Almost everyone knows that plants are necessary for our existence. Without plants life as we know it would not be possible. Plants are a major source of oxygen that animals and humans need. Many plants also have valuable medicinal and therapeutic properties and aesthetic and/or homeopathic applications – two appealing functions that motivate many people to surround themselves with plants. Many plant-based extracts and essential oils, for example, are added to numerous personal-care items.
Plants seem to have a calming and soothing effect on people. Having a few plants in one’s office or home can help provide a garden- or forest-like ambiance. The green light reflected by most plants seems to be a pleasant sensation of the eyes. Vegetation also absorbs noise year round, and even provides a small amount of warmth (infrared energy) on cold winter days.
Plants filter the air. They can absorb carbon dioxide, volatile organic vapors, hydrocarbon fumes, and so on. Many health experts assert that putting plants indoors in offices and homes can help reduce the amount of indoor air pollutants and thereby also reduce the incidence of various respiratory conditions such as colds and allergies. Of course, not all plants are pleasant to have around. Some plants have parts, saps, or scents that can cause allergic reactions. Others can also grow very quickly and spread very rapidly, and then become very difficult to root out. Common sense and a little bit of knowledge are useful for avoiding these unpleasant plants.
Finally, plants provide the experience and the pleasure of seeing a living thing grow and develop. Many people who have planted and cared for a fruit-bearing tree or a flower-bearing plant would readily confirm their joy in seeing the first fruit or flower bud come out.
Plants are – and very likely will always be – useful for us humans; and their quiet and natural beauty can only add to their importance.