Biophilia Information: Learn How Plants Make Us Feel

Plants In A Window Sill
(Image credit: AnikaSalsera)

Do you feel more at ease on a walk through the forest? During a picnic in the park? There’s a scientific name for that feeling: biophilia. Keep reading to find out more biophilia information.

What is Biophilia?

Biophilia is a term coined in 1984 by the naturalist Edward Wilson. Literally, it means “love of life,” and it refers to the way we are naturally drawn to and benefit from living things like pets, and of course, plants. While walking through a forest is nice, you can reap the natural benefits of biophilia from the simple presence of houseplants in living and work spaces.

The Biophilia Effect of Plants

Humans benefit psychologically and physically from biophilia, and plants are a fantastic and low maintenance source of it. A number of studies have shown that the presence of houseplants can lower anxiety and blood pressure, decrease stress, and increase concentration. Some studies have even shown that hospital patients in rooms with living plants in them reported less stress and were found to require fewer painkillers. Of course, plants help purify the air of a room and provide extra oxygen.

Biophilia and Plants

So what are some good life-improving houseplants? The presence of basically any plant is sure to increase your quality of life. If you’re worried the stress of keeping a plant alive is going to outweigh the biophilia effect of plants, however, here are a few plants that are easy to take care of and extra good for improving air quality:

The snake plant is an especially good choice for a first-timer, since it’s so hard to kill. It doesn’t need much light or water, but it will pay you back with mood and air-boosting goodness even if you neglect it.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.