5 ways houseplants make your life better

5 ways houseplants make your life better

It's Indoor Plant Week, and to mark the occasion, we thought we'd share a post about (you guessed it…) plants! Why would you want a bunch of plants in your place? Well, beyond the fact that they look great, indoor plants are super-beneficial little house guests, giving back a lot more than they take in effort. They're easy on the eyes, healthy for the body, and as it happens, kinda good for the soul, too.

1. They clean the air.

While this is probably not big news to anyone who has taken middle-school science, the extent to which our leafy friends can pull bad stuff out of the air may surprise you. If fact, NASA has spent a bunch of time studying how they can improve indoor air quality, and found that not only do they remove carbon dioxide out of the air and replace it with oxygen, they reduce carbon monoxide and formaldehyde levels in the air, too. And they can also be really good for allergy sufferers: natural filters catch airborne allergens like dust and mold before they enter your sensitive respiratory system.

Try adding a peace lily in the bedroom... you might breathe a little easier at night, and it’s always a treat when the delicate white blooms appear. Bamboo palms and spider plants are great air cleaners, too.

Related info: Cozy up your condo for fall

2. Having plants is good for your mental health.

There’s all kinds of research out there that points to the wellness benefits of being in green spaces (Japanese forest bathing, anyone?) that extends to having greenery in your home or workplace, too. Plants lower stress, decrease anxiety and act as a mood booster. Plus, there’s the satisfaction that comes with nurturing a living thing and seeing it thrive; it makes us all feel good. (Not so good with the whole thriving thing? Don’t worry, not everyone has a green thumb. That’s why we shared 3 hard-to-kill plants below.)

Woman working

3. They can help you work better.

Studies show that having plants nearby increases productivity, helps us concentrate better, remember more and perform at a higher level. So having a leafy bamboo palm by your desk or a cute low-maintenance succulent to gaze at in your home office could actually help you get more done!

4. Houseplants can do good things for your physical health, too.

Bringing flowers or a plant to someone who’s in the hospital can do more than just cheer them up: having greenery around has actually been shown to ease pain and speed up healing! Why not use some of those amazing healing properties at home? Having a plant or two (or ten) could have a positive effect on your headaches, or even help you recover faster from that killer workout sesh.

Related info: 7 great apps and sites for at-home workouts

Aloe vera plant

And let’s not forget the incredible medicinal properties of certain plants. Aloe vera, for example, is a multi-tasking superstar: in addition to all the other benefits we’ve already mentioned, this low-maintenance succulent can help skin heal. If you burn yourself, have a cut or you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun, slice off a piece off one of the leaves and apply the gel-like substance inside the leaves to the injury or burn. (Minor injuries only, please – for anything big, call your doctor.)

5. Plants are pretty.

There’s no denying that a healthy plant is always a nice addition to a room, no matter what your decor style. It’s a healthy, affordable decorating option – free if you take a cutting from your friend’s plant. Play around with different heights and textures; tall plants make great room dividers/definers, and if your home office doesn’t have a door, a bookshelf stacked with greenery can make it feel a little more private.

Related info: Setting up a healthy home office on a budget

You can have a lot of fun with a variety of pots and hangers, too. Ikea has tons of cheap and cheerful options, and a local yard sale can net you all kinds of stuff to plant in, from vintage vases, pretty teacups, old fishbowls...the only limit is your imagination. Just do a little research on how much drainage a plant needs – you may want to put a more traditional planter inside a more interesting shape to ensure the plant stays healthy.

Succulents

3 indoor plants that are hard to kill

Have a bit of a black thumb? That’s okay. You can still get the benefits of indoor greenery with these forgiving specimens: they’re totally okay with a little neglect:

  • Succulents. These guys thrive on being ignored. Their fleshy leaves are designed to store water, so they can go for weeks with dry soil. Think aloe, jade plants, cactus, hen and chicks. Just put them in a sunny spot, add a little water every couple of weeks, and they’ll be happy – and make you happy, too.

  • Snake plant. This is another hardy one, with straight, tall leaves that can add a lovely sense of drama to your space. They only need water once the soil is completely dry. Too much water will damage them.

  • Philodendron. This variety will tell you when it’s thirsty. If you go too long without watering it, the leaves will start to droop. But don’t worry, as soon as you add a little agua, they’ll perk right back up again.

You can pick up a cute potted friend just about anywhere: a garden centre, grocery store, home improvement centre, Costco, Ikea, you name it. Whatever you choose, with a little care, it should give you years of calming green joy.

Need a sunny condo or airy apartment to house all your new plants? Our Condo Pros are here for you – talk to one about finding the perfect place for you...and your little green friends.

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