THE POWER OF PLANTS

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Plants are beautiful to look at, but they are so much more than just a decoration. We take a look at the benefits that plants have to show you why you should surround yourself with them

Words: Emily Georgieva

Photography: Emma Valerio, Annie Spratt

24 March 2020

When I was a kid, we had loads of plants around the house. My mum made sure that there is at least one, if not more in every room. She would spray them with water and take care of the leaves that were going dry so that new ones can show up on their place. Each room had its own charm because of the plats we had there. 

I remember this huge palm tree that lived in the corner of the living room. This was the plant everybody noticed and talked about whenever they came to visit because it was majestic. It was very thin and looked like it didn't have much strength going for it, but each month it would birth more leaves which would reach all the way to the ceiling. It was a beautiful, exotic thing to look at and although it didn't take centre stage in the room, it always used to be the crowd-pleaser. My mum used to tell me that plants are like every living thing; they needed attention and care to grow stronger. I remember my grandmother used to sing when she was around them and be extra careful not to touch them too much so she wouldn't hurt them.

It is an undeniable truth that plants bring more life to a place. They add character to a room and generally make it a better place to be at. We explore why getting a new plant is always a good idea, what difference they make in your mood and what kinds of flowers are the best ones to have around.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT

Plants make people feel uplifted. This is a simple truth as they bring more life to a room. Having any type of plant around on your desk or workspace will improve your quality of work because it increases your level of productivity and makes you more creative. This is known as the subliminal effect of plants, meaning that they make you happier. Stress-related depression is also known to decrease if people have flowers around them. The Exeter University released a study, which showed that indoor plants increase productivity levels by 47%.

Although plants can't feel loneliness, they are generally aware of other living things around the such as more plants, so it is always a great idea to have more than one potted plant in a room. It has been noticed that bringing flowers to hospital recovery rooms also has a great impact on patients. People who physically interact with plants have required less recovery time than those who didn't do the same. This can be explained with the effects of ornamental horticulture and the science that flowers typically make people feel happier and healthier. The Journal of Physiological Anthropology released a study that supports the evidence that interacting with plants reduces psychological and physiological stress. Their soil contains outdoorphins, which are known to have the power of natural antidepressants. The activity of the heart is would also ease and improve considering you spend some time around plants according to an article published by The Conversation.

Being in touch with nature is also good for our immune system. In the past the majority of people lived in houses or lower flats, which meant that they were in direct contact with nearby parks and green areas than most of us are now. Kids grew up running on soil and bare grass and as a result they developed a strong immune system since they were continuously exposed to different kinds of bacteria. We need to have a diverse bacteria in out microbiota in order for our bodies to be strong enough to fight diseases and flues of different kind. People who live higher off from soil, trees and land in places like urban areas with high-rise apartments are exposed to more air pollution and heat stress.

The air contains different toxins such as carbon monoxide and mold which cause irritations. Plants, however, can work as a natural filter. They clean the air from the fine particles and make it clearer so that it is easier to breathe. According to NASA, there are plants that you can pick for a space that will absorb all the pollutants completely like the Peace Lily for example.

WHAT TYPES OF PLANTS TO CHOOSE

You can choose different kind of plants for your home and for your work space. This is the fun of it. Mix and match and see what types of plants you enjoy having around you the most. The amount of time and care will vary according to the types of plants you choose so it will be a cool process learning how to bond to them.

To keep your plants happy, you need to make sure you keep replanting them in bigger pots after having them for a while to give them more space to grow and get bigger. Make sure you keep learning more tips about what you can do to plants individually to give them the best that they deserve.

Basically, plants are cool so go buy yourself some new ones to add to your greenery at home. Get a little cactus one for the living room and even pineapples to arrange in the fruit bow in the kitchen! Here are suggestions of some of the best plants you can grow indoors.

Aloe Vera

Spider Plant

Bamboo Plant

Orchids

Philodendron

Rubber Tree

Peace Lily

The Snake Plant

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