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Health & Wellness

The Effects of Plants on Human Behavior

Plants first appeared approximately 470 million years ago during the Ordovician period of the Earth's history. Non-vascular in nature, they are believed to have contributed to an ice age and the extinction of life in the ocean. Human beings appeared much later, about 200,000 years ago. 1 Plants and humans have coexisted ever since, and we are now beginning to learn that plants control human behavior in more ways than one.


Positively Impact a Person’s Psyche

Human beings have a subconscious need to be near nature. Plants are often seen indoors, such as in homes, hospitals, restaurants, retail spaces, etc., for this reason. According to a 1993 study looking at the effects of plants on human perceptions and behavior, plants positively affect a person’s psyche. 2

Specifically, the study looked at whether introducing trees or plants into an underutilized area would affect the perceptions or behavior of individuals in that space. The study ultimately concluded that users spent more time in the area when the trees and plants were present. Indicating both preferences for areas with plants as well as improved mood and psyche in areas where plants are present.

Happy and human behavior

Make Us More Alert and Happy

A 2010 study at Washington State University demonstrated that plants may improve concentration. 3 In the study, those who worked on a computer with plants in the room felt more attentive and alert than those who worked on a computer without plants in the room.

Another study observed people in a room with colorful objects, a room with no colorful objects, and a room with plants. Individuals in the room with plants described feeling more carefree, playful, affectionate, and friendly than being in the other rooms.

Lohr also found that stress levels are reduced during interaction with plants. A study found that when people viewed slides or videotapes of plants, individuals felt more at peace than when looking at urban scenes.

Additionally, students living in dorm rooms with nature views reported less mental fatigue than students in rooms without these views.

potting plants

Reduce Stress Levels

Dr. Leonard Perry, of the University of Vermont, conducted a study demonstrating that plants have the potential to reduce stress levels. 4 With the use of gardens, humans have been able to manage their stress levels not only by tending the garden but by being around the plants.

Gardens can prove to be a particularly helpful solution for increasing human health in a wide range of settings. They can exist in a wide variety of places, whether on open plots of land or in an urban setting. MONQ's personal Zen diffuser is great for stress relief and can also be taken on the go anywhere with you.

steam coming out of ears for human behavior

Help with Anger Management

According to a 2015 study, plants placed in apartments have the potential to control aggression and anger. 5 Worries about finances, employment, children, and other issues have been shown to be reduced with the addition of houseplants.

Contribute to Alleviating Pain

University of Minnesota Health and Wellbeing reported that plants not only help us with our stress, but they reduce our anger, suppress our fears, and make us calm. But there’s another thing that plants do for human behavior, and that helps us with our pain.

To demonstrate this link, a study was conducted on a group of patients who had just undergone gallbladder surgery. One-half of the people had a view of trees on their wall. The other half did not have a view of trees on their wall. Those who looked at trees were able to tolerate their pain better. They also had fewer adverse effects and spent less time in the hospital.

Plants Effect Human Behavior Infographic


As you can see, plants control your behavior in more ways than one. Plants benefit our air and regulate our earth. Additionally, plants are a natural way to deal with stress, anger, pain, and more. Placing plants in your home or in your work environment may lead to positive changes in your life.

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