A day doesn’t pass when I don’t meet another ‘plant parent’ around our beautiful town. I am not sure if I knew until the last year that my twelve plus year hobby or as my husband likes to call an obsession had an identity. Loosely defined, a plant parent is someone who looks after plants with as much care and devotion as they would a child or a pet. This trend has really taken off in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Houseplants offer us a connection to the outdoor world and let us experience the satisfaction of nurturing life.
When I adopted my first plant I was just looking to compliment my new home’s décor. I had torn a page out of Architectural Digest with a picture of a room that was designed with a beautiful plant. I found that plant from the magazine at the local florist in historic downtown Castle Rock and happily drove it home like a new born baby. My original reasons for plants in my home where to make my spaces look beautiful. However, I quickly discovered that the plants were improving the air quality in my home. That’s when I started my deep dive into researching the other benefits of plants in the home.
It's easy to assume that 'healthy plants' refers to plants that are thriving, indoors and out. Actually, it's a term that covers plants that benefit our health. While the health benefits of plant-based diets are well documented, new research uncovers the lesser-known uses of the nature around us.
I started asking the local owners of our area floral shops, garden centers, nurseries and garden club members every possible question I could think of. One thing about plant people is they are happy to share their knowledge and welcome every and all questions. It’s one of the happiest group of people to be around. They are natural born nurturers. So don’t be afraid when you are getting started to seek advice from experts and fellow plant enthusiasts.
To get started with filling your home with some of your very own healthy greens, here are some of my top recommendations for areas in your life that you want to focus on. If that be mental clarity or better sleep. There is a plant out there for you, just don’t give up.
Growing plants is a labor of love. As such, there’s bound to be some trial and error involved and some mistakes along the way. Be patient with yourself and remember that you’re getting better each day. Have fun on this adventure, you are not only filling your home with beauty, but you are actively improving your wellbeing and those you live with.
Plants that reduce anxiety
Lavender is known for its stress-relieving qualities – it slows down the heart rate and lowers blood pressure to greatly reduce stress. This is why its scent can often be found in lotions and sprays. Snake Plant is also believed to reduce anxiety, improve respiratory problems and cure the symptoms of a headache
Plants that help you sleep
Not getting enough sleep can have a huge impact on many aspects of life, from our health to our work abilities to our social lives. Whether you struggle to drift off or are easily disturbed in the night, keeping a potted Aloe Vera plant beside your bed could help you see the night through, as it produces oxygen at night to combat insomnia and improve overall sleep quality.
Jasmine flower is also believed to reduce anxiety levels which in turn will help you drift off to sleep, and the gentle scent will keep you in a deep sleep throughout the night.
Peace lilies are also believed to improve air quality by as much as 60 per cent and true to their name, bring with them a sense of peace and relaxation.
Plants that increase productivity
Having plants in home office can increase productivity. Not only are they found to reduce stress and fatigue whilst aiding memory retention.
Bamboo Palm is known for its ability to fight indoor air pollution, promoting clear-thinking and easy breathing. Another plant is Golden Pothos which removes air toxins and absorbs unpleasant smells – the perfect plant to keep by the fridge or in the kitchen.
Plants that clear the air
Removing harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene will keep both you and your home happy and healthy. Rubber Plant and Peace Lilies are both incredibly effective at purifying the air around you.
Rubber Plants are great for removing harmful toxins, particularly formaldehyde, and these plants become more efficient at cleaning the air as time goes on. Peace Lilies are also believed to improve air quality by as much as 60 per cent and true to their name, bring with them a sense of peace and relaxation.
Plants that fight infection
Herbal remedies have been used to fight infection for centuries and still stand the test of time today. Before pharmacies were readily available, Red Clover was used in teas and ointments to treat coughs, colds and skin irritations.
Great places to shop and get expert advice:
The Garden Path - 213 Fourth St, Castle Rock, CO 80104
Castle Rock Florist - 318 Fourth St, Castle Rock, CO 80104
Tagawa Gardens - 7711 S Parker Rd, Centennial, CO 80016
The Enchanted Florist - 366 2nd St, Monument, CO 80132