Last month, we talked about how to keep succulents happy (even though they can be a little bit fussy!). Now I want to turn our attention on how plants actually keep us happy and healthy! I have a lot of plants in my house and I do believe that they provide many, many benefits to their housemates. The good news is that science agrees!
One of the personal benefits that plants bring is the joy of caring for something. I have had a shamrock plant that I grew from seeds about eight years ago. I still get extreme joy and satisfaction every time it blooms those wonderful little white flowers! While it can be tricky to grow plants from seeds, we are fortunate that in Arizona, we hardly have to worry about frost and freezing temperatures, which makes it slightly easier. Phoenix is in zone 13, which is a lower desert zone. If you decide to grow something from seeds, make sure you research which zone it will work in so you can have the most success! I will be sharing a great “how to” formula that I use for growing flowers from seeds in the fall.
One known, scientific benefit of having houseplants is that they increase the oxygen in your home and reduce or absorb the carbon dioxide. In turn, that creates a much healthier environment for us. One recommendation I always have is to find a great plant that loves humidity and keep it in your bathroom. It creates an in home “oasis” and the plant will be incredibly happy with the humidity from the shower
There have been many scientific studies that show plants can increase creativity, productivity, and overall quality of life. In my experience, I find that people are generally more productive when not working in a “cold” or “stale” office space. Having real plants (sorry fake plants, you just do not do it for us!) in a home or office can stimulate more creativity simply by bringing the outdoors inside. We have seen a huge increase in plant and succulent sales at our store in the last several months. Young adults in their early 20’s are eager to become “plant parents” for the first time and older adults are encouraged by the health benefits that are often reported by having plants in the home.
Another great benefit of having houseplants of any kind is the stress relief that they can provide. One great therapy that has been around for decades is horticulture therapy. The process of potting plants and working with plants can be incredibly therapeutic for people. Personally, I find that when my hands are in the dirt, separating out roots and ensuring my plants are well nourished, gives me a great sense of peace.
I often hear people say, “I don’t have a green thumb” and it prevents them from having plants. I always say, give it a try and find an easy plant to start with. Once you can keep one alive, then get another one, and another one! Before you know it, you will have your own plant oasis and will be reaping the benefits they offer. Happy planting!