How To Improve Your Health & Wellbeing With Indoor Plants
Are you a houseplant kind of person? There seem to be some people who are and those that aren’t, however research from many different spheres is showing that we should ALL be filling our homes up to the brim with plants!!
Whether or not you personally feel drawn to the natural world, humans are genetically programmed to have a very deep connection with our natural environment, having lived within the natural landscape for millennia. Life in cities has removed this innate link and urban living is proving to have negative affects on our physical and mental health, many of us are now searching out a connection with nature.
Introducing plants into our homes is one of the ways we can easily and practically counteract the negative effects of city living.
The first benefit of indoor plants is that they can improve the air quality in our homes, not only by creating oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide but also by regulating humidity and absorbing harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and other harmful Volatile Organic Compounds.
The second effect is that being around plants has shown to makes us much more productive, more creative, to reduce stress and give us overall higher levels of wellbeing. With these kinds of benefits it seems obvious that we should be have not just one or two but plants in every room!
Below we hope to inspire you with some ideas and tips on getting started with your green and leafy home.
Have Fun Styling with Indoor Plants
If you’ve decided to enhance your living or workspace with plants the most important thing is to have fun with it!
- You really don’t have to be perfect about plants, be spontaneous and natural rather than trying to control the look too much.
- See your plants as another form of art in your home and enjoy creating vignettes on shelves, in corners and in spaces where there are natural gaps.
- Layer your plants together with a mixture of tall medium and small plants; don’t just put all the same size together.
- Arrange a single plant or group them together in odd numbers – three, five, seven, this works better than even numbers.
- Be aware of how big your plants are going to grow before you buy them, they can start off small but take over, so if you have a particular area in mind you don’t want your plant to outgrow it.
- Various pots in different colours, patterns and sizes are another way to have fun with your styling. There are also lots different styles of planters and baskets out there to vary the combinations.
- Hanging plants from your ceiling is also a great way to display them, creating a focus at a different height to make the room more interesting. These can be in plant holders or glass terrariums. Air plants are also a fantastic way of adding plants at differing levels.
- Green or living walls are often seen in corporate environments but are crossing over to residential spaces more and more are a fabulous way to add greenery into a smaller space where there isn’t room for pots.
What Different Types of Plants Could You Grow?
There are lots of options when it comes to the types of urban greenery you can grow in your home; many of them have extra properties that can enhance your home further.
Fragranced plants can be a wonderful addition to any home, making them smell nice and evoking memories. Plants can also aid sleep and we recommend growing lavender in your bedroom because of its soothing fragrance and ability to lower stress and blood pressure. Jasmine and gardenia are also good scented plants to grow for the sleep deprived.
Growing herbs and microgreens in your home makes sense so that you can add them to salads or cooking, retaining the freshness, taste and nutrients. Microgreens such as lettuce, kale, spinach, radish, beet and watercress are good along with herbs such as basil, mint, rosemary, tarragon, chives, oregano, dill and sage. Although bugs are often associated with these plants, they will only be attracted if you overwater the soil. Banana leaves can also be used in cooking.
Wellness & Health Plants
Lots of indoor plants can have additional health and wellness properties such as Aloe, which can be used directly on skin as a moisturiser and to sooth rashes and burns. Camomile, sage, mint, thyme and rosemary can also be used in medicinal teas, for bathing and in preparations for skin.
Plants That Boost Air Quality
Some plants can really improve indoor air quality, filtering out lots of nasty chemicals whilst producing oxygen. Plants to look for are dwarf date palm, spider plant, Chinese evergreen, bamboo palm, weeping fig, flamingo and peace lilies, snake plant, Boston fern and English ivy, which can even absorb airborne faeces and mould!
Your Own Ecosystem
Create your own mini ecosystem by growing plants in water, if you use a glass vase the roots can hang decoratively into the water and in some cases fish and other creatures can also be introduced. The water is kept clean and oxygenated by the plants and this creates your own Aquaponic system.
On Trend Plants
Currently there is a huge trend in succulents in home décor, their strong and defined shapes make them a good addition for providing some structure in a display and the varying colours and sizes make them very adaptable.
Look After Your Plants & They Will Look After You
One of the things people often say is that they find it hard to look after their plants; it takes some time to learn but is well worth it! Here are some simple tips to get you started.
- As a rule of thumb if the leaves are thin, small and/or delicate they are likely to need a shady area. If the leaves are thick and succulent they will need more natural daylight. Make sure you read the instructions or look up your plant variety and don’t give the plant too much or too little sun.
- When you bring plants home they should be re-potted to ensure that there is enough soil (so the soil doesn’t dry out too fast) and enough drainage because sitting in soggy soil is not good for plants either.
- The base of the pot needs to have holes in it for the water to drain away or pebbles should be introduced into the base of the pot. Be careful not to put any pots with holes in the base directly onto delicate surfaces, use a plate or tray.
- Plant food is essential!! They can’t live just on water, light and air alone. Aim to feed them approximately once a week.
- Rather than feeding them with bought plant food how about feeding them watered down compost juice? If you have an indoor composter this can be a great source of plant food, there are even composters on the market that can produce compost from food waste in 24 hours, click here to see an example.
- Dirty water from a fish tank is another great source of plant food as it contains lots of nutrients from fish waste.
- Place your plants in places where you waste or use excess water, such as running the shower before it gets hot, collect the wasted water in a container and use this for watering.
- If you have a dehumidifier the water collected can be used for non-edible plants rather than being drained away.
- Rain collectors on balconies or in gardens can also be a great way to collect water than can be used for watering, saving tap water.
- Don’t water your plants more than once a week!
Ideas To Help You Create An Indoor Garden
Here are some fun and innovative ideas to get you thinking about creating a more natural home with indoor plants:
The O Garden lets you enjoy growing vegetables at home away from pesticides, preservative and polluted air.
This product, the Andrea Air purifies the air using plants.
LeGrow’s Smart Garden lets you pick and choose what your eco-system looks like, design and build it, then watch it grow. The lamp contains 2 LED bulbs which automatically light up for 6 hours everyday.
Botanical by Len is an organically inspired planter screen that can be used indoors and out to transform an urban space into one of nature.
Aquarium Garden DIY Aquaponics Kit converts any aquarium into is a self cleaning fish tank that grows herbs, plants and flowers effortlessly, and creates a beautiful and also fun educational environment in your home, school or office.
We hope this has inspired you to make your home green, fresh and beautiful and that your new urban jungle brings you happiness! Look out for lots more trends in the world of plants from green buildings and cities to forest bathing, there are many new and innovative ideas we are turning to to help improve our health and wellbeing.
For more information, feel free to contact Liquid Interiors, your healthy and eco conscious interior design consultants.