Sometimes small changes to our environment can help lift our mood. Here, I’m looking at the positive effects of plants. Of course, surrounding yourself with a few plants won’t make your problems go away. However, it’s one of a number of steps you can try, to help improve your mental health and overall outlook.
10 Mood Boosting Houseplants: Which Ones Are Best?
From the number of people out there who love their garden, there’s clearly something about tending plants that boosts mood and helps you feel better. If you don’t have the time, space or desire for gardening, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the benefits of plants in your own home. The key is to choose the best mood boosting indoor plants – let’s take a look at what they are:
How can plants help to improve mood?
First, a little science to help us understand why it is a great idea to get some of these mood improving plants into your home or even in the office at work.
Indoor plants may help reduce stress levels
One study compared a group of people who were assigned one of two tasks – caring for a plant or completing a short computer task. After each task, the plant carers showed lower stress rates, heart rate and blood pressure. This is a small example of something that most gardeners will tell you – looking after plants helps to reduce stress levels.
Plants may help you recover from illness faster
Looking after plants in your home, even in simple ways, has been shown to help people recovering from illness or injury, even surgery. The study focused on a hospital setting but there’s no reason not to view the same benefits in your own home.
Plants may boost your productivity
Various studies have shown that people working with a plant in their office area will be more productive than those without one. With more people than ever working from home, this means you get the productivity benefits and also all the other benefits of having a plant in your home.
Plants may improve the quality of indoor air
Finally, improving air quality in your home can also have a big impact on mental and physical health. We are all surrounded by countless toxins and pollutants that we are unaware of and anything that reduces these will benefit us in many ways.
Best mood boosting indoor plants
So 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 to benefit us physically and mentally. Place your aloe vera plant in bright but indirect sunlight and allow it to dry out, 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 help 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 those 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 a 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 healthy growth.
The Monstera (also known as a Swiss cheese plant) is prevalent on social media and may have 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 cuttings.
Monstera plants are poisonous to pets and small children, so you must be careful where you put them. They thrive in humid places away from direct sunlight, making the bathroom the ideal location.
Peace lilies are wonderful houseplants, since not only do they trap mold particles in the air, they also absorb their own water and then release it back into the room.
If you want your peace lily to blossom, simply expose it to morning light and shade it from late afternoon light. You should also keep its soil wet and lightly spray its leaves, on a regular basis.
Peace lilies are dangerous to dogs, so be careful to not let them near.
Peacock plants help to purify your home by eliminating chemical vapours from the air.
They do, however, need a lot of attention since they prefer temperatures of 18-27 degrees Celsius. Keep it in a location with high humidity and indirect light, to reduce the risk of spider mite infestations.
Have you had difficulties keeping plants alive in the past? A snake plant is a great choice since it requires little upkeep but may improve your health by providing moisture and releasing oxygen. They’re particularly beneficial for people with allergies. Perhaps surprisingly, they were the most Googled plants during Lockdown!
Venus fly trap
While Venus fly trap plants don’t purify the air, they’re one of a number of carnivorous plants, that are quite successful at removing flies and spiders from your house. Particularly useful if you’re an arachnophobe! Just to observe these fascinating plants in action, could help lift your mood.
Keep in small plastics pots using specialist carnivorous soil and stand in a saucer of rainwater, in good light, during summer. In winter, keep cool and the soil damp. Repot every two to three years.
Having plants around the house is an inexpensive way to decorate your home, in their various changing forms. They have a calming influence and offer a range of other positive health benefits.