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Plants, Plants, & More Plants

As I began to grow up I've realized how special plants are, not only to our planet but to our well-being. I used to nanny for families who covered their homes in 5+ year old plants that were so extravagant and beautiful. It always fascinated me that they could live this long in such a cold climate but they just need water, sunlight, and LOVE. One of my favorite types of plants are indoor plants. They are proven to provide so much benefit to the home.


"Besides instantly boosting a home’s aesthetic, studies show that being surrounded by greenery can help with cleaning the surrounding air, creating a sense of well-being, and enhancing your life"


  1. Indoor plants may help reduce stress

  2. They may help sharpen your attention

  3. They can be therapeutic

  4. They may help you recover from illness sooner

  5. They may boost your productivity

  6. They may improve your outlook on work

  7. They may improve the quality of the air


5 Best Houseplants For Mental Health


Aloe Vera

While you can cut off the leaves to herbally treatTrusted Source and improve Trusted Source skin wounds (burns, cuts, scars, and inflammation), aloe vera is also a powerful plant that can purify the air around you. It’s not the same as an air filter, but it can help with detoxing your air of harmful chemicals.

Where to put it: To take advantage of aloe vera’s benefits, place this power plant in the kitchen or bathroom, which is where most household chemicals are.

How to care for it: This low-maintenance plant does well being watered on a weekly basis and soaking in some sun. Not a lot of light? It can still work its magic under indirect sunlight when placed on a window sil

Lavender

This plant is very easy on the eyes, smells delightful, and is the source of one of the most popular essential oils. For those who forget to unwind or take a few seconds for themselves, especially at the end of the day, lavender (and its powerful scent) is for you. The floral smell is effectiveTrusted Source at decreasing anxiety and providing a calm atmosphere. Topically, it’s also great to add to your beauty routine due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory propertiesTrusted Source.

Where to put it: Place your lavender plant on a night stand in your bedroom so it’s one of the last things you see before drifting away to sleep.

How to care for it: It’s best to keep the plant in a bright area and water it when the soil is dry to the touch. Too much watering can shorten its life span.


Peace Lilies

This gorgeous plant improves the flow of energy in the home as it neutralizes harmful indoor chemicals. It’s also believed to help people flourish mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Peace lilies symbolize peace, tranquility, prosperity, purification, and solitude. Because peace lilies have such powerful symbolism, speak positive affirmations to your plants. Only say what you, yourself, would want to hear.

Where to put it: Keep it in your bedroom or work office to help balance all of the energies in your space. If talking to your plant is a little out-of-the-box, let its presence be a reminder to you to think life-affirming thoughts.

How to care for it: This beautiful plant requires indirect sunlight and water once a week or when the soil is dry to the touch

Snake Plant

Known to provide a strong protective energy in your space, snake plants are extremely durable and require very little attention in order to grow. Snake plants are easy-going and the ideal plant to keep in observation. This plant is unique because it has the ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, meaning that if you live in an area with no air flow, having quite a few snake plants around you may help sanitize the oxygen in your space!

One thing to consider before brining the plant indoors is if they may be toxic to our children or animals.

Where to put it: Keep your snake plant in the bedroom where you’re likely to get most of your rest or any other room in your home. One of the most beautiful things about this plant in particular is that no matter where it’s placed in your space and even if it’s neglected for a few weeks, it will still provide you with clean air as it grows resiliently.

How to care for it: Simply water it every couple of weeks to keep the soil moist. It’s pretty hard to kill, which makes it an easy plant to care for regardless of experience


Eucalyptus

This popular plant is known not only for its distinct, pleasant aroma, but also for its ability to help treat asthma, colds, and congestion. Take a few moments to inhale its healing and powerful scent, which helps brings you back into the present moment.

Where to put it: If you find yourself feeling a little under the weather, you can create a eucalyptus “bath bouquet” to bring to the shower. By placing a eucalyptus bundle around your shower head and allowing the steam and heat to rise, it’ll release the plant’s fresh fragrance into the atmosphere.

How to care for it: Eucalyptus requires full sunlight and needs to be watered regularly.


Houseplants for freshening the air naturally

areca, lady, dwarf date, and bamboo palms

Boston fern

rubber tree

spider plant

Ficus tree


Here’s a brief sampling of common plants that pose a danger to children and animals:

  • amaryllis

  • aloe vera

  • azalea

  • chrysanthemums

  • cyclamen

  • dieffenbachia

  • English ivy

  • jade

  • jonquils

  • lilies of many varieties

  • mistletoe

  • monstera deliciosa

  • philodendron

  • poinsettias

  • pothos

  • sago palm

  • umbrella plant

Sustainability


Although plants bring joy and benefit to many people’s lives, they can also be quite unsustainable. Plants shipped in from overseas can quickly rack up plant miles, as well as the use of pesticides and fertilizers can be harmful to the environment.

Plants that purify the air

Indoor plants absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and remove harmful pollutants from the air. NASA’s Clean Air Study reveals the best indoor plants for removing toxins like ammonia, trichloroethylene, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene from the air, these chemicals are linked to health issues like headaches, dizziness, and eye irritation.

Water plant

With a water crisis looming in the US, saving water should be everyone’s top priority. In fact, states like Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico, California, and Colorado, in particular, need to make major changes to prevent serious upcoming water shortage problems. Growing hydroponic indoor plants is an ideal way to minimize unnecessary water consumption. Hydroponics essentially involves growing plants without soil. Instead, the plants stay in a nutrient-rich water solution that lasts a long time before needing changing. For example, the money plant is a decorative water plant that’s extremely hardy — it can even grow in the dark and withstand neglect. It also purifies that air of harmful toxins to boot.

Build a Self Watering Garden

Go organic

Most houseplants are grown using conventional fungicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. To avoid this, try looking for a local organic grower or purchasing from ones belonging to the Veriflora program. Although not 100% organic, growers in this program use sustainable practices as often as possible (including soil conservation and organic methods). You can also look after your plant organically, even if it was originally conventionally grown. Use organic soil mixed with compost, and feed your plants with an organic seaweed-based fertilizer or a weak solution of fish emulsion.


BUY LOCALLY FROM SMALL BUSINESS


Plant Stores in Milwaukee, WI

Kellner Greenhouses

CloverMKE

Grow Plants & Home

Milwaukee Community Greenhouses - 9801 W. Capital Dr.

Maranta Plant Shop


Place Stores in Kalamazoo, MI

Mason Jar Plant Shop

Horizen Hydroponics

Wenke Greenhouses

Mulders Nursery


Swap plants with people in your community

Propagating your own plants and sharing them with other plant lovers is probably the most sustainable houseplant behavior you can engage in. And it’s also a great way to create a community of like-minded people to share tips, advice and resources.


Get plant containers from the thrift store

We all know the temptation to buy that overpriced and super pretty pot, but realistically these are made unethically and unsustainably. Opt to repurpose and find unique pots from the thrift stores


If you order online, choose smaller plants or cuttings

The bigger the package, the more resources it takes to get to our homes. If you find a plant that you like from an online store, see if you can find a smaller version. This will often have a lower cost and a lower footprint. And the good thing about small plants is that it’s sometimes easier to get them acclimated to your indoor environment. And if the plant gets damaged during shipping, at least you’re not out too much money.






Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/plants-self-care#The-extra,-life-enhancing-benefits-of-loving-a-plant

https://sustainabilityx.co/are-your-houseplants-sustainable-d4e2297face3

https://www.greenwithpurpose.com/sustainable-houseplants-eco-friendly/