No one denies the perks of having plants in the environment. From aesthetic pleasure to fresh air—plants serve us in many different ways.
However, there is one crucial benefit that people often overlook. Did you know that plants can absorb sound, cut noise and reduce echo in a room?
Buildings like offices, libraries, and medical facilities are designed to offer a sense of tranquility to the inhabitants. This motivates people to stay in these buildings and focus on their tasks.
One way to create a welcoming and serene environment in these places is to use plants.
A UK study found adding plants in the workplace improves productivity by 15%. Meanwhile, a US study discovered 10% of employee sick days occur due to a lack of plants and sunlight in the working area.
Impact of plants on the home environment
Plants can make a real difference when placed in a noisy home environment. In fact, you can cut the noise by 50% if you choose the right type of plant.
Indoor house plants’ porous and flexible nature works as a natural sound reducer.
The Journal of Physiological Anthropology reports a study that plants in your home make you feel more comfortable, soothed, and relaxed.
Noise is a constant feature in most houses. It is usually generated by children wailing or shouting, phone chatter, footsteps on hard floors, and cooking in the kitchen.
This may cause a frantic environment around the house, making it hard for its residents to stay cheerful.
Research has shown children who stay around plants learn better. For example, kids with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADA) can focus and concentrate more when around plants.
Also, the soothing impact of natural beauty helps to minimize the distractions that will otherwise occupy people’s minds.
How do plants reduce indoor noise?
Plants can cut the noise through three methods: absorption, deflection, and refraction.
Sound waves can bounce off hard surfaces. This adds to the noise and turns a noisy room into a louder place.
A four-walled room tends to amplify the sounds.
Nonetheless, adding plants in the house deadens the sound by breaking its waves into other forms of energy.
Plants are incredible at absorbing sounds because of the nature of their different parts. These include its leaves, branches, and wood.
Wood is a fantastic sound absorber. Have you ever wondered why it is so quiet and eerie in a forest?
That is because the trees absorb all the noise.
An excellent example of a material that refracts noise in a home is the carpet.
If a room has all hard floors, sound waves can bounce back and create echoes around the room. The addition of a rug will reduce this echo.
Plants covering the surface area will similarly help your home.
For instance, the sides of the buildings and vines on walls will refract the sound. Ground cover plantings, lawns, and green walls are brilliant sound refractors.
How to use plants to reduce echo?
Now you know that plants could be your shield against noise pollution.
Keeping your family members sane is essential. For that, you need to know the best way of using plants around the house.
For the best outcome, you should have more than one plant. So, you better opt for a few small ones than a huge-sized plant in the lounge.
Here is the checklist you should adhere to position plants in the house:
Large plant containers
Bigger plant containers have more compost and a wider area at the top of their dressing. This creates a significant impact on noise reduction.
It follows that they make a cohesive impact on the home ambiance.
Experiments reveal that arrangements of plants in groups bring better outcomes than individual pots sporadically placed in the house.
Better edge and corner plants than the middle portion
Plants near the corners and edges of the house should be of higher quality than those placed in the center.
This is because the sound is reflected from the center towards the foliage.
Several small arrangements instead of a large group
Positioning several groups of plants around the house works better than concentrating all at the same spot.
This maximizes the surface area of the plants exposed to noise.
The entire house will benefit from this localized effect.
Make sure you place plants around the perimeter where you want to cut the noise.
It traps the sound as it bounces from the walls and reduces the echo.
Echo reducing plants in your home
Once you have determined the position of plants in your house, it is time to move to the next stage. Below, we have gathered a list of echo-reducing plants for the home.
The Weeping Fig
The weeping fig stands atop the ranks for noise reduction plants. It is the most famous indoor plant that also goes by Ficus Benjamina.
It is a plant that gradually expands. It is patterned with sharp leaves.
So, the aesthetics of your house will go up a notch with weeping figs.
Its big, thick leaves make it better at filtering the atmosphere of pollutants. It mainly targets toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde.
The plant prefers a warmly shaded area and prefers not to be moved. Moving it around the house can cause its shiny leaves to fall.
The secret behind this plant’s amazing noise-reduction property is its leaves.
Leaves of the peace lily are thick, veined, and glossy. This makes it suitable for absorbing the sound and bouncing it to other plants in the room.
The best part is, it is relatively easy to take care of this plant. It doesn’t need much sunlight or water. Plus, it thrives indoors.
Also, the peace lily (like its name) isn’t demanding. There is no need to add fertilizer once or twice each year. This makes the plant a low-maintenance décor of your house.
Rubber plant or ficus elastica is good at absorbing noise. Its wide-spaced, shiny emerald leaves can block noise to a great extent.
What makes this plant one-of-a-kind is its size.
They can grow more than three feet tall in an indoor environment. Also, the leaves make this plant a few feet wide.
You can place this plant in a bigger pot and put it under direct sunlight.
It doesn’t require much water. And you will know when you have over-watered because its leaves start to turn brown.
All you need is to ensure that its soil stays well-drained. With that, the plant can thrive for a long time indoors.
The Money Tree
The money tree works as a noise barrier when placed inside the house. Its bushy leaves make an incredible sound reduction in a home environment.
Although the leaves aren’t huge in size, they make up for it with their length and a significant number of them. This plant only needs minimal water and bright light to stay alive.
Like the rubber plant, overwatering money trees can also lead to rotten roots.
Cactus is the easiest plant to take care of.
This is because it only needs sunlight to thrive. If multiple rays of sunshine enter your home, this could be a viable plant choice for you.
This species can live for decades and requires a small amount of water.
Norfolk Island Pine
Most people adore this plant because it doesn’t resemble regular plants. Instead, it is a tree.
Its slow growth makes it viable to keep indoors. Later, you can move it out in the backyard or a garden.
Don’t fret because it is a slow-growing plant that will require years before moving out.
Norfolk Pine doesn’t require much upkeep. You have to make sure it gets maximum light and adequate water from time to time.
The cause of its fantastic noise-absorption quality is its small needle-shaped leaves.
These leaves will grow in a criss-cross pattern. This structure allows them to trap the sound waves.
What plants make good sound blockers?
The best echo-reducing plants for a home or office are weeping figs, rubber plants, and peace lilies. Each of these plants has broad leaves that help to block unwanted noise.
Do leaves block the sound?
Leaves, branches, stems, and bark are beneficial for blocking noise.
How can trees and plants cut the noise?
Leaves, branches, and twigs can absorb and deflect sound energy. Refraction of sound waves will occur when the sound penetrates across vegetative barriers, and then it bends around the plant structure.
Are plants affected by the noise?
Most house plants are not affected by the noise. But there are cases when too much noise limits the overall growth. Overall, the plants are resistant to noise without any negative impact.
Placing plants around your house is the most effective and sustainable way to reduce echo in the home.
Apart from this, you could also use alternative measures like soundproofing curtains and floor under-lamination that will help to cut extra noise in the house.
When finding a plant for your home, make sure none of the family members are allergic to it. Also, check if it is suitable for your residential environment.