Musings of a Beaverton Teen: The relaxing effect of house plants

By Lani Garcia (12th Grader)

With a new school year underway, many students are already stressed out. Whenever school’s in session, it’s nice to have a relaxing space we can come home to in order to de-stress. Recently I’ve been getting into a simple and easy way to make any room more calming.

I got my first house plant near the beginning of August. I hung it up in my room, and I was surprised at how happy it made me! That’s when I started researching about not only how to take care of different house plants, but also the benefits of them in general. Here’s what I learned.

Fresh air

When plants go through photosynthesis, they take in carbon dioxide and produce and release oxygen. Therefore, if you have plants in your home, the oxygen levels actually increase, making it easier for you to breathe. And since fresh oxygen is released, it also purifies the air and removes toxins. A lot of common plants are even proven to remove cancer-causing substances such as formaldehyde from air!

Moist air

I also learned that plants release a large amount of the water they take in. This process is called transpiration. Because of this, if you have a lot of plants in your room they increase the humidity of that room, which can help with respiratory diseases and dry skin.

In addition to this, many people agree that it simply makes a room more relaxing and reduces anxiety.

Low Maintenance

Some may think that taking care of a house plant is a lot of work, but there are many hardy plants that don’t require much attention. One of these is a pothos plant, which is the one I got in August. These are extremely easy to take care of (trust me, I don’t have a green thumb but my plant is alive and well!). They can tolerate low light, and only need to be watered when the top two inches of soil are completely dry. More hardy house plants include snake plants, spider plants, and rubber trees.

House plants have so many benefits, and can be low maintenance! I am looking forward to getting more in the future.

Lani is will be a senior at Beaverton High School. As a ZooTeen, she volunteers at the Oregon Zoo during the summer. She plays piano & guitar, and enjoyed doing dragon boats this past year.