Combatting SAD with indoor plants

Jun 06, 2024 | 3 Min Read

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Bringing plants into your home can help reduce stress, increase oxygen levels, and boost your mood.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to the seasons. For most people, it tends to occur in autumn or early winter and goes away in the spring. Shorter days, less sunlight, and a reduction in physical activity are all contributing factors to this condition. 


Having plants in your home can help improve symptoms of SAD, according to research. Not only do house plants add aesthetic appeal to your living space, but studies have shown they also have the power to improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 per cent), reduce stress levels, and boost your mood. Also, NASA’s Clean Air Study found that house plants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in 24 hours.

Indoor plants can help improve your mood by providing exposure to natural and green elements. For these reasons, they have been said to be therapeutic, and even healing. Researchers have found that having houseplants can help to:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Have positive and calming effects on your mood
  • Improve air quality
  • Reduce stress
  • Enhance productivity and creativity
  • Keep you connected to nature


By introducing certain plants into your home, you will soon start to notice improvements to your overall wellbeing. It’s a good idea to spend a little time researching the plants that are best suited to each room in your home. 


Here are some houseplants that will help boost your mood and energy:

  • Snake plant:  A great air purifier, releasing oxygen at night, and helping you to breathe better while sleeping. Snake plants like low light levels so will grow happily in a darker room such as a bedroom.
  • Spider plant: Great for absorbing mould and allergens from the air. It thrives well on a shelf or a bookcase as it requires less light and can withstand irregular watering.
  • Lavender: Good at helping you relax and letting go of stress and anxiety. A kitchen windowsill with a southern exposure is the perfect spot for growing lavender plants indoors.
  • Cacti and succulents: Have been known to improve your mental health. They are extremely easy to care for and can do without much watering or care over the winter when they’re dormant. Place cacti on your brightest windowsill, which is often a southeast-facing window.
  • Aloe vera: Has anti-inflammatory and air purifying properties, and reduces anxiety and stress. It helps purify the air of formaldehyde and benzene, found in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents. The gel contained within the plant is loaded with healing vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients and can improve and soothe dry skin, burns and acne. A bright windowsill is the ideal spot for aloe vera. 
  • English ivy: Removes harmful toxins from the air, and is particularly beneficial if you suffer from allergies such as asthma. Its air purifying properties also help promote a good night’s sleep. Ivy is a good choice for a cool porch, unheated conservatory or a draughty hallway.
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