Apart from looking lush, improving your skin, and cleaning the air, there's growing evidence that the humble houseplant is also good for your mental health. The benefits stem from a theory called biophilia, which suggests that humans have an "innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life." The theory goes that even simply observing nature can make us feel good and relieve stress – which is why plants make a great housemate.
But do the mental health claims stack up?
A finding by NASA discovered that indoor plants filter and humidify their environment, reduce toxins and improve our health and well-being.
Further studies show indoor plants lead to "improved emotional state, reduced negative mood states, reduced distraction, increased creativity, and improved task-performance."
So we’ve sold you on houseplants, but perhaps you've managed to kill a few in the past? Not to worry, we’ve rounded up the easiest plants to care for.
Devil's ivy, mother-in-law's tongue and spider plants (basically anything that sounds slightly possessed) are popular, easy-care choices. Typically, you want to look for plants from warmer climates that have thick, waxy leaves, or succulents. These are the easiest to look after and hardest to kill. But, we reckon it's fun to branch out and try something a little more interesting. Our top three picks are:
Being a cactus, the fishbone is easy to look after. Unlike your neighbor’s cat, you can forget to feed and water it for several weeks and not have a difficult conversation when they return from Europe.
Rather than hanging an actual stag's horn on the wall, this fern variety adds a nice touch of greenery. Staghorns like to be fed a banana skin or tea bag for nutrients every so often, so it's just like having a pet, but without the responsibility.
As the name suggests, pebble plants are the spitting image of actual pebbles. But they're plants! And while they're virtually impossible to kill, if you sprinkle the pot with some real pebbles and it does die, you can condescendingly say to your friends, “that's what it's supposed to look like”
It's pretty clear there are both physical and mental health benefits of investing in a few indoor plants. And we won't judge if, like Prince Charles, you find whispering or singing to your house plants helps them grow. Just don't forget to water them as well.
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