The Health Benefits of Indoor Plants

Indoor plants don’t just look good, they make us feel good too! Studies have shown that indoor plants can boost your mood, productivity and creativity.

Plants Make Us Happier

When you feel down, it’s amazing what a walk outdoors can do. That’s because when we get in touch with nature, our wellbeing almost instantly improves. Studies show time spent in green spaces can reduce our mental fatigue and improve relaxation.

The average Brit spends approximately 90% of their day indoors and with the restrictions created during multiple lockdowns, more people are now working from home resulting in even more time spent indoors. This is where indoor plants can come to the rescue. Although they are not a substitute for the ‘great outdoors’, indoor plants can provide similar benefits.

Not only can the presence of indoor plants soothe and restore—but scientific field studies have shown that in workspaces, where indoor plants have been added, work performance increases, staff wellbeing improves, and sick-leave absences are reduced. Talk about plants with benefits!

Plants Improve Our Environment

Now that we know a little bit more about how plants can improve how we feel, let’s talk about how they can improve our environment. Plants can instantly soften a space and they improve indoor air quality.

They improve air quality through photosynthesis, whereby plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, and also through transpiration and evapotranspiration, where plants release moisture vapor and increase humidity.

Plants also capture indoor pollutants and convert them into stored energy, releasing naturally filtered air as a by-product. Plants do this by absorbing the pollutants through their leaves and transmitting the toxins to their roots where they’re transformed into a food source.

Victorians Knew Best

The indoor plant rage really accelerated in the Victorian era, when exotic plants such as orchids became status symbols within the home.

Illustration from the Marilyn Castro Archives

While the stereotypical Victorian parlour includes a potted fern perched on a stand, their fronds were a tiny tip of the virtual jungle that filled some interiors of that period. They clustered in window gardens, decked walls, occupied summer fireplaces, formed screens around sofas and flourished in glass enclosures.

In the 19th century, nature was believed to hold the key to emotional solace, religious instruction and natural history education, and for some amateur naturalists, physical exercise in pursuit of unusual species. In the same way that Victorians saw prints of Old Master paintings and religious illustrations as beneficial to children, flowers and foliage were expected to inspire family members and visitors.

Alexandra Jones
Alexandra Jones
Alexandra is an American historian and the founder of Houselore. She is based in Scotland, where she lives in a creaky castle and tends a poison garden.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here