The benefits of house-plants and how to keep them alive

Photo: Rebecca-Anne Perridge

Spring is swiftly on its way and what better way to celebrate its arrival than with opening your home to a new friend: a house plant. Perdeby believes in the benefits of sharing your home with a plant friend and has compiled a listwith these benefits and also some tips on how to keep them alive and happy.

The benefits of having a house plant
1. Improves your focus – According to a study at The Royal College of Agriculture in Cirencester, England, students were found to be 70% more attentive when they were taught in rooms with plants. Maybe we can all start a new trend and create a take-your-plant-to-lectures-day. That sounds very hip.
2. Easier breathing – Let’s go back to your high school biology class and think about photosynthesis and respiration. Plants release oxygen, and in return we release carbon dioxide to them to repeat the cycle. So, you and your plant are breathing buddies.: Think about it as you and your plant as keeping each other alive.
3. Lower background noise – This one is for all of you who struggle to cope in your noisy living arrangements. Studies by Ambius and South Bank University, London, have found that certain plants are good at absorbing high frequencies and reducing noise inside apartment blocks.
4. Purifying the air – According to research done by NASA, plants remove toxins from the air at up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours. Some of these VOCs include formaldehyde, which is associated which increases the risk of ALS, cancer and nervous system consequences. It also removes benzene, which is a known carcinogen to humans according to the International Agency for Cancer Research.
5. Improves health – Have you ever wondered why your natural instinct is to buy flowers for someone when you are visiting them in hospital? Well, it’s not just because the gift shop makes it convenient and easy, but also because, as proven by researchers at Kansas State University, adding plants to hospital rooms speeds the recovery of surgical patients. The Agricultural University of Norway also found that sickness rates fell by more than 60% in offices with plants.
6. Plants make you happier – It has been proven that surrounding yourself with plants or flowers is beneficial for your psyche, increases happiness and lowers the likelihood of depression.

How to keep a house plant alive?
1. Do the research – Find information on your plant friends. Find out in which light they grow best, their watering requirements and whether they need additional sustenance like plant food. Some plants will have this information accompanying them when you buy them.
2. Be organised – Perhaps you should consider creating a plant notebook. This can be used to keep a record of when you watered your plants, so as to keep track of when they need a new watering. You can also set reminders on your phone for when you need to water your plants next. You might seem like an excessive plant mother or father, but as noted above, these plants will return the favour to you.
3. Practice makes perfect – Don’t be too hard on yourself when you kill your first plant. Rather try and reflect on what you may have done wrong to improve on in the future. See this experience also as practice to be in charge of keeping something alive. Or maybe next time you can opt for something such as a tough cactus, rather than a leafy plant.

Written by: Aroma Theron
Originally published: