Hello! We’re back again. 🙂 We have been busy here, at the shop, clearing out all of the old, and bringing in some new! There is this odd time in-between Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, here in the world of us florists, and that’s where we’re at. We know what’s coming so we’re trying to clear any excess out–but, we don’t want the shop to feel completely bare. So, it comes naturally to us (especially in the midst of January, in Minnesota), to fill the shop up with green plants. It makes the store feels warmer, and the air feel not as dry. All of the green inside, seems to counteract a ton of the grey, and white, outside; plus, it’s really nice ambiance–it feels cozy, and calm in the shop (and at the American Bistro). We love the way it feels in here when we’re full of plants. SO, this blog is all about just that–how houseplants work to fight pollution indoors, how they can help keep you healthy, make you happy, and improve cognitive function. (It’s gettin’ all science-y up in herrrrre today. We’ve even included a NASA infograph below!)
Anyway, outside of all that we mentioned above…here are our favorite reasons to keep plants around YOUR house…
Plants Fight Pollution Indoors
Indoor air quality is an increasing health concern, particularly in the United States and other developed countries where people may spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the American Society of Horticultural Science. Indoor air can be as much as 12 times more polluted than outside air in some areas, due to compounds in paints, furnishings, clothing, and building materials.
Don’t be frightened–get some plants! Research shows that many common houseplants and blooming potted plants can improve your health by helping to fight these pollutants in your home. The ability of plants to remove chemicals from the air is called phytoremediation. A study conducted by Stanley J. Kays at the University of Georgia tested 28 species of common houseplants. The results showed that some ornamental plants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air. The purple waffle plant, the English ivy, the variegated wax plant, and the asparagus fern were the top VOCs fighters, according to a study published in HortScience.
While it’s common knowledge that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as part of photosynthesis, research by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also confirmed that plants eliminate harmful gases from the air. NASA findings showed that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in a 24-hour period. Researchers believe that all houseplants may offer these benefits to a certain degree, though they haven’t all been tested. According to this study, the best plants are: dragon tree, ivy, ficus, philodendrons, spider plants, peace lilies, ferns, chrysanthemums, palms, and the rubber plant. You need a plant for every 10 square yards of floor in your house to ensure a considerable degree of air detox. (Check out the infograph at the bottom of this page. Click to expand it!)
Plants Help Fight Colds
A study by the University of Agriculture in Norway found that indoor plants can also help fight colds. The research showed that indoor plants decreased coughs, sore throats, fatigue, and other cold-related symptoms by more than 30 percent. Researchers attributed these benefits to the fact that plants help increase humidity levels and decrease dust in your home. (This is so great this time of year. SO. GREAT.)
Plants Make You Happy
The American Horticultural Therapy Association says that the benefits of plants can be seen across many studies in the cognitive, psychological, social, and physical realms. Some of the psychological benefits include:
-Improved mood and sense of well-being
-Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression
-Increased feelings of calm, relaxation, and optimism
-Increased sense of stability and control
One area that has been explored is the effect of indoor plants on stress levels. Several independent studies have shown that interior plants can help reduce stress and improve well-being. A study by researchers at Washington State University found that people in a plant-filled room saw a four-point drop in their systolic blood pressure after taking a stressful test, compared with a two-point drop in a group with no plant exposure. (Kinda like when you take a walk in the woods…the trees just help. So do all of your little trees. 🙂 )
Plants Enhance Cognitive Function
Keeping plants indoors can make you think better. The mental benefits observed during this research include:
-Better goal achievement
-Indoor plants have also been linked to a boost in creativity. In a study from Texas A&M University, workers who were in a room with two potted plants and a bouquet of flowers generated 13 percent more ideas than workers in a room with sculptures. Bring more greenery–and less stress–into your home life!
Anyway, here’s a bit of what we have around the shop right now. If you’re ever looking for a specific plant, just let us know and we can probably help. We can also deliver! Check out the plant portion of our website here.