We’ve recently introduced some houseplants to FLC HQ to brighten up our rather unloved office space. To be honest, it was a bit of an experiment (we are all total novices) but we’ve been absolutely delighted with the positive impact such a simple change has made so we thought we’d do a little more digging (pardon the pun!) into the benefits of houseplants to both the office and home.
Our first stop was with the lovely team at Benholm Group*, a second-generation family run business based in central Scotland who produce stunning innovative and creative displays for office and hospitality spaces. Benholm are well versed in the many benefits available from the introduction of plants to workspaces. Firstly, having plants in the workplace has been shown to increase productivity because of the ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Also, plants used indoors are known to absorb toxins from the air and have been found to help reduce the physical symptoms of stress and 'sick building syndrome' resulting in a reduction in staff sickness and absenteeism. Plants also positively impact the air quality as around 90% of the water given to them is ultimately returned to the atmosphere helping to balance the humidity which, with modern heating and air conditioning, can become uncomfortably dry.
We're delighted that these fantastic benefits can also be seen with the introduction of houseplants to the home. This was also investigated by NASA who publishing a study in the late 1980’s looking into the benefits of interior plants on air quality. More specifically, there are plants which are found to have properties particularly beneficial to a sleep so we thought we'd share our top five easy-to-grow houseplants which could help towards a better, more restful, sleep.
Snake Plant (aka Mother-In-Laws Tongue)
The Snake Plant continues to be one of the most popular houseplants due to it’s (almost) indestructible nature. A type of succulent, the snake plant is relatively resilient to neglect and is shade tolerant which is a huge advantage for a plant kept in an often-dark bedroom. In addition, Snake Plants are, according to NASA, one of the best plants for improving air quality and removing toxins from the air including formaldehyde & ammonia.
The Peace Lily is a very obliging plant for the novice houseplant owner as its leaves start to wilt when it needs watered. It also has the fabulous air purification properties removing toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia and carbon monoxide from the air. The plant gets its name from the white flower (which is actually an adapted leaf) which are thought to be reminiscent of white ceasefire flags.
Valerian is more commonly known as a herb which produces stunning flowers during the summer months and is frequently used by herbalists to treat anxiety and insomnia. However, the flower also produces a gentle vanilla fragrance which can help induce sleep.
Aloe Vera is well known for it’s healing properties and is frequently found in skincare products but it’s also one of the best bedroom plants due to its fantastic ability to filter toxins out of the air. Aloe Vera also has the unusual ability to produce oxygen at night providing a fresher and cleaner sleeping environment. It also produces volatiles which is seen to provide a positive effect on the immune system.
The final entry in our list of bedroom plants is our favourite, the Spider Plant! It is also one of NASA’s favourites too due to its ability to remove around 90% of formaldehyde from the air in addition to filtering other toxins like carbon monoxide, benzene and xylene. More importantly perhaps ... it is an absolute doddle to grow – even for us!