The holidays are a distant memory, and now you have to slog through a barrage of dark, frigid days until spring makes its glorious appearance. To escape that persistent winter funk, shake off that heated Snuggie and take a trip to the garden center. Here are three great reasons to add houseplants to your home this winter:
#1 Plants Reduce Stress
Scientists agree that houseplants can improve your outlook. Research suggests that plants have a positive effect on stress reduction, pain tolerance, and physical discomfort — but environmental psychologists aren’t exactly sure why this happens. It could be that plants simply make a room more colorful and attractive or, possibly, an indoor brush with nature may provide the same natural high and stress relief people feel in the great outdoors. There’s even a name for the phenomenon — biophilia (a love for nature) — and entire buildings have been designed to recreate it. Keeping all those green guys alive is good for you, too. Research has shown taking care of plants can increase a sense of well-being and reduce stress.
#2 They Freshen The Air
Winter means tightly closed windows and stuffy quarters. Plants reduce stale air by producing oxygen but also, according to research done by NASA back in the late 1980s, certain plants will even filter harmful pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia from the air. Some folks get headaches, asthma, or have chronic health issues from these VOCs (volatile organic compounds) — which could be off-gassing right this minute from your furniture, cleansers, and flooring! Just knowing that could make you pretty depressed.
To combat stale air, try some of these air-scrubbing horticultural heroes: Boston fern, English ivy, spider plant, bamboo palm, weeping fig, flamingo lily, peace lily, and cornstalk dracaena.
#3 Houseplants Can Beat The Blues
Best of all, having a houseplant or six can boost your mood in winter months. Here are some great choices: Anthuriums; Ferns; Chinese Evergreen; Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy; Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Sword Plant, or Snake Plant.