We all know at least one person with an amazing green thumb. Their home is filled with houseplants of all varieties that flourish under their magic touch. Far fewer of us are that person.
But you can still enjoy plants in your home! If you’ve been trying to find inspiration to try and add some natural greenery to your space, we’ve got some interesting tidbits about houseplants to get you going.
Houseplants Clean Your Indoor Air
All plants scoop up the carbon dioxide in the air and turn it into oxygen. Your houseplants can go a step further. They grab hold of contaminants in your air in a process called phytoremediation, cleaning your air as they beautify your space.
Allergy suffers may experience fewer symptoms as plants remove particles from their indoor air. Good plant choices for cleaning indoor air include spider plants, Boston ferns, and English ivy.
Plants Soothe Your Skin
Having houseplants can increase the humidity in your home and soothe itchy, dry skin. As your plants are busy making oxygen, they’re also making moisture. Dry air can irritate sensitive skin. Even the toughest among us can get itchy during a long dry season.
The gel inside aloe plant leaves is widely used as a topical home remedy. Applied to a sunburn, this gentle gel is cooling and soothing. Of course, you shouldn’t do this if you’re allergic to aloe.
Chill Out with Indoor Gardening
Studies show that caring for houseplants lowers stress. Turn off your screen and repot a plant to lower your blood pressure and your heart rate. Indoor gardening can also help people manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Gardeners all over the world know that their hobby helps them relax. Now science knows it, too.
Plants Reduce Annoying Noise
Their leaves absorb sound! Add some to your office or bedroom and feel the hush. Reducing noise pollution is yet another way your plants help you relax.
Choose plants with big leaves and lots of surface area to make the most of your natural sound dampeners.
Talk the Talk, Sing the Song
Plants enjoy two types of sound: music and human voices. The vibrations from music help them grow. Both indoor and outdoor plants like their tunes, but you may find that your houseplants react better if the music isn’t super vibration-heavy.
So maybe nix the heavy metal when you’re trying to make a good impression on your new plant friends.
When you talk to a plant, you’re also feeding it. The carbon dioxide that you exhale as you breathe is used by the plant to make oxygen. That is a serious botanical win-win.
Imagine how happy your houseplants would be if you performed a live concert for them. Horticultural heaven.
Houseplants are Ancient History
There is evidence that potted plants were used in ancient Egypt, India, and China. Planting indoors as a hobby took off in 17th century England. Those plants were usually grown in greenhouses.
But we don’t need greenhouses to grow houseplants!
Houseplants are Tolerant
Forget the greenhouse or turning up your thermostat. Most houseplants are perfectly happy at room temperature. They even like cool evenings and nights, just like we do.
Many houseplants don’t require a lot of care. For those of us without that magical green thumb, that comes as a relief. Some houseplants thrive in low light (choose a maidenhair fern or a moth orchid). Some houseplants don’t need much water (cacti, of course, but also snake plants and succulents).
There’s a houseplant for every lifestyle, knowledge and experience level, and thumb color.
Houseplants in the Wild
The truth is that your houseplants would rather live outside. It’s not that they don’t like you, it’s just their nature. Every indoor plant was once an outdoor plant, so we can hardly blame them.
The benefit is that you can bring your houseplants outside! In the summer, let them bask in the sun and fresh air on your porch. As long as you keep them away from hungry rabbits (and we see you, digging chipmunks) they’ll enjoy their time at the patio spa.
Houseplants Get Sick
Not only can your plants get sick, but they can also spread their illnesses to their leafy neighbors. Houseplants' illnesses can be caused by fungus, bacteria, or insects. Plants are even susceptible to viruses (but not the human kind).
You can help keep your plants healthy with proper watering. This helps keep fungus at bay. Taking care to clean your pruning tools can keep plant illnesses from spreading.
If you had a sick plant, don’t reuse its soil for your next houseplant. The fungus or bacteria may still be present, infecting the new plant.
Houseplants Can Be Hazardous
Some houseplants are poisonous. You’re unlikely to have your lily plant as a snack, but your pets may have different ideas. Cats and dogs that eat houseplants can have everything from mild irritation to life-threatening reactions.
If you have pets, try to keep your houseplants out of reach. Research the toxicity of the plants you choose. That soothing aloe vera can make your dog or cat mighty sick.
Don’t forget about your kids. Not your plant kids, your human children. If a plant is harmful to your pets, it can be harmful to your children. Keep all of your houseplants out of reach of small children. Teach kids that houseplants should never be eaten.
Houseplants Talk to Each Other
It seems like science fiction, but plant communication through root systems is well documented. Your houseplants that share a pot or container are chatting it up all the time.
Houseplants also communicate through the air. Releasing chemicals into the soil or air alerts their neighbors to changing conditions or predators. Houseplant conversations are pretty practical. They aren’t doing a lot of gossiping about who has the prettiest pot.
Houseplants are great for your health and well-being. They clean your air, soothe your stress, and add a calming element to your home décor. They’re also pretty amazing. Share some of your newfound knowledge with friends to get them onboard the houseplant express.