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We all need stress relief, increased health, and better concentration. Plants in your home and workplace can lend a helping hand.

A More Moist Environment

The Dutch study we mentioned earlier found that workers who had plants in their offices benefited from a decreased incidence of colds and sore throats. That is because plants release moisture vapor into the air around them while they photosynthesize and sweat (yes, plants sweat!).

Most plants actually release a surprising amount of the water you offer them into the air — up to 97 percent.

People who were thinking of investing in an expensive air humidifying system may be better off purchasing plants instead. You will need several plants within the same room to benefit from a more moist environment and the associated decrease in colds, sore throats, coughs and dry skin.

Plants Are Good For The Brain

Studies have proven that plants reduce the incidence of certain illnesses, that they help speed up recovery and that they reduce stress. You've also already read that plants increase productivity in the workplace. It's not much of a leap to conclude that plants might help us concentrate as well. 

That is exactly what an English study found. Students in rooms with plants could focus on lectures more easily and were found to have a 70 percent decrease in distractions. They were also nearly 100 percent more likely to come back to lectures in rooms with plants. Yet another study — this time from the United States — also found that the presence of plants increased concentration levels, reaction time and productivity

Concerned About Your Plants?

So, you're convinced that plants will benefit your emotional and physical health or would at least like to try if they will make you more productive? You might still be concerned about the well-being of any plants you bring into your home or workplace. While some of us seem to be born with "green fingers", many people have real trouble with plants and find that they simply don't survive for very long. 

What are you doing wrong? Most plants do best in areas with good natural lighting, and without drafts or continuous temperature fluctuations. You might be worried that you are not giving your plants enough water, but a plant is much more likely to die from over-watering than lack of water. Your plants will need more water in spring and summer, and less in fall and winter. 

When in doubt, the internet is a wonderful tool that will help you find out how to care for your specific plant species. 

Make sure to clean your plants regularly too, as dust build-up on their leaves prevents them from thriving. Plant lovers often say talking to their green friends makes them feel better. By talking to your plants or near your plants, you give them a nice supply of the carbon dioxide they need to live, so go ahead and try it!

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