Indoor plants are good for us. Here's why.

Benefits of indoor plants

For the hippy-era indoor plant enthusiasts, it's time to say, "I told you so."  

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, an abundance of house plants was all the rage as popular decorative items. So, where did they disappear to? At one point, magazines and popular culture "canceled' indoor plants, labeling them as "dust-trappers" and "invaders of space."

No blaming or shaming. The 90s were what they were. And yet here we find ourselves, in the twenties of the 2000s, promoting the presence of plants in every conceivable space. 

Whether or not you're following the "new" indoor plant trend, it turns out our biology lessons stood the test of time: Indoor plants are beneficial to our health.

AIR QUALITY  

Good air quality is probably the indoor plant benefit that first comes to mind. Plants take up the carbon dioxide in the air and release life-giving oxygen. Furthermore, pollutants that enter the air in your home find it extremely difficult to get out. As a result, these bacteria and viruses stick around the house, leading to a higher chance of you getting ill. 

Plants in your home tackle the pollutants, instantly rectifying the balance and leaving you with safer and naturally more beneficial air for you to breathe.

There’s even more good news if you struggle with dry air irritating your mouth and lungs. Plants release almost all of the water they take in. Talk about giving back!

What about areas with too much moisture, like the bathroom or kitchen? These clever little friends soak that moisture up and free it later once the humidity has levelled out. 

THE ULTIMATE PROTECTORS

Research shows that plants will remove around 87% of pollutants from the air. They'll help to evade the likes of some cancer-causing agents, like formaldehyde and benzene. 

Our green-leaved friends also help to give our immune system a much-needed boost. Plants have phytoncides and other airborne chemicals, which help to reduce the amount of stress you feel throughout the day. Less stress means an improved chance of falling asleep naturally. When you get more sleep and feel more relaxed, your immune system can work better. 

The healing benefits are why you'll often find plants in and around hospitals and wards. They've shown positive results in helping patients recover from illnesses faster.

Studies in Norway have shown that illnesses drop by 60% through plants in the home. 

MENTAL HEALTH 

Just looking at greenery helps you feel less boxed in, especially if you live in the city. Plants have a sense of peace and calm about them. So patiently, they grow and create a relaxing atmosphere in the home. 

Of course, more oxygen means your body works more effectively. Your brain feels less tired and cloudy, which improves all the connections. You release the suitable types of hormones, helping to support your mental health.

PRODUCTIVITY 

Let’s take a moment to reflect upon how good we’ve become at working from home. Further kudos to you if you’ve created a work-from-home environment that’s productivity-positive. 

You may have rearranged your artwork, photographs and ornaments – but always remember the plants. These elements, combined, have proven to boost productivity by serving as reminders of why you’re working and the goals you have in life.

Personalise your workspace with the plants you love. Just a couple will help create positivity and keep you interested, less stressed and more fulfilled.

IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS

Any pet owner will tell you that having a fluffy companion in your life increases your sense of responsibility and compassion. It's all about having another "living thing" in your home for which to care. 

Plants are certainly the way to do that, with even less responsibility. Can we go as far as to mention that there are studies that show talking to plants is an excellent way to help them grow? Perhaps we'll bank that woo-woo conversation for another time.

Let's say that thriving greenery helps to add something living to your life, perhaps even thwarting loneliness.

A LEARNING BOOST 

Remember that plants help to boost productivity levels? Well, they also help to boost your learning capabilities. All the benefits you’ve read about ‘till now also help increase focus and mental clarity. 

Studies have shown that attentiveness increases by 70% because of plants in the room. The more attentive someone is, the better they will remember subjects.

The key is to look for plants that work to your advantage. If you don't feel you have enough time to water daily, look out for those that don't need as much water. 

TIME TO ORDER YOUR SELECTION 

At UCS Fresh Garden, we’re proud to present our range of indoor plants available to order online, delivered to your door.

KENTIA PALM  

The Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana) is a popular indoor plant because it's resilient, easy to maintain and happy in lower light levels.

It’s a plant with a relatively small base that produces slender stems growing upwards, bearing soft, elegant green palm leaves. The Kentia is one of the few palms that thrive on little light, low humidity and cool rooms. An attractive feature in the home, with the light passing through the elegant leaves. 

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SANSEVIERIA

AKA Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

This is one snake you'll actually want in your house. Practically indestructible, this plant tolerates low light. Originating from the desert areas of Africa and Asia, it's well-adapted to dry climates, needing very little water. Especially good at adding oxygen at night, this plant is among the most popular choices for improving indoor air quality.

Snake plants remove toxins from the air, including trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, toluene, benzene and xylene. To optimise its air purifying power throughout your entire home, you'll likely need 6 to 8 plants for optimal air purification.

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FICUS LYRATA BAMBINO

One of the most beloved household plants, Ficus Lyrata, is better known as the Fiddle leaf fig.

Two common varieties of Ficus Lyrata exist – the classic Fiddle leaf fig and the Ficus Lyrata Bambino. The classic has much bigger leaves than the Bambino variety.

The Bambino variety is not simply a younger, smaller Ficus Lyrata that eventually grows big leaves.

The other difference is the colour of the foliage. The Bambino variety has darker leaves. New baby leaves are light green, but they get a beautiful deep dark green colour as they mature.

The leaves on the Bambino variety grow more closely together, so the plant appears to be fuller. In addition, it has a more compact look.

Health benefit: These green guys are "planticularly" good at converting household Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into pure oxygen and helping to remove harmful gasses from the air in your home.

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ALOE VERA

Aloe Vera is well known as a succulent medicine plant. The sap contained within the foliage has been used for centuries as a healing gel and many other medical ingredients. The sap has been shown to contain antiseptic elements which can destroy bacteria, fungus and viruses. It is also thought to be effective in reducing inflammation and easing pain. 

Aloe Vera is also a popular base for many cosmetic products and homoeopathic ointments. According to WebMD, people typically use the clear, gel-like substance found in the inner part of the leaf to help treat burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis and cold sores. 

Our advice: Make sure you speak to your doctor before attempting any home remedies. Also, consider that you may be allergic.

As a house plant purely for air purification, aloe vera plants need to be deeply watered and their soil left to dry just slightly (about 1 to 2 inches deep) between watering. They do very well with lots of sun but can turn brown if they get too much of it, so it is best to keep your aloe vera plant under indirect sunlight.

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PHILODENDRON SCANDENS

With beautiful heart-shaped leaves, Philodendron Scandens is a decorative plant in high demand. Have fun with this gorgeous specimen by creating climbing posts from which the plant will trail down from above.

Benefits of Philodendrons include improving the quality of the air you breathe, inducing feelings of calm, trapping dust and helping you feel alert. In addition, the colour green in natural forms has been linked to feelings of buoyancy and is strongly associated with health.

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BOSTON FERN

This wonderful fern is a natural humidifier. Bostons are among the best air purifying plants that combat formaldehyde, xylene and other unwanted toxins.

Is your bedroom air-conditioned? This type of fern may indirectly benefit any dry skin you may suffer from, which can often be a side effect of highly air-conditioned indoor spaces.

A Boston fern is easy to grow and prefers indirect sunlight, but you should check the soil daily to keep it moist. They're most efficient in rooms kept at a cool temperature with a humidity level of 50- to 80-percent.

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CRASSULA HOBBIT

Also known as the Jade Plant, Crassula has thick, fleshy leaves in which the plant stores moisture and nutrients to survive during periods of drought. This easy-to-grow succulent is happiest in full or part sun.

If you want to enhance humidity in indoor air, you can count on this green beauty.

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RHIPSALIS CEREUSCULA

We’re officially handing the mic to one of the biggest fans of this indoor plant: https://www.evergreenseeds.com/rhipsalis-cereuscula/

We love how they describe the growth of this coral cactus as an entertaining experience, labelling the Rhipsalis Cereuscula as “Possibly the Best Indoor Cactus Ever.”

The Rhipsalis is a unique succulent that is native to the Tropics. There are many known varieties, all of which have one thing in common: they have long, untidy tendrils that hang down.

Some studies show that their juices can help prevent inflammation in the muscles, arteries, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular region. But we're advising the doc's advice on this one!

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PEACE LILY

Quick fact: NASA named peace lilies one of the most efficient natural filters. 

Might we say they look really good while performing their duty, with their stark white blooms offset against long, glossy green leaves?

These stylish and valuable blooms can start in spring and last several months.

Top tips: Peace lilies should be planted in a pot with all-purpose soil and kept slightly moist throughout the year (without overwatering). They can thrive in low and bright light but do best in shaded areas.

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SPIDER PLANT

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The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is considered one of the most adaptable of houseplants and the easiest to grow. 

Spider plants are great for removing formaldehyde from the air in your home. This is the stuff that comes from all sorts of things you bring into your home, including paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, paper towels, napkins, particleboard, plywood panelling and synthetic fabrics.

SHOPPING WITH PURPOSE

You might be accustomed to prioritising aesthetics and ease of maintenance over performance when it comes to shopping for household plants. Isn’t it refreshing to know that you can continue to do so, but with a newfound knowledge of the benefits of keeping plants in your living space?

The right houseplants can make a big difference in your mood, stress level, sleep quality, breathing, and even your disposition.

Let's be frank: They'll probably make you nicer.

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