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We’re told that being around plants is good for us. We hear that having plants indoors, in every room, is healthy. When you’re styling your home, do you really need to have another living thing that you have to remember to water and eventually repot, all the
while it doesn’t even have the decency to remind you until it’s a crinkled stick? 

I love plants.

I have at least 25 scattered inside my townhome and I have a burgeoning garden around my patio. I am 100% for having plants in the home, if for no other reason than they look nice. My friends give me their wilting stumps to nurse back to health. My old roommates would say even if we didn’t see each other for weeks, they’d know I was alive because random plants would just show up.

I’m pretty sure I have an addiction.

But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t have the time or maybe you have a professed brown thumb, do you really need the real deal, or can you cheat with some silk greenery? Does it add to the aesthetic to even have flora at all?

->compare a bedroom with vs without


As it turns out, having plants around is really freaking beneficial.


Here are 5 reasons to keep plants in your home:


1.  Plants really do clean indoor air.

Ok, maybe that’s not a surprise.

But just how much potted plants are able to remove indoor pollutants is remarkable. They work equally well with or without air-conditioning, and in light or dark. Potted-plants can decrease the amount of CO, CO2[1], formaldehyde[2] and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by up to 75%. That’s quite the change in atmosphere.


Plants condition the air. Trees convert CO2 to life-giving oxygen. Ferns and pathos and weeping figs will remove toxins from your bedroom. 

And get this—any plant species will do because the removal of VOCs from the air is due to the biochemical mixture of the plant and the potting soil[3]. However, you can choose plants for their sweet smell to help you sleep (jasmine or lavender), energize you (meyer lemon), or keep you peaceful or ready to host with a more fragrant aroma (gardenia).

2. Exposure to green space is associated with better physical and mental health.

 My mom always used to tell us to go play outside. Little did we know she had very good reason to!

Using walks in the woods as meditation and stress relief is a common practice around the world, in places such as Japan where doctors prescribe time in nature, modeled after the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. Studies have shown that green space is associated with better mental health and that there’s a beneficial association between exposure to green spaces and cognitive development, which is also partially mediated by reduction in …exposure to air pollution! Which goes back to my first point.




In fact, just LOOKING at nature reduces stress!

Several studies have concluded that views of nature—either real or fabricated—decrease anxiety and stress and heart rates. Boss driving you crazy? Spouse nagging you? Kids won’t stop crying?

Here’s your unofficial design prescription for all the chaos: a nice philodendron*. Maybe consider a Porthos? They’re pretty hard to kill.

But even if you are always on the go and can’t water the plants, or you’re afraid Fido will get into all the pots and Sassy will knock them off the counter, just having images of nature can reduce anxiety and stress!


*Apparently, fish tanks can do the same, so if plants aren’t your thing, maybe consider a fish. (Note: you will still have to feed a fish)


3. Cut out the chatter!

No, I don’t mean you have to stop talking to your plants. The variety of noises in an apartment can be overwhelming over time without you even realizing it. Plants have been shown to help reduce noises in a closed spaces by absorbing sounds. The more plants, the more muffling the effect. 

Position larger plant pots in multiple locations such as in the edges and corners of a room and also by entryways. This has the greatest positive benefit, according to a1995 paper by researchers at London South Bank University. You can also use smaller plants in layering effects on shelves and hanging on walls or from the ceiling to absorb the sounds that would normally bounce off walls.


4. Plants add that pop in difficult places.

Courtesy www.china-aba.com

Where do you put plants? Usually in a corner, or near sunshine. Try instead to add plants in frequented rooms such as the kitchen and font entry. They are also great framing decor, lining the sides of doorways, mantels, leaning mirrors and more.

Moss designs are another way to add that greenery and pop of color with some of the psychological benefits still intact.  Though I am not usually one to recommend large written words for your décor, there are times when such additions are completely in line with your Seity. This one design company offers beautiful creations you never have to water, and shipping to the continental U.S. is free! 

The San Francisco Designer Baylor Chapman in her book Decorating With Plants, recommends sprinkling living accent pieces among the inorganic mementos on shelves, along with other tips and tricks for integrating plants into your décor. “Plants can be rather sculptural and be used almost as a piece of art in a room. I love that plants change as well — some change color with the seasons and others can fold in or spill out as they grow.” — Jade Joyner, co-founder and principal designer of Metal + Petal

And don’t forget to use the same layering techniques you would with any other arrangement! Displays of plant stands, vases, and hanging vines must be considered for their height and the space they take up. Using such accessories also allows for adding pieces to a room that can further accentuate your seity style!
And if you needed another reason…


5. Just keeping something alive brings sense of accomplishment.

When everything else is going wrong, a plant becomes a low risk-high reward outcome. All I have to do is water the thing and it gets
bigger…it feels like such a tangible accomplishment.

Things aren’t always tangible. You can’t hold Relationships in your hand, growth at Work isn’t always visible, but my leaf-child that’s now twice the size of when I bought it, is a small accomplishment I can measure (and occasionally remember). This is such an important mental hack on days that you feel a little stuck (or stuck inside).
But, if you can’t keep a plant, you could try a fish, but really, a photo will do. 


  [1] Tarran, J., Torpy, F., Burchett, M. (2007). Use of Living Pot-Plants to Clense Indoor Air. Faculty of Science, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Sydney, Australia
  [2] Kim, K J; Kil, M J; Song, J S; Yoo, E H; Son, K; Kays, S J. (2008). Efficiency of Volatile Formaldehyde Removal by Indoor Plants: Contribution of Aerial Plant Parts versus the Root Zone. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 133,4: 521-526
  [3] Wood, R; Orwell, R; Tarran, J; MAIH; Burchett, M; FAIH Plants; Environmental Quality Group. (2001). Pot-plants really do clean indoor air. The Nursery Papers 2: 1326-1495



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