Houseplants: Little Bit of Nature, Whole Lot of Change

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Do you sometimes stare out your window and wish you were outside among all the plants and trees? One remedy to this situation is by bringing a little bit of nature inside your house with houseplants! With fall under way, houseplants allow you to bring your garden inside and grow all different types of unique plants. Houseplants are a perfect way to decorate your home, and they can also benefit your mental and physical well-being.

Houseplants are not just something to spice up your living room, but they also bolster your health. Here are a couple of ways houseplants can make you feel and be better:

  1. Air Quality: Houseplants take in the carbon dioxide we exhale and release the oxygen we need to breathe. In an enclosed area like our houses, this exchange of gasses is important to make sure we always have enough oxygen to take in.  Houseplants also remove harmful chemical vapors from our homes. NASA has conducted a lot of research in this area and has put together a list of what some of the best indoor plants are to remove indoor pollutants. Some of the top plants include the peace lily, english ivy, and spider plant!
  2. Physical Health: Houseplants are able to prevent the occurrence of dry skin, colds, sore throats, and the flu! This is because houseplants increase the humidity of your house which is super important, especially in the dry months of winter. When plants take in water with their roots some of that water evaporates off their leaves making your rooms more comfortable and you less prone to illnesses.
  3. Mental Health: By just being in the presence of plants, people feel less stressed. Also, caring for plants is a great hobby to pick up, because it can cause feelings of peace.   
  4. Work Productivity: Just like a walk outside in nature, plants in offices and on work desks have been observed to cause people to be more focused and be able to memorize more. By merely adding a small plant to where you do homework, you can make yourself be much more productive.  

Houseplants allow us to feel the comforting benefits of nature inside our homes. When choosing your houseplant think about where you want to place it. Different plants have different lighting requirements. Some prefer bright light while others can survive on low light. Since sunlight is how plants get their nutrients, fulfilling your plants lighting requirements is vital to their health. Typically south facing windows provide the most sunlight for your plants while north facing windows provide the least. East and west facing windows will provide a medium amount of light.

Also, be sure to research your plants’ watering requirements. Some plants such as succulents do not need a lot of water, so be careful not to overwater them. A good test to see if your plant needs water is to stick your finger in the soil and feel how moist it is. Also if the leaves of the plant look like they are wilting this may be a sign that they are not getting enough water. Caring for houseplants is all about watching your plant and responding to how it reacts to its situation.

Houseplants make our homes more welcoming, more peaceful, and more productive. Also, think about cool ways you can incorporate houseplants into your Roots & Shoots projects. One group collected plant clippings and propagated them in pots and sold them as houseplants. This allows you to teach your community the benefits of houseplants and how to care for them, and also you can use the money you raise to donate to any charity you want to support. The possibilities are endless so go out and buy some houseplants and see how a little bit of nature can go a long way!

About Author

Yanni is a member of the Roots & Shoots U.S. National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). As a member of the NYLC, Yanni acts as a youth voice and works to make a positive change in his community — for people, animals and the environment. Yanni is a Senior at Sacred Heart High School in Massachusetts where he is involved in cross country, piano, and the school literary magazine. He has been the president of his school's Roots & Shoots club since 2011.