Studies have shown that nature has the capacity to make us healthier and feel happier. Bringing plants indoors is a great way to continue the benefits of nature by getting a bit of indoor nature therapy.
If rainy days make you start to go a bit stir-crazy trapped in the house, having a few indoor plants helps top up our dose of nature – not to mention they look great !
Proven benefits of keeping indoor plants
Whats more, research has shown that keeping indoor plants can
- improve our memory retention
- improve concentration and productivity
- reduce stress and anxiety
- improve air quality
A Spot Of Indoor Nature Therapy
Pick the right plant for the right spot and not only will you be getting your nature therapy, the plants will happily do the job of cleaning the air in your home too.
Some of us are not blessed with green fingers though. Worry not! There are plenty of indoor plants that are sturdy enough to fend off quite a bit of inexperienced would-be gardeners.
Plants That Are Hard To Kill
You might love plants, but just not be great at keeping them alive. Some hard-to-kill houseplants include:
- Spiderplant. These are tough little beasties and can put up with very forgetful owners. They like well drained soil so try not to overwater them or leave them with a puddle in the bottom of their pots.
- Cast Iron Plant (aspidistra). Super easy to keep and very tolerant of neglect – just try to avoid putting them in direct sunlight
- Pothos. LIke the cast iron plant, pothos isn’t keen on direct sunlight but this plant will grow almost anywhere – even in a glass of water! They grow quickly and spread to make lovely hanging plants.
- Succulents. I’ll come clean – I’m not a massive fan of succulents. Somehow they seem like they’re made of plastic. I prefer actual leaves. However, they’re compact, low maintenance and easy to grow.
Plants That Are Suitable For Bedrooms
Bear in mind that most plants emit oxygen during the day (great for us humans), but at night they produce some carbon dioxide, something we don’t want to spend all night breathing in. So which plants are good for bedrooms?
Luckily, there are several plants that give out oxygen at night too, and these are ideal to put in a bedroom. Here are my favourite:
- Orchids: In my bedroom I have a group of white orchids. They’re incredibly easy to maintain, they look beautiful and they repeat flower year after year. Whats more, they’re suitable for bedrooms. You can pick orchids up really cheaply even from your local supermarket these days.
- Sansevieria Trifasciata: Snake plant. Super easy to care for, especially if you tend to forget to water, rather than overwater. They like to dry out between watering.
- Aloe Vera: The additional benefit of this plant is that if you ever get sun-burned, you can use the gel from the leaves of the plant to calm your sunburn.
Plants for Cold Rooms
How cold is too cold for houseplants?
I wanted something that would survive the winter in my office, which happens to be a converted caravan in the garden. Since it doesn’t have central heating, it gets pretty cold overnight when temperatures easily drop to as little as 4 or 5 degC. I have an electric heater in there which I turn on when I’m working, so during the day the temperature hikes up to a very civilised 19degC or so.
Cold-tolerant house plants include…
- Snake Plant: We saw this one above in the list of plants suitable for bedrooms, so if your bedroom is cold too, here’s a perfect option!
- Succulents. I just love those little glass terrariums and so I wanted plants that would withstand the cold AND put up with a reduced potting base.
What plants grow well in a terrarium? Airplants, ivy, succulents and ferns. I do like ferns, but I don’t have very much space in the office so I got smaller terrariums, which obviously require small plants – nothing that will get too bushy. Succulents it is then….
Plants That Clean The Air
Having plants in your home is already going to be beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing, but an added bonus would be to have plants that also clean the air around you.
You may have heard of the research done by NASA on the plants that are most effective at purifying indoor air. Luckily, some of those plants are the very same ones that we’ve already looked at above:
- Spider plant
- Golden Pothos
- Snake Plant
- Aloe Vera
There are many more on the NASA list, these are just a few. If you’re interested you can find the full list in the links below.
Creating an indoor garden to improve your mental and physical well-being is not difficult. There are plants suitable for even the smallest spaces in your home, and plants that will put up with even the most neglectful gardeners amongst us. Why not make your own indoor nature therapy garden with these points in mind?
Psychological and physiological benefits of interaction with indoor plants
Science and houseplants
Great website for succulent information and care Succulents and Sunshine