PSA: Your Addiction to Indoor Plants is Actually Healthy
so, go ahead, keep collecting those plant babies
You've seen those Instagram accounts, the ones with the cute little plants sitting perfectly near the window basking gently in the rays of sunshine streaming through the window. Maybe you've even secretly wished that your house looked like that (I know I do!). Ah, how picture-perfect would your place be if you could just master that art of indoor plants. Well, guess what? You can! AND, you get health benefits. If you're a wanna-be plant lady like me, you might remember that we have our trees to thank for the clean air we breathe! There's been a lot of research done about how the plants outdoors and the plants indoors have positive effects on our health.
Why are indoor plants AH-mazing?
Potted plants can reduce the total number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or gases that are released into the air by detergents, paints, printers, and even air fresheners indoors, by 75% (1). VOCs can have both short and long term adverse health effects and there are consistently higher concentrations of VOCs indoors than outdoors. By decreasing VOCs, plants help boost productivity, increase air quality and decrease the chances of asthma attacks! In addition to VOCs, indoor plants can also remove carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, two gases that are toxic in high doses, and in the case of carbon dioxide, decreases productivity over a work day.
Even better news, these babies work equally well with or without AC and in the light or dark. Potted plants are portable, attractive, low-cost and can be used in virtually any building setting to brighten up a room and increase productivity. Pretty plant-tastic if you ask me!
Why should you head to your nearest plant shop ASAP?
As more and more people are moving to cities, urban indoor air quality is an increasing health issue. Even with laws in place to regulate air quality, it is still a problem and can lead to or worsen various allergies and asthma. Like we mentioned above, the indoors are full of VOCs that aren't great for your health. If you've ever gotten a headache; sore eyes, nose or throat; nausea; or coughing that was unexplained at work, these VOCs might have been the culprit. Luckily, plants are an easy and effective fix to decreasing the concentration of VOCs in your workplace and home and probably the biggest bang-for-your-buck when it comes to decorating!
Wait, so which ones should I buy?
We've got you covered. Here are ones that have been tested to be effective by a study on indoor air quality and house plants conducted by NASA. We've even included some information about each plant to help you decide which one is best for you, so whether you've got a green thumb, or not, you can still make your home a healthier place (4)!
- Peace lily: Toxic to cats and dogs
- Type: Usually a floor plant as it can grow to be three feet tall
- Maintenance: requires very little light and minimal watering
- Type: Usually a floor plant as it can grow quite large, seasonal plants (not a year-round house plant)
- Maintenance: Requires a lot of sunlight and water
- Kentia Palm: safe for dogs and cats
- Type: Usually a floor plant, can grow between 5-12 feet tall
- Maintenance: Requires indirect light and minimal watering
- Devil's Ivy: toxic to dogs and cats
- Type: Can be a window sill plant, grows out instead of up
- Maintenance: Thrives on little light and minimal watering
- Umbrella tree: Toxic to cats and dogs
- Type: Usually a floor plant
- Maintenance: Requires repotting every few years, minimal watering and indirect light
For the best results, try to have at least one plant per 100 square feet. A note to our pet owners out there, some of these plants suggested may be harmful to cats, dogs and other pets. Although we've included a little bit of information here, don't forget to double-check that they'll be safe for everyone in the household! So, what are you waiting for? Head to your nearest plant store now and rejoice in the fact that redecorating your home now means making it a healthier place for everyone! Oh, and don't forget to snap that perfect pic for your next Instagram post.