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The Health Benefits of Living with Plants

Houseplants provide numerous mental and physical health benefits in addition to beautifying your living spaces. Especially as more of us are working from home, introducing some foliage into your living spaces will provide many benefits that will affect both home & work life.

Removes Toxins from the Air

Boston Fern
Boston Fern

In addition to converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, many of our plant varieties are great at cleaning household toxins from the air. Plants like the Dracaena and Snake Plant do a great job at removing benzene, while other plants like the Boston fern and English ivy remove formaldehyde. Read more about this in the 1989 NASA study on the air-purifying capabilities of foliage.

Caring for Plants May Reduce Stress

A hand holding a frond from a Maidenhair Fern
Maidenhair Fern

A study exploring interactions with indoor plants from 2015 showed that working with and around plants lowered the stress response in participants. Participants were randomly split into two groups – one group was instructed to repot a plant while the other group was given a simple computer task to complete. The repotting group showed a much lower stress response, while the computer task group participants showed elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and other stress indicators.

Plants May Boost Productivity

Multiple studies show that plants around the workspace increase both creativity and productivity. A 1996 study published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture noted a 12% increase in reaction time on computer tasks and increased attentiveness in participants surrounded by plants. A 2004 study showed increased creative performance in the presence of plants and a 2007 study published in the American Society for Horticultural Science showed employees took fewer sick days and had higher overall productivity when near plants.

There are many other benefits in addition to the benefits listed above that may present as well. Increased oxygen and lower stress can help improve healing and overall physical health, and having a living organism to care for can confer improvements in mood.

Dracaena Lemon Lime in a Por La Mar Greenhouse
Dracaena Lemon Lime