Adding houseplants to living and working spaces not only provides a visual aesthetic, but it also creates a peaceful atmosphere and has been proven to be good for mental and physical health. With a wide variety of houseplants to choose from, introducing the right ones into the home and office can have the same positive effects as aromatherapy and music. In fact, botanical studies have shown that being surrounded by nature indoors can alter mood levels and enhance relaxation.
A leader in extensive research on the effects of certain houseplants and their related health benefits, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) identified that certain houseplants release oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, eliminate air toxins and naturally purify indoor air that has little to no circulation. NASA studies have also shown that some houseplants may remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in as little as one day and have been proven to increase productivity and concentration. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are indoor pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye and can create unhealthy living and working environments. Chemicals from household cleaners, paint, wood and furniture solvents all contain VOCs and can cause a range of health issues like chronic headaches, nausea and allergies.
With the proper research and care plan, adding the right houseplants to the places we spend the majority of our time in will enhance a healthy quality of life in more ways than one. For example, keeping a white or pink Jasmine plant in your bedroom can lead to better sleep, less anxiety and better mental performance. It’s also one of the prettiest and best-smelling plants in the world. Thinking about adding a starter plant to your office? A Snake Plant or Mother in Law’s Tongue not only makes a major decor statement in any workspace, it's renowned for its easy care routine and health benefits like purifying indoor air by filtering formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene. According to Erin Hasler, owner/proprietor of Root Adorned in Northwest Crossing, just remember, “Although we do enjoy a lot of sunlight here in Central Oregon, choosing the right plants depends on what type of windows you have and where they face the sun.”
Note: Most houseplants are toxic to dogs and cats. If you have animals, place plants high enough off the ground where they can’t reach them.
The aloe vera plant is not only a natural ointment for cuts and burns, it cleans the air of benzene and formaldehyde. Aloe Vera plants do best in a succulent potting soil and placed in indirect light.
Spider plants are not only an easy starter plant, but they can also help counteract formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and carbon monoxide. Spider Plants need indirect bright light and watering once a week.
This beautiful and small plant can make a big impact, purifying the air of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and benzene. This plant likes shade and will droop a bit when it needs watering.
Dracena Reflexa (Song of India)
This plant is good at removing several types of unhealthy VOCs from the air. The variegated leaves of the reflexa add color to any room of the home. This plant prefers humid environments.