Because of their many benefits for mind and body, houseplants are a great way to get through the short days of winter.
I'm a winter woman – I love the frigid air, the snow, the coziness of it all. But the sunsetting-at-4:28-pm business is a bit disconcerting, and for a lot of people, the diminished sunlight is truly problematic. I used to quip that the best way to get through winter is with sunlamps and vodka ... to that I should add a more efficacious solution: Houseplants!
The benefits of houseplants are really pretty amazing. From filtering the air and increasing oxygen levels to boosting healing and increasing focus, these humble organisms are some very hardworking allies. (See more on their benefits in the related stories below.) Meanwhile, just their presence in the house can turn up the happiness level. One study from the University of British Columbia concluded that by pondering the nature around you, general happiness and well-being will increase – even if that "nature" is living in a pot on your windowsill.With all of this in mind, I think it's officially time to add some houseplants to the prescription list for winter blues. Here are some great ones to start with.
1. Spider plantstudy recommends them as a “noninvasive, inexpensive, and effective complementary medicine for surgical patients.” The researchers found that patients with houseplants had lower systolic blood pressure, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue as compared to patients without plants in their rooms.
Meanwhile, in their famous study of houseplants, NASA concluded: “Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone.” Among the plants the agency studied, spider plants performed especially well. It is also an awesomely generous plant in that it sends out its little plantlets, which can be snipped off and started as new plants.
2. Monstera deliciosa
3. Tilandsia: Air plants10 enchanting facts about air plants.
4. Pilea: Chinese money plant
Originally from the southwestern Yunnan province of China, Pilea peperomioides, is also known as the Chinese money plant because of its promise of wealth and abundance. And sure, money is good, but this quirky beauty also promises happiness because just look at it! Those lilly-pad-meets-UFO leaves can't help but inspire a smile. The one shown above seems to be pretty massive: I've seen them a lot smaller, but what a goal to strive for. Pilea is super simple to grow from cuttings, meaning a whole flock of them is easily within reach.