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indoor plant care oakland

Plants help lower background noise

Plants have long been used to reduce noise from busy roads. More recently, research has shown another benefit: interior plants can help to reduce background noise levels inside buildings, too. Using plants that have large leaves, stems, and trunks have more surface area to help reduce noise.

Do Plants Help to Absorb Sound?

There’s quite a bit of research on the subject, but the short answer is yes. The flexible and porous nature of indoor house plants acts as natural sound reducers. With our indoor plant care expertise, we’ll find the right plants to fit your space.

How Plants Reduce Indoor Noise Levels?

As I mentioned above, plants reduce noise levels through three different methods: deflection, absorption, and refraction.

  • Deflection – Sound waves tend to bounce around off hard surfaces. That’s where all that added noise comes from. Walls are rigid and will amplify sound, while plants are flexible and help to deaden the sound by breaking up the sound waves into other forms of energy.
  • Absorption – Plants are great at absorbing sound because of the leaves, branches, and wood. Wood is a great sound absorber. Have you ever walked through a forest and been amazed at the silence? That’s because the trees are absorbing all the ambient noise.
  • Refraction – Refraction is taking away the echoes of the sound bouncing off the hard surfaces. Plants will help to refract this noise and eliminate the echoes which are responsible for much of the added noise in your home or office.

Depending on how many, variety and their placement plants can absorb up to 50% of the sound energy being produced in your home or office. That’s quite a reduction.

2019 by

Research by an international team in 2014 showed that people who worked in offices with leafy green plants concentrated better and were 15 percent more productive than those who went about their day in spartan offices without them.

1School of Psychology, Cardiff University.

2School of Psychology, University of Exeter.

3Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Groningen.

4School of Psychology, University of Queensland.


Plants Make Workers Happier

Those who work in environments with natural elements, such as plants and sunlight, report a 15% higher level of well-being than those who work in environments devoid of nature.

Those who work in environments with natural elements, such as plants and sunlight, report a 6% higher level of productivity than those who do not have the same connection to nature within their work space.

Those who work in environments with natural elements, such as plants and sunlight, report a 15% higher level of creativity than those with no connection to natural elements in the workplace.

Human Spaces: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace. 2015. Available:



The Dracaena family makes up an important group of plants used to decorate, scrub the air and make “green” homes, offices, malls, apartments and the landscape around the world. This group of diverse shaped plants consist of approximately 40 or so assorted species coming in a varieties of forms and sizes. You can find Dracaena in sizes anywhere from 4 inch pots to towering specimen.

LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS: Dracaena houseplants will grow slowly in low light but grow faster in medium light. If the light is extremely low, new leaves on the plant will be smaller and narrower in size. Placing Dracaena houseplants in the direct sun, even for a few minutes, burns the leaves.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS WATER: When in doubt, do not water Dracaena houseplants. Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering. The lower the light, the less often Dracaena plants need water. Fluoride, chlorine, and salt in the water cause brown tips and yellow spots on the leaves of Dracaenas.

FLOWERING: If the growing conditions are right, a Dracaena plant may produce a 10″-12″ stalk with a large fragrant white flower. Although this is fun to see, the flower often slows down leaf production, alters the shape of the plant, and may secrete a messy sticky sap that get all over the plant. I recommend cutting off the flower as soon as it starts to grow.

SOIL: Dracaena plants need a loose soil that drains quickly. In Hawaii, Dracaenas are often grown in lava rock.

Massangeana: The very popular (Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’) is more commonly known as the Corn Plant. It does well in low light conditions and its wide leaves are long and arc gracefully from the stalk.

Warneckii: Dracaena “Warneckii” (Dracaena deremensis “Warneckii”) is commonly called striped dracaena. This tropical perennial shrub is commonly used as an indoor plant and produces green and white variegated leaves. A low-light-tolerant houseplant, striped dracaena reaches 4 feet tall.

Dracena Lisa: Dracaena Lisa is a very widely used indoor floor plant. Its dark green leaves and stems are its defining characteristics. Lisa‘s foliage is narrow, compact, shorter in length, and stands very upright.

Dracena Compata: The Dracaena compacta plant, a compact, slow growing member of the Dracaena family, is native to South East Africa. It is often referred to as Dracaena fragrans or Dracaena deremensis.