a plant that doesn’t require too much attention. All you need to do is mist it with some water every few days, and it should do very well. 

You should also consider succulents, which are different from cacti. They are also low maintenance plants and do well in the home environment. They love being placed on a window sill, so make sure you clear a spot for them. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Succulents can be gorgeous, and they are water-wise plants that are great for our environment. Shutterstock.

Find A Stunning Succulent

You can find some stunning succulents that will add an attractive aesthetic to any room. They even come in a lovely rosette shape and conserve water very well, which means they are water-wise plants. 

You’re also going to want to make sure that you don’t overwater your plants. This notion goes for all house plants. Most people end up killing their indoor plants because of this. Don’t give the plant more water than it needs. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Be careful not to overwater your plants because this can result in their roots starting to rot. Shutterstock.

Don’t Kill Your Plants With Water

In most pot plants, the water has nowhere to go, so it just ends up sitting in the plant if there is too much water. The excess water will then cause the roots to rot, and then eventually, your plant will die. 

A way to get around this is to water the plant from the bottom. You can do this by using a saucer or tray underneath the plant. Put water in it and let the plant pull up and absorb the amount of water that it wants. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Some devices can help you not to overwater your plants if you are a beginner at houseplants. Shutterstock.

Overwatering Is A Common Error

Overwatering plants is the most common error in houseplants. If you are unsure whether your plant needs to be watered, there are some simple ways to test it. Firstly, you can use a soil probe.

The probe will draw out some soil and help you understand the soil conditions beneath the surface. With this, you can then decide on whether or not the plant needs some more water. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
A moisture meter will be able to tell you how dry the soil is, and then you can add water or not. Shutterstock.

A Moisture Meter

There is also something called a moisture meter. This little tool is excellent and will help you to stop overwatering your plants. It tells you on a scale how dry the soil is in your pot plant, and you can use it for all your plants.

If you don’t have this tool, you can also simply lift the plant. If the plant feels more massive than usual, it has enough water in it. If it feels light, this is generally a good indication that the plant is dry and would like to be watered. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
There are signs to look out for on your plants to see if they are thriving or need better care. Shutterstock.

Pay Attention To Your Plants

If you notice that your plant is starting to wilt, you do not provide enough water. You’ll need to pay attention to your houseplants to help them thrive and keep your environment looking nice. 

There’s also something called tipping. This term is when the leaf edges start to turn brown or feel crispy when you touch them. That means it needs more water. But, if the leaves have a weird moist feeling, keep reading for some advice. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Plants all have different needs, and soon, you’ll get into the groove of looking after them and enjoy it. Shutterstock.

Finding The Water Balance

Then they have had too much water. It’s about balance and finding out what works best for your plants. The plant leaves might also turn yellow if it has had too much water and sometimes too little water. 

Each plant will require different amounts of water, and you just need to stay on top of this. Houseplants aren’t rocket since, and once you get into the swing of things, you’ll find caring for them relaxing and rewarding. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Understand your climate and adjust the watering of your plants according to this to keep them healthy. Shutterstock.

Keeping Your Soil Moist

Now for a few great tips to keep your house plants thriving! If you find that your plants are drying out too quickly after watering, which is highly possible if you are in a dry and hot climate, there is a simple trick to help with this. 

You’ll need to keep your soil moist for longer, and you can do this with a sponge. You’ll need to re-pot your plant and place a damp sponge at the bottom of the pot and then fill it back up.

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Place a piece of sponge into your pot to help create a water reservoir that your plant can draw from. Shutterstock.

Creating The Water Reservoir

This piece of sponge in the pot will be a water reservoir for your plant and will help it stay healthier for longer. That is also a good tip if you are going away and don’t have someone to look after your plants. 

The sponge also acts to prevent water from spilling out everywhere if you overwater the plant. It will also absorb the excess water instead of your plant having to do that work and then ending up unhealthy. 

Exploring If Indoor Plants Really Improve Air Quality
Don’t let things go to waste when you could be feeding it to your plant – this includes soda water! Shutterstock.

Don’t Waste Your Egg Water

Last but not least, don’t let things go to waste in your home when they could benefit your plant! We’re talking about leftover soda water and also water from boiling your eggs. The minerals from soda water help green plants to grow. 

You can give your plants a bit of soda once a week, and they benefit from it. Also, when you boil an egg, don’t just throw the water down the drain – let it cool down and then feed the nutrient-filled water to your plants!

Sources: 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/jul/19/do-houseplants-really-improve-air-quality-new-research-makes-james-wong-doubt-it

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-houseplants

https://www.ambius.com/learn/benefits-of-our-services/

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/indoor-plants-can-instantly-boost-your-health-happiness-ncna781806

https://www.thesill.com/blogs/care-miscellaneous/why-you-need-plants-in-your-life

https://www.ambius.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-indoor-plants/

https://www.rd.com/list/healthy-houseplant-tips/

Advertisement