Bringing the outdoors in isn’t just a great way to brighten up your home or triumph over a lack of outdoor space – it can also help you to live a healthier, happier life. But with so many types of plants and flowers out there, how do you know which ones are the best to keep indoors?
From the bedroom to the bathroom to the kitchen, certain plants thrive in certain rooms, and some even have surprising health benefits when placed in specific environments.
We Brits are renowned as a nation that worries too much and sleeps too little, with anxiety disorders and even depression being attributed, in part, to a lack of sleep. We are often told that a comfortable, clutter-free bedroom is the key to a perfect sleep, but what we don’t often hear about is how beneficial the simple addition of a plant can be.
The most famous of these is, of course, lavender. As well as helping to reduce headaches, anxiety and even rheumatism when consumed in tea form, lavender can also help to lull you into a deep sleep when the plant is placed in the bedroom. It’s all down to the calming scent, which studies have shown may work by slowing the activity of the nervous system.
Other ideal bedroom plants are jasmine and gardenia. Research has found that the scent of jasmine can help to soothe, relieve anxiety and promote rest much more effectively than tablets. Gardenia works to the same effect, with one study reporting that it can send you off just as effectively as sleeping pills.
The bathroom is an area normally devoid of plant life, usually because people aren’t really sure how plants would cope with the humidity. The good news is there are actually lots of plants that relish high humidity, and look beautiful to boot.
Our favourites are the orchid and the peace lily, both of which love higher humidity levels. They do differ slightly in their care though, with orchids preferring indirect sunlight and watering once every few weeks.
Peace lilies, on the other hand, require heavy watering and do better placed in areas of low light. They also come with the added advantage of being impressive air purifiers, using their high transpiration rate to remove pollutants like alcohol, acetone and benzene from the air. They are also reputed to bring good luck – it’s a win-win!
As with bathrooms, kitchens aren’t the most stable environment for plants. Temperatures fluctuate wildly with all of those appliances on the go, and steam, oil and other deposits unavoidably become airborne when you’re cooking up a storm.
Luckily, herbs are hardy little things and do really well when cultivated in the kitchen. Mint, basil and sage are some of the most robust and fit nicely on a windowsill, ready to be snipped off and dropped into whatever you are preparing. They just need plenty of sun to grow to their full potential, along with a good dose of humidity and some fresh air – can you see why they are perfect kitchen plants?
Flowers also work wonderfully in the kitchen, adding a seasonal riot of colour. Iris, chrysanthemums and daffodils all look beautiful and, apart from some guarding against drafts and overwatering, are really easy to care for.
The living room
The living room is quite possibly the best environment for a plant. The temperature tends to stay the same, it isn’t overly humid and light enters the room in varying levels, depending on where your windows are placed. However, there are certain plants that your living room could benefit from more than others.
The first is the spider plant, one of our nation’s favourites. Much like the peace lily it helps to purify the air, absorbing common pollutants like formaldehyde to naturally detoxify your home. English ivy works in much the same way, and is said by scientists from NASA to be the greatest air-filtering houseplant.
Finally there is golden pothos, another plant that comes with NASA’s seal of approval and a useful knack for filtering out formaldehyde. While it looks very attractive as a potted plant, we’d recommend hanging it to let the leaves grow downwards in elegant, cascading waves.
So there you have it – there is room in every corner of your home for plants and flowers. We hope this post has shown you just how easy (and beneficial) it is to bring the outdoors in, and has helped to release your inner green thumb!
Photo by Karen / CC BY
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