The benefits of plants are numerous. Here are just a few:
Concentration and Memory
Keeping ornamental plants in the home and in the workplace increases memory retention and concentration. The calming influence of natural environments is conducive to positive work environments by increasing a person's ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Work performed under the natural influence of ornamental plants is normally of higher-quality and completed with a much higher accuracy rate then work done in environments devoid of nature. Going outside or being under the influence of plants can increase memory retention up to 20%, a recent University of Michigan study showed (Sewach). The effect of nature in the home and the workplace serves to stimulate both the senses and the mind, improving mental cognition and performance.
Participation in and landscaping activities is an effective way to reduce levels of stress. Studies have shown that people who nurture plants and garden have less mental distress than others. Gardening provides people with a positive way to channel their stress and frustration into something beautiful that provides them with comfort and joy. Part of the effects of gardening come from the satisfaction people get from nurturing and helping a living thing grow. Plants and gardening soothes people because they help them turn their stressful feelings into something positive which gives them pleasure. By helping them transform their stress into a more positive emotion, gardening also gives people an excellent coping mechanism for their daily frustrations. Nurturing plants reduces stress levels and gives people a way to cope with their negative feelings.
Improved Human Performance / Energy
Spending time in nature gives people an increased feeling of vitality, increasing their energy levels and making them feel more animated. Their performance levels are, in turn, increased by this improved state of mind. Natural environments induce a positive outlook on life, making people feel more alive and active. When people experience increased vigor, they put more of themselves and their energy into their work. Plants can help people to improve their performance at work and at home by increasing their perceived vitality and giving them more feelings of added energy.
Flowers Generate Happiness
Keeping flowers around the home and in the workplace greatly reduces a person's stress levels. Natural aesthetic beauty is soothing to people, and keeping ornamental flowers around the home environment is an excellent way to lower levels of stress and anxiety. People who keep flowers in their home feel happier, less stressed, and more relaxed. As a result of the positive energy they derive from the environment, the chances of suffering from stress-related depression are decreased as well. Overall, adding flowers to your home or work environment reduces your perceived stress levels and makes you feel more relaxed, secure, and happy. Flowers can help you achieve a more optimistic outlook on your life, bringing you both pleasing visual stimulation and helping you to increase your perceived happiness.
Accelerates Healing Process
Shrubs, trees, and flowers have a practical application in hospitals: the presence of plants in patient recovery rooms greatly reduces the time necessary to heal. The soothing effects of ornamental flowers and plants are so great that simply having daily views of flowers and other ornamental plants in landscaped areas outside patient recovery rooms significantly speed up recovery time. Another technique to decrease recovery time is horticulture therapy, where patients care for and nurture plants themselves. Patients who physically interact with plants experience a significantly reduced recovery time after medical procedures.
Improves Relationships / Compassion
Ornamental plants affect the levels of compassion that people feel for others. Studies have shown that people who spend more time around plants are much more likely to try and help others, and often have more advanced social relationships. People who care for nature are more likely to care for others, reaching out to their peers and forming shared bonds resulting from their common interests. Extended exposure to nature and wildlife increases people's compassion for each other as it increases people's compassion for the environment in which they live. In short, being around plants can help to improve relationships between people and increase their concern and empathy toward others.
Keeping plants in a child's learning environment enhances learning capabilities by helping them to focus and concentrate. This improves their ability to learn new things and makes it easier for them to absorb and retain information. Ornamental plants are conducive to generating a positive learning environment, reducing children's tendency toward distraction and helping them to be better able to concentrate on school work. Specifically for children with problems paying attention, adding plants to the classroom can have a dramatic positive effect on the way they learn. For example, children with Attention Deficit Disorder, learning in a natural environment can help them to engage more in the classroom, improving their focus and concentration on the task at hand. The soothing effects of natural aesthetic beauty help them to minimize the distractions in which children learn, plants can help them to learn better.
Perceived Quality of Life
Beautiful natural landscapes not only improve the aesthetics of the community, they also affect resident's perceived quality of life. People associate living in areas with a great deal of natural beauty with a higher quality of life. A high quality of life, in turn, benefits the entire community, because residents spend more money and positively affect the economy and social pulse of the town and can also attract new businesses. Thriving communities are ones in which natural beauty is appreciated as a part of an overall high quality of life, which is why installing landscaping is crucial to both the success and happiness of the individual and the public.
Therapeutic Effects of Gardening
Gardening can have therapeutic effects on people who have undergone trauma, either mental or physical. The act of nurturing a plant can provide victims with a way to work through their issues and heal their wounds, whether they are on the surface of the skin or deeper. Cultivating plants also improves their mental states and helps to put them in a better place for recovering. Gardening is a therapeutic tool that can be used to help put people in a better psychological state during recovery and help them to work past the mental barriers that could impede their healing.