The Effects of Indoor Plants


Bringing plants indoors may have more benefits than just adding aesthetic beauty. Plants affect the indoor environment in a variety of ways, from physical to cognitive effects.


Plants can add fresh air to a room; plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air. The Environmental Protection Agency rates indoor air pollution as one of the top five health hazards.

Filter Toxins

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are removed from the room's air through plant's leaves and roots. VOCs are found in household paint, carpet and other building materials.


Winter months are generally very dry indoors; plants add additional moisture to the air. A slightly humid room is more comfortable and can help itchy, dry skin during the colder months.

Sense of Well Being

Plants can add a feeling of well-being and liveliness to an environment, especially during cold, dreary winter months. Virginia Lohr of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University found that indoor plants increase productivity, relaxation and a sense of calmness in people.


Experiencing nature indoors is important because many people do not spend time outdoors and are therefore losing a connection to outdoor plant life. A 2007 report by The University of Guam states people spend 70 to 90 percent of their time indoors.


  • Northwestern University
  • University of Guam
  • Swarthmore College
Keywords: indoor, plants, effects, benefits

About this Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.