Bringing nature indoors: Incorporating greenery for a calming atmosphere

Bringing nature indoors: Incorporating greenery for a calming atmosphere

May 15, 2024

In our modern world, the hustle and bustle of daily life can often lead to feelings of stress and disconnection from nature. One effective way to counteract this and create a more calming atmosphere in your home is by incorporating greenery. Bringing nature indoors not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your living space but also provides numerous mental and physical health benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits of indoor plants, practical tips for incorporating greenery into your home, and how to maintain your indoor garden for a lasting calming effect.

The benefits of bringing nature indoors

1. Improved air quality

Indoor plants act as natural air purifiers. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, making the air in your home fresher and healthier. Some plants, such as spider plants, peace lilies, and snake plants, are particularly effective at removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air.

2. Stress reduction and mental health benefits

Numerous studies have shown that exposure to nature, even in the form of indoor plants, can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve overall mental well-being. The presence of greenery creates a serene and calming atmosphere, which can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. Enhanced productivity and focus

Plants can improve concentration and productivity by up to 15%, according to research conducted by the University of Exeter. The presence of plants in workspaces or study areas can help you feel more relaxed and focused, making it easier to complete tasks efficiently.

4. Boosted creativity

The natural beauty of plants can inspire creativity and enhance problem-solving skills. The colors, shapes, and textures of different plants can stimulate your senses and spark new ideas, making them a valuable addition to any creative space.

5. Improved physical health

In addition to their mental health benefits, indoor plants can also improve your physical health. They can help regulate humidity levels, which can prevent respiratory issues and skin dryness. Some plants, like aloe vera, have medicinal properties that can be used to treat minor burns and skin irritations.

Choosing the right plants for your home

1. Low-light plants

If your home doesn’t receive a lot of natural light, consider low-light plants such as:

  • Snake Plant (Sansevieria): Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this hardy plant thrives in low light and requires minimal watering.
  • ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia): The ZZ plant is almost indestructible and can tolerate low light and infrequent watering.
  • Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Known for its trailing vines, pothos is a versatile plant that can thrive in low to moderate light conditions.

2. Bright-light plants

For homes with ample natural light, consider these bright-light plants:

  • Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata): With its large, glossy leaves, the fiddle leaf fig makes a dramatic statement in any room.
  • Succulents and Cacti: These sun-loving plants come in various shapes and sizes and require minimal watering, making them perfect for bright, sunny spots.
  • Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae): This plant features large, banana-like leaves and can produce stunning flowers if given enough light.

3. Air-purifying plants

To improve indoor air quality, consider adding these air-purifying plants to your home:

  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Known for its air-purifying abilities, the spider plant is easy to care for and produces attractive arching leaves.
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): Peace lilies are not only beautiful but also effective at removing toxins from the air.
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): This lush, feathery fern is excellent for humidifying the air and removing pollutants.

4. Pet-friendly plants

If you have pets, it’s important to choose plants that are non-toxic to them:

  • Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens): This elegant palm is safe for pets and adds a tropical touch to your home.
  • Calathea: Known for its striking foliage, calathea is non-toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans): This petite palm is pet-friendly and thrives in low to moderate light.

Practical tips for incorporating greenery into your home

1. Create a green focal point

Choose a prominent spot in your home, such as a living room corner or a windowsill, and create a lush display of plants. Combine plants of different heights, textures, and colors to create visual interest and a focal point that draws the eye.

2. Use vertical space

Maximize your use of vertical space by incorporating hanging planters, wall-mounted shelves, or vertical gardens. This is especially useful in small spaces where floor space is limited. Hanging plants like ivy, philodendrons, and string of pearls can create a cascading effect that adds depth and dimension to your space.

3. Incorporate plants into your décor

Blend plants seamlessly into your home décor by choosing stylish planters that complement your interior design. Use pots made of natural materials like clay, terracotta, or woven baskets to enhance the organic feel. Grouping plants in clusters or arranging them on shelves and side tables can also add to the aesthetic appeal.

4. Create a relaxing reading nook

Transform a quiet corner of your home into a serene reading nook by adding a comfortable chair, a small table, and an array of potted plants. The greenery will provide a calming backdrop and help you unwind while enjoying your favorite book.

5. Enhance your bathroom with plants

Bathrooms are often overlooked as potential plant havens, but the humidity and varying light conditions can be ideal for many plants. Consider placing a few small plants on a windowsill, a shelf, or even hanging from the ceiling. Ferns, orchids, and pothos are excellent choices for bathrooms.

6. Use plants as room dividers

Large plants can act as natural room dividers, providing privacy and defining different areas within an open-plan space. Tall plants like bamboo palms, fiddle leaf figs, and rubber plants are great for this purpose.

7. Incorporate edible plants

Why not combine beauty with functionality by incorporating edible plants into your indoor garden? Herbs like basil, mint, and rosemary can thrive indoors with adequate light and care. Not only do they add greenery to your space, but they also provide fresh ingredients for your culinary endeavors.

Maintaining Your Indoor Garden

1. Watering tips

Understanding the watering needs of your plants is crucial for their health. Overwatering is a common mistake that can lead to root rot and other issues. Here are some general watering guidelines:

  • Check Soil Moisture: Before watering, check the soil moisture by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.
  • Watering Schedule: Establish a consistent watering schedule, but be flexible based on the specific needs of each plant and the season.
  • Proper Drainage: Ensure that your pots have drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom. Use saucers to catch excess water.

2. Lighting requirements

Different plants have varying light requirements. Position your plants based on their specific needs:

  • Low-Light Plants: Place these plants in areas that receive indirect or filtered light, such as north-facing windows or shaded corners.
  • Bright-Light Plants: Position these plants near south or west-facing windows where they can receive ample sunlight.

If natural light is insufficient, consider using grow lights to supplement the light requirements of your plants.

3. Fertilizing

Indoor plants need nutrients to thrive. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to feed your plants every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce or stop fertilizing during the dormant period (fall and winter).

4. Pruning and maintenance

Regular pruning helps keep your plants healthy and encourages new growth. Remove dead or yellowing leaves, trim overgrown branches, and pinch back leggy stems. This not only improves the appearance of your plants but also promotes a fuller, bushier growth.

5. Pest control

Indoor plants can be susceptible to pests like aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. Inspect your plants regularly for signs of pests and treat them promptly:

  • Natural Remedies: Use natural remedies like neem oil, insecticidal soap, or a mixture of water and dish soap to treat infestations.
  • Isolation: If a plant is heavily infested, isolate it from other plants to prevent the spread of pests.

6. Repotting

As your plants grow, they may outgrow their pots and become root-bound. Repotting is necessary to provide them with more space and fresh soil:

  • Choose the Right Pot: Select a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot.
  • Use Fresh Soil: Use a high-quality potting mix that provides good drainage and aeration.
  • Timing: Repot during the growing season when plants are more resilient and can recover quickly.


Incorporating greenery into your home is a powerful way to create a calming and serene atmosphere. The benefits of indoor plants extend beyond aesthetics, contributing to improved air quality, reduced stress, enhanced productivity, and overall well-being. By choosing the right plants for your space, incorporating them thoughtfully into your décor, and maintaining them with care, you can enjoy