There are a plethora of pretty faux plants in the marketplace. But how do the imposters stack up against real plants when it comes to the quality of our living environment?

By Megan Hughes

Synthetic plants, with their ever-flowering attributes and zero water needs, make it possible to enjoy the beauty of nature in harsh environments. While faux plants are valuable in homes and offices, research from Ellison Chair in International Floriculture shows that living plants bring more positive qualities to the table than their synthetic counterparts. From improving mood to amping up productivity, living plants promote a quality of life that is deeper than mere appearance.

Bring a Peaceful Mind

Researchers found that people who care for plants, from orchids to apple trees, have lower levels of stress than those who don’t care for plants. The satisfaction people receive from nurturing and helping a living thing grow results in less mental distress. Scientists found that plants and gardening help people channel their stress and frustration into something beautiful that provides comfort and joy. Soon enough, stress is transformed into a positive emotion.

While we occasionally lament weekly watering chores for a trailing pothos or a vigorous ivy, keep in mind that the act of tending living plants fuels a positive mood. Some houseplants thrive with notably frequent and regular care. These high-needs plants potentially return a greater increase in mood than low-maintenance plants.  Begonias, ferns, and ivy are a few plants that require consistent care.

Grow a Spirit of Caring

University researchers found a correlation between people who care for plants and the care those people exhibit in relationships. Studies show that people who are around nature and participate in caring for nature are more likely to help others and often exhibit more advanced social relationships.

Caring for a houseplant is a terrific way to nurture caring relationships in the life of a child. Regular plant care promotes understanding of another’s needs and the ease of meeting those needs on a regular basis. Great plants for kids include African violet, Christmas cactus, and dracaena, among others.

Promote Strong Memory

Studies show that the calming influence of plants and the natural environment contributes to a positive workplace by increasing memory retention and concentration. So we could say that the hoya hanging near your desk and the ZZ plant decorating a quiet corner of your office are both working, too! That is, they are working hard to help you concentrate and complete your own work. Researchers found that work performed around and near ornamental plants is normally higher in quality and completed with a significantly higher accuracy rate than work done in environments devoid of nature.

Although faux plants may fit some lifestyles better, you might want to take into consideration the potentially life-changing benefits that real houseplants have to offer.

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