Plants and gardening can be appropriate throughout your home, and add a sense of calm and nature while enhancing your health. Plants can help you clear the air indoors, give you a physical activity to do, and even offer fresh food to eat.
How Plants Help At Home
Gardening outdoors comes with a host of benefits. Gardening is considered moderate exercise, offering physical activity. You’ll also spend time outdoors under the sun, helping your body produce Vitamin D. It also offers stress relief, as focusing on the task of gardening can be a form of meditation, and seeing what your garden has produced is rewarding.
A food producing garden has even more benefits. While you can always pop out to the store, there’s nothing fresher than produce you’ve plucked out of your own garden, possibly right before eating it. You may have quite a harvest, and be encouraged to find ways to use all of the healthy food you’ve produced right at home.
Even indoors, you can get benefits of having plants. For one, indoor plants can help clear your indoor air. Plants can remove chemicals from the air you breathe, including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, which are potentially carcinogenic and toxic. Specifically, plants that can help keep your home’s air cleaner include:
- Gerbera daisy
- Golden pothos
- Chinese evergreen
- English ivy
- Peace lily
Creating a Garden
Whether you’re gardening indoors or out, the steps to create a garden are similar.
- Find a good location for your garden. Outdoors, you’ll want a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight, usually at least 10 feet away from your home. The ground should have good drainage, air circulation, and rich soil, with easy access to water and tools. Indoors, you’ll want to look for a sunny spot, or an area that would be convenient for grow lights. An area near a large window can work, of course, you’ll need to be careful not to put plants too close to the window during freezes.
- Prepare your soil. Clear the ground and add organic matter such as compost or decayed leaves to improve the quality of the soil, then cultivate it so it will be easier for roots to grow and get to water below. While gardening indoors requires containers, take care in choosing the soil you use for your pots.
- Pick out plants and get them planted. Look for plants that will do well in your climate and season, so you can make the most of it. And if you’re gardening for food, think about which vegetables you’d get the most use out of each season.
- Maintain your garden. From planting to watering and mulching, you’ll need to keep up with your garden whether it’s indoors or out. Transition your garden in between the seasons and save seeds if possible.
Enjoying Plants In Your Home
Beyond gardening, just having plants at home can be helpful. They may relieve stress, add beauty to your home, and lower flood pressure. Consider areas of your home that would be better with plants. For example:
- A plant in your front entry can greet you and your visitors as you come home.
- Use a plant or flowers as a centerpiece on your kitchen table.
- Bring flowers into your bathroom to add beauty.
- Place flowers or plants on your windowsill where they can get sun.
Whether you’re decorating with plants or making a functional garden, incorporating nature into your home can make it more comfortable and inviting — and support your overall health and wellness. Think of how you can bring plants and gardening into your home for a better lifestyle.
Susan Austin is a family research specialist with Family Living Today. A mother of three and small business owner in Texas, Austin spends her days juggling work and family life — sometimes expertly, sometimes not.