When we think of the possible harm that can come from having a plant like the Dieffenbachia in our homes and offices, one could be left to wonder if it’s all worth it.

With the religious regimen around planting and keeping plants alive, one might be convinced to save oneself the trouble.

The only problem is that you will also be missing out on a lot of benefits that come with having a houseplant. Interior plants are good for more than the aesthetics. They play a significant role in giving a pleasant, earthy ambience to an environment. They give a certain feng shui to a place that makes the users of the space work and live better.

Here are more things houseplants can do:

1. Reduce stress and improve general feeling of well being

If you instinctively feel a certain calm at the sight of greenery, you are not alone. Plants make us feel more comfortable and reduce stress levels.

A study by Kansas State University shows that viewing plants after surgery leads to improved physiological responses amongst patients. What leads to the improved physiological responses is what researchers identified as lower blood pressure and less anxiety due to a topiary presence.

2. Improve air quality

The air within a populated sealed environment – like the office or home – is a stagnant, rank cocktail of air-donations by many lungs – not very healthy.

NASA, who have spent a lot of time researching this, found that plants play an important role improving air quality [PDF].

Because plants absorb carbon dioxide we exhale and give us fresh oxygen in return, they help us breathe better. Their roots and leaves remove toxic steam from inside the building.

They reduce the level of pollutants – such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide – and the dust concentrations in the air.

Dieffenbachia, for instance, removes formaldehyde, xylene and toulene –  two other pollutants more than other plants. Other plants that do a good job removing toxins from the air include Mother in law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) and Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum).

3. They make us smarter and more productive

Remember that time I talked about feng shui? Here’s the skinny: if you are falling back on your milestones, having plants on your desk could turbocharge your productivity. There is a substantial academic muscle that proves that being around nature improves concentration, memory and retention.

Psychology researchers; Marc Berman, John Jonides and Stephen Kaplan at the University of Michigan found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature.


The next time your teenager has exams coming up, place a little, potted plant on their reading table.

4. Reduce ambient noise

Filed under “simply unbelievable powers of green growing things”. Although people have used plants to reduce noise from busy roads for a long time, the knowledge of interior plants’ ability to reduce background noise only recently came to light.

Some plants absorb, diffuse and reflect background noise, leaving the environment more tranquil. Research at the South Bank University indicates that some plants are particularly primed for this job. Some of them include Variegated Bamboo Dracaena (Dracaena godsefienna) and Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii).

Exploring this particular benefit of plants may require expert insight, but the general idea is to have them densely packed at strategic points in the office.

5. They make us hurt less

At this stage in our lives, we’ve had our fair share of traumas and disappointments.  Gardening can act as a natural therapy to take the edge of pains of disappointments. Nurturing a plant helps us work through some of the events around our traumatic experiences and find peace.

A 2009 study by Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens found that cultivating plants improves mental states and helps older citizens reach a better place for recovery.

Make your home healthier, and your office a more productive environment. Call Omar Gardens on 01-293 0810 or contact us online to get started.