For those of us that live in the city – also known as the concrete jungle - it can be a heavy existence at times. (for us it's Los Angeles).
In moments it can take your breath away, in others it can be overwhelming and cause stress and anxiety due to the constant hustle and bustle of everything going on around you.
You walk down avenues and boulevards, you see the odd plant and among the dullness you see some beautiful color and life and it looks and feels nice to see some life fighting off the city life.
The sun beats down and some of those plants may offer shade, but nonetheless it is not enough, and those brief moments are not enough to lift the weight of city chaos. But even in the moments where you want nothing more than to pack your bags and head to the suburbs and beyond you still feel that urge, that hunger, to stay in your city.
A great way to maintain sanity in the city is to introduce plants into your home and bring a piece of the countryside indoors with you.
Walking through your door, from their world into your own personal, little jungle, can increase your quality of life significantly.
Let’s explore some of the endless benefits:
Plants are scientifically proven to purify air. NASA reported that plants remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours. VOCs include substances such as formaldehyde (present in rugs and cigarette smoke), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in inks, solvents and paint).
For a more in depth look at how plants can benefit your health check out our article, Best Indoor Plants for your Health.
Plants can also reduce stress significantly and businesses around the world have caught onto this, choosing now to have plenty of plants around the office.
They can improve happiness, increase efficiency, mental focus and even improve your sleep. A study performed at The Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England, found that students’ attentiveness increased by 70% when they were in rooms containing plants.
Plants even allow you can even grow your own food!
From tomatoes and avocado to mint, parsley and Vietnamese coriander. You can maximize your space and become self-sustainable, saving yourself both time and money as well as the inherent satisfaction of not depending on other sources for food.
Sure, they’ll need nurturing and attending to, but as with most plants, you inherit a responsibility to maintain a life that is manageable in a lifestyle that craves it.
You see striking and beautiful plants all over social media, bringing life to interior design, so it’s no wonder people all over the world are growing increasingly fond of them.
Plants make for great decor with their impressive variety of color palettes, shape and sizes. They can add a little burst of color and creativity to shelving units, book shelves, window sills, the bedroom and you can even get creative with ‘vertical gardens’ which can be instrumental in growing your own interior jungle.
HOW TO GET IT RIGHT
- Where To Buy Them: The best places to buy plants are florists. Here you will be able to see the extensive amount of different types of plants and get a holistic sense of size, smell and color. Not to mention the enthusiasm and knowledge of the florist worker in the shop.
- Planters: Buying planters to suit the plant is an articulation that will take your indoor jungle to another level. Check out our guide for picking the best planter here! For all of the different shapes and sizes of plants, there are definitely planters better suited than others. If you have a cactus, maybe the best planter would be one with a twist stand, or if you want to display some English Ivy then think about getting a Nordic Hanging Planter for your walls.
- Color palettes may not be an obvious consideration, but it is certainly worth your attention. A great place to find inspiration for palettes is Pinterest. Not only is it full of interesting interior jungles, but there are also a lot of boards dedicated to perfecting color. You want your plants to compliment your home and so attending to the finer details will enhance the mood you are wanting to create. Click here to see some of our favorite Pinterest boards.
- Where To Display Them: Where you put your plants will depend highly on how much sunlight they need as some require more light than others. For example the Dracaena plant will need a lot of sunlight, whereas a plant like the Staghorn fern will thrive in the shade. An app we love to use is the Sunseeker App, which will calculate where in your home provides the most light. Instagram and Pinterest are also great places to find interesting house-plant configurations and there are many styles you can recreate and put your own spin on. If in doubt - look it up!
- Maintenance: Similar to our previous point, some plants will need more attention than others. Most plants will need watering once a week, but some - such as the Spider plant or Snake Plant - may only need watering once every few weeks.
The elements of city life - both social and environmental - have a knock-on effect on our health.
A lot of the time it may be unavoidable and catch us off-guard, but by introducing houseplants into your home, you can grow your own environment and your own haven to return to, to recharge the batteries, to escape, to feel alive - away from the shadows of skyscrapers and echoes of car horns.
They need not be the nucleus to it, but having them around will add color, shape and life to your home.