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A Breath of Fresh Air — The Benefits of Growing Green

29.10.18 By Bhartiya City

When it comes to interior decorating, green is in — literally! 2018 has seen the revival of ‘green accents’, known more colloquially as houseplants. These tasteful accessories are definitely a beautiful addition to your home, but they do so much more. Every plant in your home is working hard to help you live your best, healthiest life. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at why plants have taken root in our hearts and homes — and discover some of the Most Viable Plants (MVPs) for our home needs.

Breathe In…

… and breathe out. Venturing into the outside world leaves us with dust-coated lungs every time we take a breath. In fact, most of us find that we can only breathe easy at home. But your house may be just as guilty as jam-packed city streets of polluting the air around you. Everyday items like carpets, furniture, and household appliances constantly release harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Plants work as an all-natural air purifier, cleansing the air of these pollutants.

The MVP: The spider plant is a popular houseplant that thrives in Indian climates and efficiently cleans the air of toxins. They prefer indirect light and moderate but regular watering. But watch out! These plants grow to the size of their container, so don’t repot them if you want to keep them to a manageable size.

Pump up the Oxygen

If you’ve taken a primary-level science class, you’ll know that most plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. As all the plants in your home respire, they slowly fill the area with more oxygen. This environment increases energy levels, improves higher brain function, and betters overall health. For the best effect, place plants within your breathing space, which is two square metres around where you sit or sleep.

The MVP: Snake plants, also known as ‘Mother-in-law’s tongue’, are one of the few plants that respire at night. This, combined with their unique shape, make them a great choice for bedroom decor. These plants are hardy and fairly easy to take care of, requiring indirect sunlight and minimal but regular watering.

Keep it Cool

In the heat of summer, our first instinct is to turn on the AC and enjoy a nice cold blast of air. But frequent use can wreak havoc on the environment — and your electricity bill! Instead, you can turn to a more eco-friendly option and make your home a lush paradise of indoor vegetation. In fact, studies show that houseplants can lower the temperature of homes and office spaces by up to 10 degrees, thanks to their ability to purify the air and release moisture into the surrounding atmosphere.

The MVP: Potted ferns can be a little on the finicky side, but they’re great for keeping your house pleasantly cool all year long — and make a unique centerpiece to boot! Keep them in a nice, humid spot with lots of indirect light. Don’t forget that these are thirsty plants, so make sure they’re watered well and regularly.

Stay Focussed

When you’re working from home, it can often be difficult to keep a leash on your wandering mind. Luckily, scientists have found a new way to help you stay on track — and no, it’s not an extra cup of coffee in the morning. Several studies show that proximity to houseplants can drastically affect concentration levels, thanks to the abundance of oxygen they release.

The MVP: The money plant is a common sight in many Indian homes, and for good reason — it’s very easy to grow. Just one of these broad-leafed plants is enough to brighten up any home or office, with the elegant way they cascade over the pot and trail along walls. Direct sunlight and frequent watering is enough for these plants to thrive on, and regular trimming will help keep creepers in check.

While they may require a bit of tender loving care, houseplants are beautiful, practical additions to any home. So when you’re looking to redecorate, ditch the tired old showcases and plastic flowers and turn over a new leaf with fresh and vibrant green accents!