Indoor house plants do more than just add aesthetic value to your house. They have been proven to have countless benefits that affect your wellbeing. From increasing productivity, uplifting your mood and even cleaning the air you breathe.
Not to mention there are so many myths that even the most seasoned veterans among us still get wrong.
That’s why we’ve gathered our favourite house plant facts so we can finally set the record straight. So let’s put some myths to bed and make sure you know all there is to know about indoor house plants.
House Plant Facts: The Health Benefits
Houseplant Fact 1# Indoor Houseplants Clean The Air
No, it’s not a myth. One of the most important houseplant facts is backed up by science. A study by NASA shows that indoor houseplants actually purify the air.
The reason behind this is that houseplants tend to be accustomed to growing without direct sunlight. This means that they are effective in processing gasses for photosynthesis. This also means they are able to absorb harmful gasses and improve the quality of air in the room they are in.
Houseplant Fact 2# Houseplants Reduce Stress
Did you know that people who work in an environment surrounded by plants felt more relaxed and had lower blood pressure? Studies show that having plants is a great boost for comfort and remaining focused.
Houseplant Fact 3 # Houseplants Aid Recovery
When you visit someone in hospital, what’s the gift you should generally bring? And before you say it, no, it’s not chocolate. Flowers! That’s right, or a houseplant. And it’s not just because they are pretty. Studies show that plants and flowers can actually speed up recovery, be it from injury, surgery or an illness. Alongside that, the patient would typically require less pain medication and shorter hospital stays.
Houseplant Fact 4# Houseplants Boost Productivity
Studies show that students surrounded by plants had improvements in their attention and concentration. This study has actually been replicated multiple times, proving that houseplants increase focus, attention and creativity. They have also been shown to reduce sick days as well. Now would be a good time to tell your boss that the office needs some redecorating.
Houseplant Fact 5# Houseplants Stop Noise Pollution
We could all do with some more peace and quiet, and adding a few more houseplants around might be just the ticket! Studies show that house plants actually reduce low and high frequencies. Those noisy neighbours won’t know what’s hit them.
House Plant Facts: Taking Care Of Your Plants
Houseplant Fact 6# Houseplant Ailments Can Spread
We’ve all been there when one of our plants is struggling. Sometimes we prune, repot, move it, and try any number of things to help it. One important thing to remember when this happens is that when using pruners, clippers or trowels, make sure to clean them with rubbing alcohol before you use them on another plant. This will stop any bacteria or bugs from spreading onto another plant.
Houseplant Fact 7# Plants Are Allergic To Dust
We know, we know. Dusting is a chore we all hate doing, and now you’re thinking you’ve got to dust your plants as well, right? Sorry, but yes you do! Whilst not actually allergic, the dust on your plant's leaves can actually stop them photosynthesize. All you need to do is get a small damp cloth and give their leaves a wipe once a month, and voila! You can even sing to them as you do it if you like, because…
Houseplant Fact 8# Music Helps Plants Grow
Did you know that plants love music? We all know that having houseplants can be a relaxing and tranquil experience, but sometimes a little music goes a long way. The old wive's tale of singing to your plants is not a myth. So turn up your favourite records and sing your heart out. Your plants will thank you for it, even if your neighbours won't.
House Plant Facts: Miscellaneous
Houseplant Fact 9# Houseplants Are From The Tropics
Well, not all of them, but a lot! The reason why most houseplants are from the tropical regions of the world is that they are used to growing under canopies in the shade. That’s why they are so well suited to growing inside your home.
Houseplant Fact 10# Plants Talk To Each Other
No, you are not dreaming. This is a FACT. Science now shows that plants actually talk to each other. They generally do this via their roots or even by letting out chemicals into their soil.
Houseplant Fact 11# Plants Know The Time
Well, not exactly the time, but they do have a circadian rhythm. This means they can get ready for different parts of the day, such as when to open their flowers, release their scents or even when to grow.
House Plant Facts That Are Wrong: The Myths
Houseplant Myth 1# Plants In Big Pots Grow Faster
False! A huge gigantic pot you got for your snake plant won't actually make a difference. In fact, a pot that’s too large can even promote root rot. Everything from light, watering, fertiliser and room temperature all plays an important role in how fast your plant grows. Sadly, the pot doesn't come into it at all.
Houseplant Myth 2# Yellow Leaves Means Your Plant Is Dying
I know. We’ve all been there when those dreaded yellow leaves appear and we immediately start saying our prayers, dressing in all black and saying R.I.P. But never fear! Yellow leaves can also mean the plant is thriving. Leaves do not last forever. You’ve seen trees shed their leaves every autumn, right? House plants are no different!
A Little Tip: if the bottom leaf is yellow, the plant is okay because those are the oldest leaves. If the top leaf (or leaves) are yellow, then the plant may have a problem. It could be watering, light, fertiliser or a pest issue.
Houseplant Myth 3# Distilled Water Is Better For Watering
Not only is this not a houseplant fact, but this myth is actually detrimental to your houseplants. Distilled water is generally water that contains little to no minerals. Tap water is generally best for house plants. Of course, this does depend on your area. For instance, some tap water has high levels of sodium, if this is the case then diluting your water is recommended.
This also ties in with another myth that chlorine in tap water is bad for houseplants. Again, let's get put this to rest with our houseplant facts. This is not true, and on the contrary, a small amount of chlorine in tap water is actually beneficial to houseplants. If you live in an area with heavily chlorinated water, simply fill up your watering can and let it sit so the chlorine can evaporate.
Houseplant Myth 4# Wilting Leaves Need Water
Most people seem to think that the plant needs watering if the leaves are wilting. Again, this is not a houseplant fact but a myth! The leaves can also wilt from too much watering or it can also be an indicator of another issue with the plant.
Houseplant Myth 5 # Watering Weekly Is Best
We saved the best myth until last. As a thank you for reading this far, we’ve got one of the biggest myths that newbies to houseplants and gardening generally get wrong. This houseplant fact is a big NO-NO! You don’t have to water weekly, and it’s actually best not to.
You should always water when needed by checking the soil. There are so many factors that go into when you should water, such as the type of plant, temperature, season and the light. Every plant is different. So that’s why it’s actually best practice not to have a schedule.
A good rule of thumb, well, is to simply stick your thumb in the pot. If the soil is dry, it needs some water. If the soil is still moist, then leave it alone. Easy peasy.
To Sum Up
If your mind hasn’t been blown, we hope you’ve at least learnt something. That’s the beauty of indoor plants, or gardening in general when it comes to that: it’s easy to learn, but hard to master. So much goes into it.
And now you’ve got our top house plant facts in your arsenal, the world is your oyster! Or maybe we should say, the world’s your garden! (Terrible Pun Intended.)