Stress is something we all experience from time-to-time, both at home and in the workplace, and can sometimes leave us feeling in need of an escape. However, there’s no need to book a holiday just yet, as we’ve got the perfect, green solution to tackle those blues that’s much cheaper than a round the world ticket: Houseplants. No wonder biophilic design is the biggest current trend that brings us closer to nature and improves our wellbeing.
Award-winning British author and consultant specialising in meditation and wellness, Emma Mills is passionate about the link between wellbeing and nature. Emma advocates the stress-relieving effects of houseplants and how creating your very own green sanctuary can help to create a sense of calm and positively boost your mood. “By bringing the outside in and enriching our indoor spaces with houseplants, this reminds us of a natural simple way of living. A pace of life that is slower yet still incredibly intelligent, beautiful and efficient.”
Existing research also supports this, with a previous study revealing a 37% reduction in tension and anxiety when houseplants were introduced into the workplace, as well as promoting wellbeing and performance. Through her own personal experience, Emma believes that simply adding a splash of green to your kitchen counter or office desk can considerably help to reduce stress. “I believe that small steps each day can make a big difference to your wellbeing and being close to nature has significant and wide-ranging health benefits. I have quite a lot of houseplants living with me at home at the moment, around 30. I have loved keeping houseplants over the years and have found they bring a sense of calm, optimism, purpose and mindfulness.”
Inspired by Emma’s philosophy, we’ve created a list of five must-have houseplants to integrate into your life, whether that’s at home or at work, to create a space of zen.
With large, bold leaves, an eye-catching Monstera certainly makes a statement in our homes. By a bold injection of green amongst the plainest of interiors, this houseplant can help to balance energies in your space and even boost your mood – a necessity in rooms with little natural light and poor ventilation. Place in bright, indirect light and water moderately to watch your Monstera thrive and to feel the joy it can bring you.
Devil’s Ivy (Scindapsus)
Devil’s Ivy is not only renowned for bringing luck and good fortune to its owner but also a sense of peace thanks to its flowing, satiny, heart-shaped leaves, making it a perfect addition to your home or office. To give this houseplant this love it deserves, place it away from direct sunlight or draughts and keep it happy by misting with water spray. Their beautifully patterned and variegated foliage inspires our creativity, keeping us in awe of nature.
The delicate, green feathers of an Asparagus Fern make this houseplant a soft and elegant choice. With its light and airy demeanour, an Asparagus Fern brings a sense of calm to the busiest of days, proving a soothing and cosy addition to any space. Notoriously strong and easy to care for, this houseplant prefers a spot with plenty of daylight but our of direct sunlight and for extra green lushness, treat it to houseplant food each week from May to September.
Dracaena, an indoor classic with a flamboyant streak. The distinct beauty and character of this houseplant will add an exotic touch to any room, helping to take our minds away from the chaos that everyday life can bring adding wonder to our daydreams. Dracaena houseplants are easy to look after, although, remember to place it in a light spot away from direct sunlight and only water once the soil is dry, and also mist with water from time to time. These care routines are also fulfilling, helping to relieve stress.
With green foliage that elegantly tumbles down and dark red flowers adding a vibrancy that’s pleasing to the eye, introducing Aeschynanthus, aka the lipstick plant into your surroundings can help to elevate your mood. There’s certainly a sense of pure bliss seeing houseplants thrive under your care when their curious red flowers start to bloom. This houseplant will bring a smile to our mood in bright, indirect sunlight and when watered moderately without the soil being soaked completely.
You can start small with just one houseplant to avoid feeling overwhelmed if it’s your first attempt at training your green fingers. Or if you choose to select more than one plant, opt for a combination of plants to group together that require the same care and conditions. That way it will be easier to manage and observe their needs, thus increasing your chances of mastering your plant-game.
Read more about Emma Mills and her work.