The Benefits of Houseplants

Houseplants are an inexpensive way to improve the appearance and health of your home. Sure, you can invest in all sorts of expensive air purifiers, air fresheners, and decor to accomplish the same thing but houseplants are cheaper, don’t consume electricity, and give you additional benefits that you just can’t get from air fresheners or decorative doo-dads. Here are six benefits of having a home (or office) filled with plants.

Beauty/decor: This one is obvious. Plants can make a home more attractive. You can find plants that enhance your decor. If you’re going for a tropical look, look for brightly flowering plants or cousins to the palm tree family. If you’re going for a rustic feel, look for evergreens. Want a desert feel? Cacti are for you. Even if you’re not going for a specific look, a bit of greenery adds color. Cleverly placed plants can hide damaged walls or floors or other unsightly problems.

Improved air quality: Studies show that plants improve air quality. They are great at removing toxins that accumulate in homes. Think you don’t have toxins? Think again. Every home has toxins that are emitted by paint, carpet, detergents, furniture, plastics, and many other byproducts of our mass-produced lifestyles. In nice weather you can open some windows, but when the weather is bad, plants are still working at removing toxins from your air.

Improved mood: Plants have been proven to make people happier. Hospital patients with lots of plants or a garden view recuperate faster than those without. Office buildings that are full of plants have been shown to have happier workers. People who routinely walk in nature report higher happiness levels than those who don’t. If you can’t get out in nature, filling your home with plants will lift your mood.

Fight colds: Partly because they remove toxins and partly because they increase humidity, plants can reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of colds.

Enhanced creativity and productivity: Office buildings that are full of plants have workers that show higher levels of creativity and productivity. If you have a home office, you can accomplish the same thing. Even if you don’t have a home office, plants in the home can help you be more productive and creative in your everyday life.

Relaxation: Plants are relaxing. Just looking at them can calm you down and bring you in touch with nature. Caring for them can also be relaxing. Watering, potting, and trimming can calm you down and take you away from your hectic world for a little while. Plants also benefit if you talk to them. What better way to work through your problems than by talking to something that won’t argue or judge you?

Yes, houseplants do require maintenance. You need to provide them with adequate water and sunlight and you may need to repot them occasionally as they outgrow their current pots. Your plants may also benefit from fertilizer, and some plants need to be trimmed occasionally for optimal growth. For some plants, such as Bonsai trees, the maintenance is part of a larger practice of meditation. Caring for any plant can be relaxing, though. All in all, houseplants require little work for the benefits they provide. (They are far cheaper than pets!)

You can buy all sorts of plants or grow your own from seed. You can get plants that flower or ones that don’t. There are plenty of small varieties and some that grow to be small trees. Even if you think you are allergic to plants, there are many houseplants that are suited for those with allergies. If you have kids or pets, make sure to get non-toxic varieties. If you need help choosing some plants, visit a nursery with knowledgeable workers. They can steer you toward plants that meet your needs. Soon you’ll be on your way to a healthier, prettier home for a fraction of the cost of other alternatives.

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5 Responses to The Benefits of Houseplants

  1. Kim says:

    Okay I’m just trying to get out of debt here and my plastic flowers die! But I do hate artificial flowers. Remember the big straw hats with artificial flowers that decorated homes in the 90’s.

  2. Good points, and I agree with most of them. However, you have to watch people with allergies because some plants can do more harm than good, especially with pollen producing types. Overall, good post. Keep the good stuff coming!

  3. HelpMeFriend says:

    Bought some ornamental grass, a tropical pink plant, and a tropical tree, sort of like a palm. I can’t wait for these to add life to our home. I put the pink one by the fish tank, as it needs to be displayed where everyone can see it, but the grasses are placed on tables in the living rooms to add fresh air where it is needed most.
    Thanks for this awesome post!

  4. Darren says:

    Plants are also good for you when you are at work…International research not confined to the laboratory but in real life situations, has shown how the introduction of office plants can reduce minor ailments such as headaches, blocked sinuses, eye and skin irritation, fatigue and more. They also have a very positive effect on reducing anxiety and
    depression by as much as 60%.

    One of the most recent studies around indoor plants achieving positive results was in Edinburgh a couple of years ago when introducing plants into an office not only reduced CO2 and monoxide levels but also increased humidity levels which keeps us all comfortable,and perhaps most importantly the plants reduced absenteeism levels by 50%.
    Other studies in Norway and Germany have shown a decrease in absenteeism levels of up to 60% in earlier studies. Another bonus about office plants is that they can also increase productivity in the workplace by up 12%

  5. giax says:

    For anyone with pets (or small children): double-check that any plant you want to have in your house is safe. The same goes with patio plants, at least if they’ll ever have to be indoors for cold season.
    One example of the plants I don’t recommend for anyone with pets: sago, or also known as sago palm. They are poisonous for cats and dogs, so keep the plants away from your pets reach at all times.

    For any cat owners I’d recommend getting wheatberries or non-processed whole oats from a natural grocery. You can get 2 lb for $ 3 vs $ 1,50 for 1 oz of the same stuff in cat grass packets. Cats love that stuff, and it’s very easy to grow, and it looks good too.

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