Living in a world dominated by technology and concrete landscapes, humans have become increasingly disconnected from nature. However, research has shown that spending time among plants in nature can have profound mental health benefits. Despite this, the majority of people live their lives indoors, limiting their exposure to the natural world. That's why a recent scientific study is creating a buzz by suggesting that houseplants can actually improve mental health.
The study, conducted by the University of Reading and the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK, analyzed the psychological responses of 520 volunteers to images of houseplants. The researchers found that certain plants had the ability to boost moods and improve mental well-being. However, there was one catch – the plants had to be green and thriving to have a positive effect.
Intriguingly, the study also revealed that the act of caring for plants itself comes with its own set of benefits. It can serve as a form of mindfulness or meditation, allowing individuals to find calm and relaxation. So, not only do houseplants have the potential to enhance our mental health, but the process of nurturing them can also contribute to our well-being.
Now, let's explore the eight plants that were found to improve mental health in the study, along with essential care tips:
1. Weeping Fig: Boosts Mood and Purifies the Air
The weeping fig was one of the top three plants for improving mood, according to the study. Additionally, it is known for its air-purifying properties, making it a valuable asset in improving indoor air quality. Caring for this potted tree involves providing it with bright, indirect light and regular watering, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between each watering.
2. Mother-in-law's Tongue (Snake Plant): Low-Maintenance Air Purifier
The mother-in-law's tongue, or snake plant, is another low-maintenance option that can enhance indoor air quality by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and absorbing toxins. It thrives in a wide range of light conditions, from low to bright, indirect light. Water it sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
3. Cacti: Unique Aesthetics and Potential Mindfulness
Cacti are known for their distinctive appearance and low-maintenance care requirements. Although their mood-boosting effects were found to be less significant compared to other plants, they still made a positive impression when healthy. According to experts, the benefits of indoor gardening come more from the process and presence of plants than from specific properties unique to each plant.
4. Prayer Plant: Vibrant Foliage and Tranquility
Prayer plants are visually stimulating, with broad green leaves and distinctive red and white markings. Their leaves fold up like hands in prayer during the night, creating a captivating and mesmerizing effect. To care for the prayer plant, provide bright, indirect light, consistently moist soil, and occasionally mist the leaves to increase humidity.
5. Bird's Nest Fern: Lush and Soothing
Bird's nest ferns are lush and textured, creating a calming and soothing effect on the eyes. Their vibrant green leaves contribute to a positive mood. These ferns require bright, indirect light and evenly moist soil, avoiding both overwatering and drying out.
6. Golden Pothos: Resilience and Mood-Boosting Effects
Golden pothos plants have trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves, making them visually appealing. They were among the top three plants for boosting mental health in the study. Known for their resilience, these plants can thrive even when neglected. They require minimal light and need water only when the soil begins to dry out.
7. Dragon Tree: Striking Appearance and Mood Improvement
Dragon trees, with their slender, spikey leaves, create a visually striking presence. They were also found to be effective in improving moods. These plants prefer bright, indirect light and should be watered when the soil partially dries out, avoiding overwatering.
8. Palms: Lush Foliage and Tropical Vibes
Palms, with their lush, feathery foliage, create a tropical ambiance that contributes to boosted moods and mental well-being. Keeping palms in bright, indirect light and watering them when the top inch of soil is dry ensures their vitality and prevents root rot.
So, if you're looking to improve your mental health and create a calming environment at home, why not consider adding these mood-boosting houseplants to your collection? Not only will they beautify your space, but they will also provide you with a sense of connection to nature and a welcoming retreat for your mind.
- 1. Weeping Fig: Boosts Mood and Purifies the Air
- 2. Mother-in-law's Tongue (Snake Plant): Low-Maintenance Air Purifier
- 3. Cacti: Unique Aesthetics and Potential Mindfulness
- 4. Prayer Plant: Vibrant Foliage and Tranquility
- 5. Bird's Nest Fern: Lush and Soothing
- 6. Golden Pothos: Resilience and Mood-Boosting Effects
- 7. Dragon Tree: Striking Appearance and Mood Improvement
- 8. Palms: Lush Foliage and Tropical Vibes
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