Are houseplants good for you? The FOUR major mental and physical health benefits

This Morning: David Domoney gives advice on planting in pots

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From a massive cheese plant to a small fern or a Devil’s Ivy, house plants can transform any living space by quite literally breathing life into it. But while some people are heavily into their plant parenting, others choose to opt for their plastic counterparts. Real plants obviously take quite a bit of time and effort, depending on which kind you’ve opted for. However, some are dubbed ‘unkillable’ by plant experts, meaning even the most inexperienced plant parent shouldn’t have an excuse not to invest.

There are many reasons why houseplants are such a hot topic right now; lockdown has undoubtedly had an impact on the increased interest due to the endless time we’ve all had to spend at home.

It also seems that many are waking up to the incredible health benefits to be gained from plants. spoke to Abby Cooper of Kaizen Bonsai, one of the UK’s leading bonsai tree sellers and a specialist company with a vast range of knowledge relating to all things plants.

The expert revealed some of the many ways in which houseplants can improve your life, stating their benefits are “wide-ranging and life-changing!

Enhances cognitive performance

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere, creating clean air for us all to enjoy.

Studies have shown that this increased oxygenation is hugely beneficial for us – it not only improves our energy levels but it also boosts our focus and thus, optimises our overall productivity.

When we break down the positive impacts of houseplants, it comes as no surprise that the demand for at-home office plants has skyrocketed since the pandemic.

In fact, an online plant shop based in the UK have announced they’ve seen a 500 percent increase in houseplant sales during the lockdown.

Abby recommends placing the houseplant close to your workstation, within your ‘breathing zone’ (one to two meters) to feel the most benefit from this.

Even with just one or two plants, you’ll start to feel the effects.

Improves air quality & is great for respiratory systems

Studies conducted by NASA has shown that some houseplants are incredibly good at improving air quality by removing harmful chemicals from the air, such as benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene.

By removing these harmful chemicals, houseplants actively help reduce the risk of infection, skin irritation and even headaches.

Mood booster – decreases stress & anxiety

The psychological benefits of houseplants cannot be understated.

As humans, we have a deep desire and need to connect to nature, it brings us a sense of calm and clarity.

Therefore, it may come as no surprise that studies have shown that houseplants can reduce anxiety and stress levels.

To optimise these effects, Abby encourages all houseplant owners to reframe how their time is spent when watering plants.

Use this pocket of time to practice some self-care. Slow down and take in some deep breaths.

Focus on watering those plants, take your time and don’t rush, instead take care with each plant you water.

Not only will this routine help your plants thrive, it’ll also help you relax and reduce any stress or anxieties that may be on your mind.

Fantastic for your skin

Houseplants are great at removing toxins from the air around us at home.

Studies commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have also shown that houseplants can work brilliantly to prevent dry skin.

Some houseplants lose water through their leaves, which is a process referred to as transpiration.

Transpiration increases the moisture within the air, which helps to lessen the effects of dry skin.

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