NATURE, HOUSE PLANTS AND YOUR HEALTH

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health effects of House plants
House plant health effects

For 25 years, I have worked with live plants indoors and out. For years I was what you call a ‘dual-talent’- I landscaped indoors and outdoors. This was done mostly with my own company-DESIGNS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, but for a few year’s I trained people on how to care for and place interior and exterior plants.

I have worked for Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Coral Gables, Fl) and one of the largest interior plant scape companies on the East coast as a trainer/manager.

At the interior plant company, I supervised a staff of 20 who cared for over 350 accounts from Orlando Fl. to Homestead, Fl. Over the years I have seen plants indoors and out do things that most people don’t think plants can do.

Over the years I’ve observed plants closely and feel that I understand plants through the long term observation that I have had.

I have seen the slight changes that happen to plants when they’re thirsty, or overwatered, or in the wrong light. I also can tell when plants are under attack by house hold pests.

Over the years I’ve learned to make flowers bloom at will and how to make those flowers last for months on end. I have learned to arrange plants in a Feng Shui setting. I know how to do all of these things and more. I also know that plants are one of the best things you can do for your living environment.

Plants relax a home along with add life to spaces. People are attracted to a well-landscaped home, it brings a smile to peoples faces. It’s not by accident, other than dogs, I beleive plants are man’s second best friend.

A recent study revealed that individuals with regular exposure to the environment or green spaces always end up having better health conditions and that it also helps in reducing the risk of some common health problems, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

It is not surprising that bringing nature inside your apartment or your home in the form of indoor plants, colorful flowers, or potted succulents can promote your overall health and wellness.

Did you know that changing your home into a plant-filled retreat could stimulate your mood, and paying more attention to your leafy friends could assist your de-stress after a stressful day?

Why Indoor Plants Are Good for Your health

Health effects go plants in your home.
Studies confirm that homes with house plants are healthier

Below are four reasons why indoor plants are right for you and your physical and physiological health:

Plants help in clearing pollutants from the air in nature and the air in your home. Foliage also boosts productivity by 15 percent in workspaces.

NBC News has reported research carried out by NASA that has discovered that houseplants can eliminate about 88 percent of toxins and pollutants in the air within 24 hours of arriving in your apartment or home.

Your question may be- how? The NASA study discovered that indoor plants pull contaminants out of the air and deposits them in their roots system, to change into energy for food.

Breathing in pollution and particles is dangerous to your health, and by having indoor plants in your home you can filter pollutants out of your own personal living space.

The Energy of Plants, helps promote healing.

In case your cubicle at work or home office feels dull, purchasing plants will not only assist in making your office look more colorful; it could also help in combating midday stress and fatigue.

As reported by the Daily Mail in 2012, a study carried out by researchers from the Uppsala University located in Sweden and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, discovered that having plants in your office space will indeed reduce fatigue.

They help in reducing physical pain

A 2010 study found out that patients recovering from different kinds of surgeries who had planted around their hospital rooms showed lower physical pain levels, fatigue, stress, and anxiety, or their need for more medication.

Also, the New York Times back in 2016 reported that in another research patients recovering from appendectomies were advised to take fewer painkillers because they had planted within their hospital rooms.

This study was conducted on 90 patients recovering from an appendectomy. Patients were randomly assigned to hospital rooms with or without plants during their post-operative recovery periods. Data collected for the study included information on the length of hospitalization, administration of drugs for post-operative pain control, vital signs, ratings of pain intensity, distress, fatigue and anxiety, and the patients’ room satisfaction questionnaire.”

A research study carried out in 2016 revealed that women who had plants around them (both outdoor and indoor) had a 13 percent reduction in thier mortality rate as compared with women who resided in locations far from nature.

Why Interior Plants are good for your home

From enhancing positive wellbeing to purifying the air naturally, to improving productivity plants are essential in stimulating the spaces in our homes. For apartment and condo dwellers, the task of maintaining a plant can sometimes be daunting- with travel and work.

Problems with the lack of natural light, as well as living in a limited amount of space, sometimes cause the death of houseplants. Also, figuring out water requirements for some plants can be quite overwhelming.

But don’t cancel your plans for having indoor plants just yet. Below are the six of the best indoor plants that can survive in virtually all homes. Below are some of the many plants that would do perfectly in your home or porch areas.

Chinese Evergreen

This indoor plant also referred to as the “Cutlass Aglaonema” is perfect in indirect sunlight, and could thrive in low-light home spaces with high or low humidity. Even, the Chinese evergreen can survive on artificial light if it is necessary.

Ficus Bonsai Tree

Bonsai is an art in Japan in which small trees copy the shape and scale of full-size trees. Bonsai is best for apartments due to their sizes, and the Ficus Bonsai is undoubtedly one of the lowest and easiest maintenance of all other indoor plants.

The Ficus Bonsai can thrive in warm environments, thus indoors is perfect. They need high sunlight, but could still survive occasional under-or-over watering.

Huseplants Pothos Nature
Pothos plant one of the easiest plant to care for

Pothos

This indoor plant can be potted naturally or hung from a basket, and it can as well thrive in a large variety of lighting. Also, they are renowned for their air purifying properties and could strip off toxins that form in rugs and carpets from your home.

Iron plant

This plant can thrive in poor soil, low light, and with little water, thus making it one of the most durable houseplants. Its green leaves also help in preparing for a breathtaking color pop in your apartment or home.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

This plant is suitable for apartments and homes with high ceilings but less floor space. Fiddle leaf fig is tall, but it isn’t too bushy, and it boasts waxy and dark green leaves. It needs medium light; however, it only requires to be watered whenever the soil gets dry to the touch.

Peace Lily

In case you are addicted to killing delicate and subtle lilies, you are likely to have luck with the plant known as a peace lily. This plant could survive dim settings, and only needs watering once per week. It will even grow very well under shining lights, thus making them a fantastic option for offices or bathrooms with little light.

Houseplant the Peace Lily
Great Houseplant the Peace Lily

Barberton Daisy

Similar to injecting a merry burst of yellow, pink, red or orange into your apartment, the Barberton daisy is an excellent cleanser of the toxins benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, which can be found in a variety of household materials from synthetic fibers to paints.

Care tip: Put the plant in a space with a lot of natural light and also keep the soil adequately moist and well-drained.

English Ivy

This perennial vine, which is very easy to grow, is especially good at minimizing airborne particles that make it the most effective air purifier for your en suite and your bathroom.

Also, studies have revealed that the English Ivy could also assist in fighting mold levels in your apartment.

Care tip: Provide the English ivy plant with substantial watering and five hours of direct sunlight per day, and it will undoubtedly return the gesture by providing you with detoxified, clean air.

Snake Plant

With this air purifying plant in your bedroom, you are in for a fantastic night’s sleep. This yellow succulent discharges oxygen at night, thus assisting you in breathing well while asleep.

It is known to be one of the best plants for making sure the air is free of xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene, and benzene.

Care tip: Be careful not to overwater the plant, as its roots are liable to rot in moist soil.

Chrysanthemum

Bring out the beauty in your living room or kitchen with the chrysanthemum air purifying plant.

These lovely blooms assist in filtering out several toxins such as benzene and ammonia, which are usually found in detergents, plastics, and glue.

Care tip: This plant likes sunlight, so put it in an area close to a sunbathed window.

How to have Healthy Houseplants

Plants are also living things, but, they are usually forgotten since they do not ask for a walk. As a professional plant person probably the biggest mistake I see people make is not spraying their plants.

Let me explain this one tip that makes Home Depot and your favorite plant nursery thousands, if not millions of dollars a year.

When you place your favorite plant in the window like you are supposed to for light- in most cases…70 % I would guess of those plants are going to acquire a spider mite bug.

Spider mites are microscopic and extremely hard to see with the naked eye, so most people have no idea that their plant is dying until it’s too late.

If you have a plant in a sunny window you should start at least once a week to spray that plant under the leaves with 3 ounces of Isopropyl alcohol, two drops of dish soap and the rest water in a spray bottle.

This solution kills spider mites naturally without spraying pesticides in your home.

Spray your plant and water it once a week and this won’t happen again.

All plants need light, even low light plants

Thought each houseplant is different, they all commonly require light. One rule of thumb people who are caring for house plants should know concerning the light tolerance of plants is that the darker or greener the leaf the plant has the less light that plant needs. So deep green plants can stand to be in less light and lighter green plants need a more light. Ask your nursery how much light your plant needs. Most plants are functional indoor since they survive in low lighting. Also, succulents are excellent small light plants.

Houseplants like to be Pruned

This is an essential part of plant health maintenance that is usually forgotten. Plants need and like to be pruned and as soon as the growing season starts or simply after they might have finished flowering you should look over your plants for dead branches, yellowing leaves and stems that are growing faster or slower than the other branches and stems.

To prune a plant you should find the closest cross section with another stem or branch and prune right under that intersection, when you become good at pruning plants you wil be able to hide the cut so it looks perfectly natural.

Most individuals have the best intentions whenever it concerns indoor greenery; but, in the end, most shelf plant will still end up collecting dust.

Use good-quality soil for potting
Good-quality potting soil helps in promoting healthy roots by providing the plants with a balance of proper nutrition, aeration as well as moisture-holding capability. Garden and nurseries centers carry a fantastic selection of top-quality potting soils.

Fertilize and regulate pests.
The regular watering needed by most indoor plants leaks nutrients out of the soil. These have to be replaced by frequent fertilization. And pests/insects such as Whiteflies, Aphids, and Scale could be very problematic indoors.

Health Advantages of Walking in Nature

Irrespective of the weather, taking a walk in nature is not only necessary to keep your health and your fitness levels in good condition, however, following several studies, it has uncountable health and mental benefits, and it might also minimize the risk of an individual getting depressed.

Let us take a closer look at some of the health benefits associated with taking a walk in nature:

It helps in reducing stress:
Studies have revealed that individuals who spend more of their time in natural environments often have lower and reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol as compared to other individuals who spend more of their time staying indoors.

There is even a word particularly for “forest bathing’ in Japan known as ‘Shinrjn Yoku, which means getting lost in the middle of the forest and it is used to assist those suffering from chronic stress.

The Common Houseplant and Depression

A study focused just on Londoners revealed that those individuals residing near trees were noticed to have better health conditions.

Even the presence of trees on the streets also has a positive outcome, and a study also discovered that areas with several trees had lower antidepressant prescription rates.

Houseplants and nature can reduce blood pressure

Health benefits of taking walks in nature are that it could assist in keeping your blood pressure (BP) low. This has been proven in study after study.

Plants in your home and nature make your brain function better. Even the smell of plants in essentials oils and diffusers help in creating a serene environment in your home. By taking a walk through a green area or forest has revealed to aid learning and memory, while also improving short term memory.

Improved concentration and sharper thinking, studies  carried out on kids with ADHD showed a significant improvement in strength within 15 minutes in a natural environment.

Furthermore, another study asked a group of selected students to repeat a number sequence by memory. The students who had spent 15 minutes taking a walk in nature carried put the task far better than those who had not.

How much time should I spend in Nature?

Virtually all public health advice is focused on upping our step counts daily, ignoring public transportion for a few minutes of walking or taking the stairs when possible.

However, research has suggested that daily walks in nature can be extremely beneficial for the mind, body and soul if done in leafy and beautiful location.

Scientists have discovered that to effectively achieve all the health benefits associated with walking in nature, and you have to walk between 20-30 minutes every day, this is because a regular walk in nature can cut down stress hormone levels by about 15%.

Spending quality time everyday walking in nature will keep on having numerous benefits to your health and general wellbeing, however at a slower rate.

But, in case you reside in a city, a daily walk in nature, as well as countryside excursions, are not feasible. And also a concrete jungle does not count as a part of life.

However, the authors of the study say walking in nature should be done four to five times for 20 minutes every day.
Doing this will go a long way in making sure your health is in good condition.

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