Plants make students smarter

Image Source: Pixabay

By Zoe Kassiotis @ZKassiotis 

Studies show that including plants in your study space can make you more creative and productive.

The upcoming mid-semester break is typically a time where students feel the pressure as assignments pile higher than clothes in the dirty laundry basket, but introducing a few indoor plants could be a great way to leaf stress behind.

The University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) conducted studies that revealed the humble indoor plant (or five) improved participants’ concentration levels, performance in recognition tasks and stress recovery.

The findings showed that plants encourage students and employees to actively engage with their surroundings and consider long-term goals.

Charlene Maney, owner of Botanista, said that she always had plants in her study space, but started collecting rare succulents in her mid 20s as a reprieve from university pressure.

“The desk is typically a place where you can get stressed, so it’s nice to have a natural de-stressor,” Ms Maney said.

Located at Port Noarlunga, Botanista is South Australia’s only terrarium bar, where Charlene offers workshops for all to harvest the benefits of our potted friends.

Ms Maney said that the benefits of having plants in your study space are the same as having them in any space, in that “having greenery around calms the soul”.

“There’s also the nurturing aspect of having something that’s alive that you have to look after.

“Nurturing is something that you need to be in a good space to do and caring for plants puts you in that space, which is really conducive to study,” she said.

Ms Maney also said that the majority of her customers felt that way because the greenery made their surroundings “aesthetically more beautiful” and “brought them calm and a bit of Zen”.

Turns out plants not only reduce background noise and boost mood and creativity levels, but they clean the air too.

“Choosing a plant that is a naturally great oxygenator can actually make your desk a healthier place to be,” she said.

It is no secret that university students are notoriously neglectful creatures who at times forget to feed themselves, let alone another living organism.

Despite this, Ms Maney said that people aged 18-30, many of whom were students, comprised the vast majority of her recent succulent workshops.

“Plants that are super hardy and cope with sometimes forgetting to open the curtains are perfect for students,” Ms Maney said.

She said the benefits of an #urbanjungle are just as favourable for male students.

“Botanista gets heaps of dudes who love their indoor plants and they typically opt for hardy plants to brighten up the bedroom or study space.”

Mother-in-law’s tongue, also know as the snake plant, got Ms Maney’s green medal for the best cheap and hardy stress-reliever for students.

“This is actually the best oxygenator you can get and its super hardy because it copes with a range of light levels,” Ms Maney said.

“Mine are in the darkest, most neglected spots of my home and get watered about four times a year,” she said.

Ms Maney said her recommended plant aesthetic for a productive study space would be a small cactus on the desk, hanging plants to open the space up and inspire creativity, and a couple of bigger plants on the floor, such as a Zanzibar gem or peace lily.

Check out botanista_sa on Instagram for plant inspiration, tips and workshop dates while you work on bringing plants into your study space in the mid-semester break.

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(Image Source: @Botanista_SA)

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