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Creating A Healthy Home With Houseplants

The following post is from Emily of Live Renewed:

source: Corey Leopold

I don’t know about you, but I really start to get spring fever this time of year.

We’re under about 3 feet of snow here in Indiana and the winter permacloud has been hiding the sun most days.

I’ve been daydreaming of warmer days, the sun on my face, being able to go outside without getting bundled up, and of green – grass, leaves, and plants.

I’ve been looking for inspiration in different areas as the winter seems to drag on, and one way that I’ve found to help cure my winter blahs and need for green was to bring a few new houseplants into my home.

Besides just being pleasing to look at, houseplants also help me to create a healthier home for my family.

1. Plants provide life and energy.

Plants warm up a space by adding a burst of color, they can help to break up monochromatic decor, and because they are living, they add an energy and warmth to a room as well.

Bringing plants into your home can help you to feel happier and more calm. Plants in office spaces help people to be more creative and productive.

I love to look up and see the green of my houseplants in contrast to the window and the snow and cold that are outside. It is a reminder that spring will come, and I’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of nature outdoors again.

2. Plants increase humidity levels.

During these long days where the furnace is on, and the doors and windows are shut, the air in our homes can become so dry and stale.

Plants help to increase humidity levels and refresh the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

You would probably need to have several big plants to really make a difference in the humidity levels in your home, but every little bit helps, right? And plants don’t require electricty the way that humidifiers do.

source: Wonderlane

3. Plants improve indoor air quality.

Probably the most important reason to keep houseplants in your home though is the effect they have on the indoor air quality.

Did you know that the quality of air inside your home is often worse than the quality of air outside?

Indoor air pollution comes from everyday items in our homes like furniture, carpet, paint, paraffin candles, air fresheners, and household cleaners (another reason it’s important to use safe and natural cleaners).

The quality of indoor air also deteriorates in the winter time when doors and windows are kept closed most of the time, and the air is not allowed to circulate.

But adding plants to your home can help to improve the quality of your indoor air. Plants are natural air-purifiers and help to remove toxins and chemicals from the air.

Plants also absorb toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, ammonia, benzene, xylene, and chloroform from the air. A NASA study showed that houseplants can remove toxins in the air by up to 87% in just 24 hours.

What plants should you grow?

Some of the best plants to grow to improve indoor air quality are: (from Baby Steps to Green Parenting DVD)

  • Lady Palm
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Peace Lily
  • Rubber Plant
  • Boston Fern
source: Diana

Don’t have a green thumb?

Plants need just four simple things to grow:

1. light

2. water

3. air

4. soil

Some plants are better suited to be grown indoors, but ultimately the growing is up to the plant, not to us. We can provide the essential elements a plant needs to grow, but the notion of having a “green thumb” or a “black thumb” is not necessarily accurate. Anyone can grow plants by taking a little time to learn what is needed to maintain plants indoors.

I will admit that I have not always had the best luck with indoor house plants. My first few houseplants died on me, but I realized it was not that big of a loss. I only spent $6 on two houseplants that lasted me an entire year.

So even if your plants only last for a few months; that’s still a few months you could enjoy the beauty of a living plant in your home and reap the benefits of an improved mood, increased humidity, and improved indoor air quality.

Who knows, after growing houseplants for a few years, you might learn the best ways to keep them alive and thriving – at least that’s what I’m hoping for!

Do you keep houseplants in your home?  Do you have any tips for keeping indoor plants alive and healthy?

Emily McClements is passionate about living with compassion and caring for creation in a way that will impact the world. She is a blessed wife and mama to three young children, and blogs about her family’s journey toward natural and simple living at Live Renewed.