8 Mood Boosting Houseplants: Which Ones Are Best For You?
The first question that you might be asking yourself is: why should I have plants in my home? There are so many reasons!! Plants can help filter out contaminants and toxins from the air, they create a more welcoming environment, and they just look nice especially if you don’t have a garden or balcony. But there are benefits even beyond these, so let’s dive in to a couple before we look at what plants are the best.
- Allergy Relief: It may be surprising but plants can help with allergy relief inside the home. That’s because they absorb dust particles that are circulating in the air to improve the indoor environment. And, another surprising fact, they also offer great insulation from noise pollution, which can be a factor for people with allergies to pollen blowing through the air on windy days. But also great if you live of a busy street or with lots of traffic around – this could be a small win for you.
- Make us happier: Plants can not only brighten up your space, but they may also make you feel better. Employees who work in offices with plants tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, worry less, and take fewer sick days. Flowers in particular are a wonderful pick-me-up. So add blooms to your home office (aka kitchen table), such as a lipstick plant or even a bouquet of fresh flowers to get that instant mood lift.
- Air purifiers: Many types of plants are natural air purifiers. They pull toxins from the air and allow the air to be less polluted, improve oxygen levels and potentially stop substances that can make you sick. According to NASA, the following plants are some of the best air purifiers for any indoor space: Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) can remove formaldehyde and xylene from your home. It also releases oxygen at night so you get a double benefit when this plant is in your bedroom! Aloe Vera ( Aloe barbadensis) removes benzene and trichloroethylene from your home. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) is a great option for removing mold spores, ammonia, xylene, toluene, and formaldehyde from the air. Weeping Fig or Ficus Alii (Ficus benjamin) removes formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. English Ivy or Hedera Helix pulls ammonia, benzene, xylene, and toluene from the air. Gerbera Daisy can remove acetone which is found in nail polish remover! It also absorbs carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. So many of these are super cute also and will definitely bring an added flare to your space.
- Herbs for better digestion: Many herbs have been shown to improve digestion as well as helping a meal taste better. Good digestion aid herbs include mint, basil, and ginger. Herbs are also easy to grow in places like the kitchen windowsill. This means even if your space is limited, you can still get the basic benefits of herbs and then include them in your recipes. Just choose one you know you will use it when cooking.
- Restful sleep: Some plants scents are a brilliant aid to support you to get a restful night’s sleep. Some of the best plants to help sleep quality include lavender, jasmine, and lemon balm. Jasmine can help with relaxation but it is also a strong scent which means you may fall asleep faster! Lemon Balm leaves are believed to have calming properties as well as 200 active compounds that can help sleep quality. Lavender is a herb but it is best known for its smell rather than eating it (although you can). Lavender has been shown to help with relaxation, anxiety, and depression.
- Sharpen Focus: A surprising potential benefit from indoor plants is that they can help sharpen your focus and ensure you get more done. There are many plants that have been shown to improve focus but the top three include Rosemary, Lemon Balm and Ginko Biloba. Ginkgo Biloba was found in one study of 200 students to increase attention levels by 20%! It also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while balancing blood sugar levels so you feel more focused throughout the day.
- Better Mental & Emotional Health: Generally, having plants in your home can improve mental and emotional health and offer a real psychological benefit. They can provide an activity to keep you busy or something to get you motivated and their natural abilities can help with anything from sleeping better to take the heat from a kitchen burn.
Best mood boosting indoor plants
So now we’ve covered the benefits and while any plant can have a positive impact on your home or office, there are some that stand out from the crowd for various reasons.
Aloe vera gel can assist with acne, burns, and dry skin; both physically and mentally. Place your aloe vera plant in bright, but indirect sunlight and allow it to dry in between waterings to help it grow.
The common cactus is an essential ingredient in any list of houseplants. Like many of the other plants on this list, a cactus may purify the air and even increase productivity – great if you’re working from home! The even better news is that cacti are low-maintenance, and they don’t require much watering, even less in the winter.
English ivy, like peace lilies, absorbs mold in the air, which can help to purify your environment; it also has qualities that aid in the reduction of restlessness, allowing you to relax better at night. Keep your English ivy in sunlight and make sure its soil is somewhat moist to keep it flourishing.
Gerbera daisies are the most efficient plant for removing benzene from the air, as well as other pollutants. Furthermore, because they provide oxygen during the night, they’re great for folks who have sleep apnea. Gerberas prefer bright morning sunlight, but they should be placed in a shadier location in the afternoon to avoid the sun scorching their leaves. Place it under a light in the winter to assist it to grow.
Place your lavender plant in your bedroom and it will help to reduce stress levels, allowing you to sleep better. Water it regularly and keep it in a location that gets a lot of light to allow it to develop.
The Monstera (also known as a Swiss cheese plant) is all over social media and has probably been clogging up your Instagram feed, but they might actually improve your mood. They purify the air while also enabling you to cultivate new plants from their cuts. Because Monstera plants are poisonous to pets and small children, you must be careful about where you put them. They thrive in humid places away from direct sunlight, making the bathroom the ideal location.
Have you had difficulties keeping plants alive in the past? A snake plant is a great choice since it requires little upkeep but may greatly improve your health by providing moisture and releasing oxygen. They’re particularly beneficial for people with allergies, as they provide moisture to the air while also releasing oxygen.
Venus fly trap
While Venus fly traps don’t purify the air, they’re quite successful at removing flies and spiders from your house (great news if you’re afraid of those 8-legged monsters!). They like to be fed bottled or filtered water, so wherever feasible, avoid pouring straight from the tap. Leave your Venus fly trap out in the light on warm days before returning them inside in the evening if you have a patio or garden.
Now I know in London, we’re often not privy to big gardens so adding a few house plants to your space can bring a bit of the outdoors in with huge benefits. What mood-enhancing plant will you be choosing first?!