Fighting the Dark Ages with a Little Green

The days are growing shorter, we have now seen a few days that did not reach 70 degrees and soon the greens will give way to yellows, orange and red. Fall has come again! While the change happens every year with only a slight variation on the timing and the life expectancy of the yellow, orange and reds, for many of us this change still comes as a surprise.

While the days start growing shorter after June 21st, for some reason it takes weeks before we suddenly realize that it is 6:00 and we are being blinded by the setting sun. Soon the days are over before most of us are able to walk out of work and the nights of dinner in the backyard, warm night breezes and bright garden flowers are over. Welcome to the ‘Dark Ages’.

Before panic sets in, counter the dreariness that comes with the seemingly never ending night and monochromatic views of the winter months by bringing in a little color to your winter with some of your favorite plants. Not only are plants great to look at but they also have many health benefits*.

Plants, whether indoor or outdoor, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Similarly to how our bodies use oxygen to metabolize, plant use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, each discarding the gas that the other needs to support life. Without oxygen our bodies are unable to metabolize, meaning we could not repair old tissue, create new tissue, discard unneeded materials or convert those yummy calories into energy**.  

The plants themselves are not the only things that help the air. The plants’ soil acts as a purifier, pulling toxins out of the air. What a great option when it is too cold outside to open the windows for fresh air. While plants cannot create a breeze, there is no need to live in stagnant, dull air simply by bringing in a few plants*.

During photosynthesis plants also release water vapor into the atmosphere. In the winter months the humidity often drops as the heater are turned on, causing dry and irritated skin. Bring some of that life back to the air with something refreshing to the body, mind and atmosphere*.

But do these benefits actually make a difference in day to day life?

Studies show that hospital patients who have plants in their rooms tend to recover faster, require less medication, have higher levels of energy and are often released earlier than patients who do not plants in their rooms. Other studies show that offices with plants have higher levels of productivity and energy, are less likely to suffer from common colds and flu and have lower blood pressure*. 

Here are some plants we recommend:

Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)***

Dracaena (Dracaena)***

Croton (Codiaeum)***

Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia)***

*http://www.bayeradvanced.com/articles/5-benefits-of-houseplants

**http://www.oxygen-review.com/human-body.html

***All images curtesy of Rose of Sharon Floral Designs