Plants and People

A Symbiotic Relationship

Most people know and understand the saying, “everything in moderation” to be true, yet often find it difficult to strike a balance in certain areas of their lives, especially health wise. This is where mother nature takes over for us, if we let her, and rekindles that innate symbiotic relationship we’ve long forgotten we have with nature.

Plants process the waste product of our breathing, namely carbon dioxide, quite efficiently during the daylight hours and produce the much-needed oxygen we require to remain alert and productive during that time. So, in essence, we breathe so that they may photosynthesize and grow and they produce oxygen so that we may live and prosper. Isn’t it a lovely arrangement?

There are particular plants chosen for workspaces for this very purpose, mostly due to their stems being thicker and woodier than other plants, making them more efficient at the job at hand. Some varieties worthy of mention are Ficus benjamina, Dracaena reflexa, Chamaedorea seifrizii and Chrysalidorcarpus lutescens (Bamboo Palm).

As with all things that perform functions, though, there are of course some that just outperform the others by miles. One such plant is Sansevieria trifasciata, or more commonly known as ‘mother in law’s tongue’. What is its super power? Well, unlike other plants that generally produce oxygen only during daylight hours and then switch to producing carbon dioxide at night, this lovely plant continues producing oxygen even after the lights go out. This neat little trick has afforded it a second nickname, ‘the bedroom plant’, which needs no explanation.