Bring the outside in - houseplants

Peace Lily

It's spring, and in the garden and countryside many flowers and blossoms are appearing.  The bluebells have arrived, blackthorn is blossoming, the apple blossom and even some May blossom is starting to appear ('O, to be in England now that April's here' Robert Browing).  It feels good to be out but having plants in the house and office has many benefits too.

First a bit of biology - people breathe in oxygen and breathe out waste carbon-dioxide but plants take in carbon-dioxide to make simple sugars in a process known as photosynthesis. The byproduct which they then give out is oxygen.  This means that having plants keeps the air in our house or office oxygen rich.  This usually only happens during the day because the process also requires light but some plants such as aloe vera, Mother-in-laws tongue (Snake plant) or orchids can also give off oxygen at night.  Aloe vera is especially good if you are away a lot because it can go a week or so without watering.  Mother-in-laws tongue is a good houseplant if you are not green fingered because it needs very little attention.  Another 'easy to care for' plant is the Spider plant.   

Plants do not only improve air quality by adding oxygen and removing carbon-dioxide - they can also remove toxins from the air from polishes, heating fuels, adhesives etc. They can even help reduce allergies by removing dust from the air. My favourite plant is the Peace lily which can remove several toxins including ammonia, trichloroethylene, benzene etc from the air. It has white flowers which turn green if you feed it!

The process of photosynthesis also produces water so that plants add moisture to the air helping keep your skin hydrated!

There are benefits to houseplants in the office or study too.  The colour green is soothing to the eye reducing office stress and studies have shown that the workers in offices with plants have better concentration and productivity and reduced fatigue.  

Just one thing - some plants are poisonous for cats and dogs so check before you buy.    





No comments:

Post a Comment