The fact that plants improve the indoor climate is controversial - we show what is really true of the myth and how you can guarantee to optimize your well-being with a few green accents
Author: Katharina Healing
Do plants lead to a good indoor climate? While this myth remains controversial, one thing is clear: plants are essential and essential for human life. Through their photosynthesis, they convert the carbon dioxide that we exhale into fresh oxygen. This is how they help the human organism by removing harmful substances from the air.
NASA study - the source of the myth
Scientist of NASA were looking for ways to effectively detoxify the air in space stations in 1989. To do this, they examined indoor plants. It was found that these can purify the air of volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene. A positive finding, as these are suspected of causing cancer. Later studies also showed that soil microorganisms in potted plants also play a role in cleaning indoor air. The participating scientist Bill Wolverton confirmed that the size of the leaf surface is decisive for the speed of air cleaning.
Objection: Inadequate applicability of the study leads to doubts
Other experts, however, have doubts about this study. Luz Claudio, professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine on Mount Sinai, says in a Time interview: “There are no definitive studies that show that indoor plants can significantly improve air quality in the household, making health measurable to improve. ”While she acknowledges that indoor plants can improve air quality and remove volatile chemical toxins from the air under laboratory conditions, this is not the case in the home or office. A healthy indoor climate cannot therefore be created.
A healthy indoor climate through simple ventilation
The circumstances in the laboratory are not applicable to the real everyday environment, says Stanley Kays, emeritus professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia. In many cases, a large amount of air enters and exits homes. The conscious or unconscious ventilation has a far greater influence on the indoor air quality than plants.
These positive effects of indoor plants are guaranteed
The fact that plants may not directly provide a good indoor climate does not change the fact that indoor plants have a positive effect on people. Because of their aesthetics, they enrich the human body and mind. People associate green with nature, which is why the color conveys a relaxing and calming feeling.
According to NBC News, it was found that they can even help with loneliness and depression. Caring for a living being is a task and worthwhile, especially when you can see how it blooms and thrives. NBC News also cites a study that shows that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity by up to 15 percent and reduce stress. Plants thus prove to be an easy way to raise the mood and optimize health and productivity. Whether in the bathroom, on window sills or on macrame hangers: the right plants find their place everywhere.
Top 5 houseplants
Some plants are particularly suitable as houseplants. Even for beginners who have little experience with plant care or simply have little time.
Cacti are very benevolent plants and survive times of less intensive care. You don't need water, you just need a damp mist every few weeks to persist and bloom if necessary. Only repotting is not good for some cacti, which is why it is better to consult an expert.
Succulents are also perfect beginner plants. They like the windowsill best, because that's where they get the most sunlight. They have thick, fleshy leaves and stems and are therefore easy to identify. Many species are rosette-shaped and have dense leaves to collect the water in their natural habitat. Echeveria or Sempervivum are well suited to start a succulent plant collection.
3. Air plants and Kokedama
The bathroom is perfect for air plants and Kokedama (Japanese moss balls) as the moisture helps these plants thrive. These can be staged particularly nicely in hanging glass vessels or wire racks and hardly need any maintenance from the time they are hung up.
4. Window leaf
The window leaf (Monstera Deliciosa) is currently experiencing a lot of hype among interior fans who want to convert their apartment into an urban jungle. The vigorous climbing plant has large, perforated leaves that are an integral part of many modern facilities. If you water them regularly and do not put them in direct sunlight, you will have something of this green plant for many years and can even pull cuttings. All you have to do is cut off a leaf with a stem and plant it in damp soil.
5. Banana plant
The banana plant needs a lot of water while at the same time keeping it warm. The earth must not dry out and is happy to be watered several times a week. The large green leaves give each room a piece of nature and a tropical feeling.
Fact: Plants ensure a good indoor climate in a broad sense by increasing productivity and well-being
Even if the NASA study is refuted and plants do not lead to a better indoor climate, they still have a positive effect on humans. Especially in large cities with little green space, indoor plants raise the mood, increase productivity, reduce stress and give us a feeling of nature and tranquility. It is only important that they are well cared for - this way humans and plants can benefit from each other.