As the remaining leaves fall outdoors and crisp autumn air moves you indoors, your love of gardening and plants can continue all year long! The valuable skills you’ve gleaned from caring for your garden, outdoor planters, and veggie beds are all transferable to the realm of indoor houseplants. Houseplants have long been used for decor, and interior accents, and a resurgence of plant love in the past few years means your green thumb is right on trend. If you’re hesitant to add life to your indoor environment, read on for the many benefits that houseplants provide for your mental well-being. Rest assured that many of your outdoor garden experiences are replicated indoors!
Stress Reduction: Caring for and being around houseplants can be a calming and stress-relieving activity. The act of nurturing and tending to your plants can help you relax and reduce stress levels. Similar to pruning your shrubs and perennials, houseplants benefit from having yellow or dying leaves removed, and the occasional cutback is benefical.
Improved Mood: Houseplants can enhance your mood and overall mental outlook. The presence of greenery and the aesthetic appeal of plants can bring joy and positivity to your living spaces. Picture how happy you are when you’re in the garden. Then, find your favourite sunny nook indoors and add a leafy plant (or several!) such as a Bird of Paradise. Next, place a comfortable chair adorned with a cozy throw near the plant and make it a habit to sit there quietly with a warm drink.
Increased Productivity: Having plants in your workspace can boost productivity and concentration. The visual stimulation and connection to nature can help you stay focused on tasks and be more creative. As a gardener, there are many days when you can look back at the hours spent caring for your outdoor plants and be surpised at how quickly time passed, and at how much you accomplished!
Enhanced Air Quality: Many houseplants have air-purifying qualities, helping to remove toxins and pollutants from the indoor air. Cleaner air can lead to improved cognitive function and mental clarity. Spider plants, peace lilies, snake plants, rubber plants and philodendrons are just a few of the varieties that are known to improve air quality.
Connection to Nature: Houseplants provide a link to the natural world, even in urban or indoor environments. This connection with nature has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is proven that your time spent in the garden is beneficial in all of these aspects, thus it’s fitting that moving indoors and being around plants share the same positive connection.
Responsibility and Routine: Taking care of houseplants provides a sense of responsibility and a daily routine. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who thrive on structure and a sense of purpose. Your daily, weekly, and monthly garden tasks keep things growing all season outdoors. A few tweaks to the tasks and your houseplants will provide you with a new indoor routine.
Sense of Accomplishment: Watching your houseplants thrive and grow can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. This feeling of achievement can positively affect your self-esteem and mental well-being. Indoors or out, the satisfaction of beautifying a space and supporting the life within it is endless!
Distraction and Relaxation: Houseplants offer a form of distraction from the stresses of daily life. Watching the gentle sway of leaves or the growth of your plants can be soothing and relaxing.
Social Connection: Houseplants can be a great conversation starter and can help facilitate social interactions. Sharing your passion for plants with others can create a sense of community and connection. Plant swaps, plant groups, plant people, and plant places all help to foster that connection between people and plants.
It’s important to note that the effects of houseplants on mental well-being can vary from person to person. Some individuals may find immense comfort and joy in caring for plants, while others may not have the same level of interest. If you’re interested in reaping the mental health benefits of houseplants, start by choosing varieties that are suitable for your level of experience and available light conditions. The act of caring for your houseplants and observing their growth can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience that helps to extend your love of gardening year round.