I recently bought myself a plant from Market Basket. As I cradled my new polka dot/freckle face plant in the checkout line, I did not anticipate that $3 could bring me so much joy. I’ve watched with delight as my plant has slowly spread it’s pink-speckled leaves and flourished on my desk. However, happiness is not the only perk from keeping a houseplant. Here are just a few reasons why plants are amazing and you should have one, too:
1. Plants can help you be a better student and/or professional.
Texas A&M University published this article detailing how plants improve concentration, memory, learning ability and energy, among many other benefits. The calming quality of nature improves the ability to concentrate and can increase memory retention up to 20 percent. Spending time surrounded by nature gives people an “increased feeling of vitality,” which increases energy levels and improves performance on the task at hand. The soothing effects of nature can even help those with learning disabilities. For example, children with Attention Deficit Disorder are more engaged and focused in a natural environment.
2. Plants filter toxins out of the air.
NASA has done a lot of research about plants filtering toxins out of the air with the greater end goal of creating habitats in space that are able to sustain human life. You can use rocket science to clear your own room of harmful chemicals that you may not realize are there. The Atlantic published this article about toxins that threaten human health and intelligence, and about how prevalent toxins are in different products, such as plastics and pesticides. Plants can help to filter out some airborne toxins. Here is a list of houseplants that are particularly effective at cleansing indoor air.
3. Plants act as natural humidifiers.
Plant roots absorb water and nutrient from the soil. Some of that water is released through the plant’s leaves in the form of water vapor. This process is called transpiration. This humidifying process can decrease the likelihood of colds, coughs, sore throats and dry skin. This is especially helpful indoors during arid winter months.
4. Plants can make you happier.
Plants can improve mental and emotional well-being in various ways, especially by decreasing stress and anxiety. The aesthetic beauty of greenery can help to increase positivity by reducing your perceived stress levels, making you feel happier and more secure. Gardening is therapeutic and provides a coping mechanism for day-to-day stress. Focusing on caring for a plant for a moment each day is like a little breath of fresh air — a mini meditation.
5. Plants help you feel like an adult (but in a good way).
Plants are like really low-key pets: they wait at home for you to return, they depend on you to feed them and they’re really cute. They provide a sense of responsibility but with a low amount of work. It’ s satisfying and exciting to see something that you put time and love into grow and thrive. Plants also bring color and personality to your living area. They have characters and help you make your space really yours. Carving out your own little piece of the world, even if it is a little apartment or dorm room, is a big part of growing up.