Plants aren’t just for decorating your apartment — they have numerous other physical and mental benefits as well.
Even if you’re living in a small apartment with little natural light, or you can’t remember to regularly water your plants, it’s possible to find a plant that works well for your home. Many houseplants don’t need much light or water, with some not needing light at all.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of keeping plants, the best types of plants to grow in your apartment, and where you purchase great house plants around Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
Benefits of Indoor Plants
Incorporating some few plants into your apartment is an affordable way to instantly make your space feel airier while improving your health and happiness. The benefits of keeping indoor plants include:
- Helping you breathe. During photosynthesis, house plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, while humans breath in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Thus, keeping plants in your apartment can help increase the oxygen levels in your home, which helps your body feel better.
- Helping your avoid illness. Plants take in water, the majority of which they then release into the air through the process of transpiration. Like a humidifier, this helps increase the humidity of the air in your apartment, which is particularly useful for those who live in dry climates (or are experiencing a Buffalo winter) and can help fend off illness, including the flu virus. And according to Bayer Advanced, studies at the Agricultural University of Norway show that using plants inside decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.
- Cleaning the air. According to NASA studies, plants improve indoor air quality and help remove pollutants from the air–up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours. They can also negate the toxins in the air due to cigarette smoke if you live with a smoker.
- Helping you heal. Plants aren’t just a way to cheer up someone who’s injured or ill — they can actively promote healing. Researchers at Kansas State University found that adding plants to hospital rooms speeds recovery rates of surgical patients. In addition, they discovered that compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner. Texas A&M University’s hospital even uses “horticulture therapy” to promote healing. They have found that patients who take care of and physically interact with plants recover much quicker after medical procedures that those who do not.
- Increasing your productivity. Several studies have found that studying or working around plants improves concentration and productivity and can increase memory retention up to 20 percent, according to the University of Michigan. Texas A&M also determined that working around plants increased workers’ accuracy rates, and the Royal College of Agriculture in England observed that students demonstrate 70 percent greater attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms containing plants.
- Making you happier. Studies have found that being around plants improves people’s overall well-being, lowers their stress and can even increase job satisfaction. They have also been shown to promote improvements in mood and self-esteem and increased feelings of optimism and control and can even be used to help people suffering with depression.
Best Apartment-Friendly Plants
With all of these benefits, getting plants for your apartment is a no-brainer. But some plants are definitely more conducive to living in an apartment with limited light and space than others.
Some of the best apartment-friendly plants include:
- ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia). According to 6sqft, ZZ Plants are native to Zanzibar and are considered by some as the “Houseplant of the Future.” They are one of the lowest light plants available, only need to be watered three times per month, and rarely attract pests, so they’re perfect if you’re looking for something low-maintenance, travel frequently or have difficulty remembering to water your plants.
- Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior). Iron Plants have dark leafy greens and can be a great way to perk up a dark corner with some color. They survive well with low lighting, need very little water and don’t need expensive soil to grow.
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii). With its dark green leaves and gorgeous white flowers, this beautiful plant adds an elegant touch to any room while removing indoor contaminates such as benzene and formaldehyde, as well as tobacco pollutants, from the air. It’s called the “Closet Plant” because it’s perfect for small spaces and requires little sunlight for survival. The Peace Lily also only has to be watered about once per week, and you’ll be able to tell easily if it needs water if the leaves begin to drop.
- Bamboo. Bamboo only needs water and shade to survive and has feng shui benefits, according to experts. It looks stylish and adds some zen to your apartment without taking up much space.
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum). This low-maintenance plant can be hung from the ceiling to take up less space, and produces vine-like offshoots that can be removed and put in water. They thrive in moderate sunlight with weekly or bi-weekly watering and can remove carbon monoxide from the air, as well as formaldehyde and xylene.
- Succulents. Have trouble keeping plants alive? Succulents, such as snake plants, aloe or cacti, are the right plants for you. They look great while being nearly impossible to kill, requiring just a little bit of sunlight and water once every other month — less often than you pay your rent.
Where To Buy Plants in Buffalo
There are plenty of stores and nurseries around Buffalo that offer these plants, as well as others you can use to decorate, detox and improve your apartment. Check out some of the best plant stores in the area:
- Urban Roots – Located at 426 Rhode Island St. on Buffalo’s West Side, Urban Roots is a Cooperative Garden Center in offering unusual, heirloom, organic and locally grown plants and supplies.
- Mother Nature Plant Emporium – Offering a lovely variety of flowers and indoor plants at affordable prices, be sure to check out Mother Nature Plant Emporium in the Elmwood Village, just down the road from our West Ferry Apartments.
- Rudolph Galley & Sons – Less than 20 minutes from downtown Buffalo, Rudolph Galley & Sons Greenhouse is worth taking a trip to West Seneca for, offering high quality plants at affordable prices.
- Buffalo Roots Hydroponics and Organics – Need supplies or want to learn more about indoor gardening? Stop in to Buffalo Roots Hydroponics and Organics, located at 3231 Main St. Their 3500-square-foot space features an indoor greenhouse, grow lights, containers, soil nutrients and more.
- Home Depot – With locations in North Buffalo, Amherst, Williamsville, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Niagara Falls and Hamburg, you’ll find a wide variety of common indoor plants available for purchase, including ferns, snake plants, orchids and the ZZ plant. You can also purchase several other plants online and have them conveniently delivered to your apartment.
What are your favorite places to purchase plants in Buffalo? What plants have you had the most success with? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.