Plant Life Balance

Back at uni? Get yourself some leafy study buddies

We’ve got the insider tips on how to have a happy, productive uni semester.

Whether you’ve just survived your first O-week or are back to do it all again, university is a certifiable stress-fest. On one hand, you have to study your butt off; on the other, you have to deal with adult life and the highs and lows it brings with it – luckily, plants can help with both.

Lately, we’ve been geeking out with numerous studies which confirm that contact with plants helps us learn and be more productive. From the classroom to the office to your bedroom desk, the benefits of having plants around is undeniable!

Plants make you happier

We came across a UK study from April 2018 that showed green spaces were key to improving wellbeing with “a protective effect of greenness on depression”. The study also showed that people living in leafier communities were 4% less likely to suffer from a major depressive disorder.

Aside from that, there’s this thing called ‘biophilia’ which suggests that human beings crave green spaces as a basic, primal sense. Popularised by Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 book ‘The Biophilia Hypothesis’, it describes our “urge to affiliate with other forms of life” as our environments become more and more urbanised.

Plants help you learn

A University of Michigan study found a 20% increase in the ability for students to retain information when they spent an hour a day interacting with nature. Another study from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2010 showed that putting plants in classrooms improved academic performance.

Plants make you more productive

A 2014 study by the University of Exeter found that office worker productivity increased 15% when indoor plants were added to their workspace. Basically, as long as the workers could see a plant, they were going to be more productive.

Plants reduce stress

That same 2010 UTS study found lower instances of stress among workers when plants were brought into their office, including a 37% fall in reported tension and anxiety; a 58% drop in depression or dejection; a 44% decrease in anger and hostility; and a 38% reduction in fatigue.

Plants keep you healthy

We’ve been preaching about the health benefits of indoor plants for ages, backed by data from RMIT and Melbourne Uni and NASA that just one indoor plant can improve a room’s air quality by 25%. Also, including plants in the classroom has been shown to reduce sick days and provide greater course satisfaction, according to a Norwegian study from 2002. Because they clean the air, just having them around can reduce eye irritation too. What a breath of fresh air!

But which plants?

Uni students have a lot on their plates, so low maintenance plants are crucial. Try Devil’s ivy, Jade plant, Chinese evergreen, Philodendron, ZZ plant – plants you can ignore for periods of time will serve you well. Group your plants together or hang them up for a nice visual effect. Easy.

Don’t forget parks!

University campuses often have beautiful grounds and there’s always the local parks, even if you’re just looking for a study break.

More plants, more of the time, we say. Check out our nursery database and find your nearest local to get cracking on your collection.