Now that the festive season has come to an end and there is a hole where your Christmas tree once stood, it’s the perfect time to consider filling your home with houseplants to continue the benefits of bringing the outdoors in.
Alongside other benefits, studies have shown that humans are generally happier and feel less stressed when surrounded by a plant. Adding houseplants to a room is a simple yet effective way to boost physical and mental wellbeing.
The home can be full of airborne pollutants, with carpets, mattresses, paint, household products, pets and even people harbouring toxins – especially in the colder months, when windows tend to be closed and central heating is ramped up. Houseplants help to purify the air, making the air you and your family breathe less toxic. As well as cleaning the air, houseplants can help with mental wellbeing – reducing anxiety and brightening moods.
Spathiphyllum ‘Sweet Chico’, otherwise known as the peace lily is one of the few air purifiers which flowers. This year-round bloomer rids the air of the volatile organic compound (VOC) benzene, a carcinogen found in paints, furniture wax, and polishes. It also sucks up acetone, which is emitted by electronics, adhesives, and certain cleaners. The peace lily can tolerate shade well.
Cacti are great for eliminating bacteria, tackling pollution and reducing radiation. Cacti also absorb carbon dioxide at night to release oxygen and tend to thrive in a bright room. Consider putting cacti in your bedroom to help better sleep (just avoid placing too near your alarm clock!)
You can tweet @HaskinsGarden for gardening advice or visit www.haskins.co.uk
Haskins has a centre in Ferndown, Dorset and also in West End, Southampton.