Hi Everyone and Happy New Year!
Thanks so much for visiting Hortiki Plants!
I'm sure you are gearing up to clean, organize, and enhance your life in every way for a fantastic year. Naturally adding more plants to your life is part of your plan, right? I am so excited for the plant journey you will travel this year! To help you get started, download the FREE 2022 Plants-At-A-Glance Calendar I've created to help you stay on track.
Through Hortiki I will continue providing useful resources like these to help you live your best plant life.
I want you to use up-to-the-minute scientific strategies on how to enhance your plant life. For that reason I'm delighted to kick-off the year with findings from a new study about plants and our health.
Most of us are aware that plants clean the air in our homes. That plants benefit our mood and level of productivity. To be unscientific for a moment, we know that plants make us happy!
Still, many of us fall into a pattern of having only three to five common houseplants. Perhaps one or two more on a kitchen windowsill that we use for cooking. If that is you, high five. You are actually ahead of the game. But, would having a greater variety help?
The study I am highlighting today is "The influence of plant species richness on stress recovery of humans" by Petra Lindemann-Matthies and Diethart Matthies. In this study, the scientists hypothesized that increasing species richness would lead to quicker recovery from stress. Species richness means the number of different plant types or species.
They were testing the impact of plant variety on human health. Does increasing plant variety help people recover from stress?
Arrays of different species richness (1, 16, 32, 64 species) were presented to visitors of a popular park in Zurich, Switzerland. Participants' blood pressure was measured twice. Directly after they had been stressed (using a color stress test), and after a two minute post-stress relaxation period. During this period, participants looked at a plant arrangement or at bare ground.
Blood pressure decreased when participants viewed an arrangement of plants. Relaxation was strongest at intermediate species richness (32 species).
People viewing an array with 32 different plants relaxed more than those viewing a single plant. They also relaxed more than those viewing an array with 16 different plants.
Isn't that encouraging?!
I'm so sorry to tell you this, but there's going to be some stress in your life this year. I'm not prophesying that over you. I'm stating realistically that this is the world in which we live. Why not do everything we can to the ensure quickest and most effective recovery possible? Particularly in our homes, which should be safe, refreshing and rejuvenating spaces.
Increasing the variety of plants we have can be easy and fun.
I hope this will help you experiment more this year. Increase the variety of plants in your home and enjoy the year to come.
Wishing you a wonderful year!
Victoria LeBeaux, PhD
Founder, Hortki Plants
Lindemann-Matthies, P. and Matthies, D.: The influence of plant species richness on stress recovery of humans, Web Ecol., 18, 121-128, https://doi.org/10.5194/we-18-121-2018, 2018.