If you like plants in your home or office but do not have an even lightly green thumb, you might think of getting a dracaena plant. These plants are easy to care for and make an attractive addition to any room. Not only are they good to look at, but dracaenas have several other benefits to recommend them when considering your selection of house plants.
Dracaena plants are top-rated plants when it comes to removing toxins from the air in a building. They release oxygen and water vapor which helps make the atmosphere healthier. Dracaenas aid concentration and memory, improve focus and mood, and are a low maintenance plant.
Dracaena is an ancient Greek word meaning a female dragon. Many of these plants with their pointed spear or sword-shaped leaves resemble the spines on a dragon’s back, and it is easy to see why they got their name. This ‘dragon’ is not a vicious enemy, though, and is actually surprisingly benevolent.
Related: 6 Plants That Look Like Dracaena
1. Dracaena Plants Detoxify The Air
Dracaena plants are classed as some of the best plants in the world when it comes to detoxifying the air we breathe. Buildings get polluted by gases known as volatile organic compounds and other toxic substances.
This occurs because the substances used when constructing, painting, and decorating a building contain noxious gases. These substances go through a process known as off-gassing, where toxic fumes are given off into the air. You only have to think how strong a room smells after painting or recarpeting, and you will know what fumes we are talking about.
These fumes include gases we do not want in our bodies. Pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and carbon dioxide are present in high levels, causing symptoms stretching from mild to severe or even life-threatening.
Symptoms include coughing, mucus production, irritated lungs, burning mucus membranes, sore throat, headache, asthma or other respiratory illness, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and brain fog. In severe cases, muscle and joint pain may also be seen. Anemia, cancer, and bone marrow disease may result from toxic fumes and could be fatal.
Buildings that have a lot of fumes are described as having sick building syndrome. The prescription for curing sick building syndrome is lots and lots of plants. NASA has completed studies where they have concluded that no technology they can produce soaks up toxic gases as well as plants.
Dracaena plants remove toxins from the air in two ways.
- The leaves absorb air, including carbon dioxide and toxic gases, during photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is used in its metabolic processes, and oxygen is given off as a waste product of photosynthesis. This benefits us, as more oxygen in the air makes it easier to breathe.
- The dracaena plant roots draw air down into the soil, where harmful chemicals are filtered through the root system. The toxins become trapped in the mycelium of the plant roots and are often neutralized.
2. Dracaena Plants Absorb Heavy Metals
Heavy metals are difficult for our bodies to eliminate. As a result, they stay with us for a long time, causing poisoning. Examples are mercury and lead. Although you may not think we often come into contact with these metals, they are in many substances used in the construction industry.
Older buildings used lead plumbing pipes and lead paint, which give off a surprising amount of lead into the atmosphere. Many of these buildings have been revamped, but some are still in use with the lead intact.
The good news is that dracaena absorbs both mercury and lead and filters it out of the environment. This makes it much safer for us. It is best to have more than one plant to remove as many toxins as possible.
3. Dracaena Plants Produce Water Vapor
When plants respire, they give off water vapor into the atmosphere. This is beneficial as air conditioners and other appliances dry out the air making the air harder to breathe. The added water vapor in the air is good for the membranes that line our mouths, nose, and pharynx. Moist membranes work efficiently and filter cold and flu viruses, bacteria, and other particles, preventing them from entering the lungs.
Dry air often results in a sore throat, lesions in the nose, and painful burning eyes. When dracaena add moisture to the air, these problems are reduced or eliminated.
4. Dracaena Plants Benefit Mental Health
Psychologists and researchers have found that people living in a modern world are facing a crisis. They live surrounded by concrete and artificial surfaces. This affects them psychologically as we were meant to spend a lot of time outdoors. Being outdoors in the natural world has many health and psychological benefits.
In modern living, stress is increasing, resulting in decreasing serotonin which causes anxiety and depression. Mental acuity, memory, and concentration are decreasing. Many people complain of brain fog and fatigue.
The answer to this problem is that if we cannot get people out into the greenery of nature, we need to bring it indoors. Plants of any kind are good for our psyche, resulting in less stress and anxiety, more focus, a calmer mind, and more ability to concentrate. A study showed that introducing plants to a workspace improves productivity by a minimum of fifteen percent.
Many people struggle to keep plants alive, but dracaena has a reputation for being an exceptionally easy plant to keep. Its water, temperature, and light requirements are easy to manage, and the plant is well adapted to being grown inside.
This means that a person can get all the health benefits of having an indoor plant without having to deal with a high maintenance plant. One study showed that ninety-five percent of people reported that they felt happier when plants were introduced into their environment.
Beautiful surroundings, including houseplants such as dracaena, create a more positive attitude and lighten moods.
Dracaena is an easy to keep houseplant that removes toxic chemicals from the environment. It releases oxygen and water vapor, improving the air quality, making it healthier for us. Being surrounded by plants such as dracaena keeps us mentally alert and happier.