As we all know, plants are great for many different purposes. They are perfect decoration because they can make a room look so much better. In addition, plants can make the air in the house fresher. If you choose the right kind, you can even use them for separating rooms, or for getting more privacy in the office.
But, there is one important benefit of plants that people often overlook. Plants can actually absorb sound and reduce noise in a room. In case you’re interested in learning about the ways plants can help you with the noise, as well as which types would do the best job, you should keep reading the article. I have all the answers for you!
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How Plants Reduce Noise
You might be surprised by this information, but plants can really make a difference when you put them in a noisy room. In fact, if you choose the right type, you can absorb up to 50% of the sound! In case you still have trouble believing that, I’ll explain three ways plants can reduce the level of noise in a room.
Plants have the ability to absorb sound
Wood, branches, and leaves have amazing sound-deadening abilities. If you have ever taken a walk in the woods, you probably know how silent it is there. Well, the main reason for that are trees.
The thicker the leaves and rougher the bark, the higher are the abilities of sound absorption. So, you should definitely keep these two parts of the plant in mind when choosing the one for your home.
Plants can deflect the sound
The reason why the sounds in a room are louder is because walls can’t vibrate. So, sound waves bounce off the surface and get back to the source of the noise.
On the other hand, a plant is flexible. Therefore, when sound waves hit the plant, it will vibrate. That will lead to waves breaking up and transforming into other forms of energy. In addition, waves will most likely deflect in different directions. As a result, the level of noise in a room will be reduced.
Plants are able to refract sound waves
Finally, plants can cause sound waves to refract. We are all familiar with the echo and how loud noises are in a room without furniture. Echoes are the reason for a lot of noise in a room. So, plants can help by refracting the sound waves that have bounced off a harder surface.
How to Use Plants to Absorb Sound
Now you’re aware that plants can effectively absorb sound. But, what are the best ways to use them?
For the best results, you should have more than one plant. So, you should opt for a few smaller ones instead of one big plant. That way, you’ll be able to cover a bigger surface.
What’s more, you should choose a larger plant container. Bigger containers are better options because they would give plants much more room to grow. In addition, the soil and top dressing have great noise-absorbing abilities as well. Since a bigger plant container requires more soil, your plant will reduce even more noise.
Lastly, you have to think about the place where you put your plants. It’s best that you place them in the corners of the room or next to walls. That will lead to better deflecting of sound waves because waves will get to the plants immediately after they bounce off walls.
Best Sound-Absorbing Plants
The secret behind peace lily’s amazing sound-absorbing properties is in its leaves. Leaves of a peace lily are thick, glossy, and veined, which makes them good for both absorbing the sound and bouncing it to other plants that you have in a room.
Another great thing about this plant is the fact that it is so easy to care for. It thrives in the indoors, and it doesn’t need much sunlight or water. In addition, the peace lily doesn’t require a fertilizer more than once or twice a year, which makes this plant extra low maintenance.
If you are a fan of plants that can drape over the container, you should definitely go with baby’s tears. They are very dense, which makes them great for reducing the noise.
However, the issue with this plant is that you have to hang it above the ground. Thus, it won’t be able to deflect sound waves as effectively. You can fix the problem by either putting another plant below the baby’s tears or hanging this plant a bit closer to the ground.
The rubber plant
The rubber plant is another beautiful decoration that also serves as an effective sound-absorber. The plant is good at absorbing and deflecting sound because of its thick, wide leaves.
What’s more, this plant can grow up to three feet, which can only improve its power of reducing the noise. Due to its size and broad leaves, you won’t need more than two or three for amazing results, which is another huge plus.
You can put this plant into a bigger pot and place it on the floor under the direct sunlight. The rubber plant doesn’t require much water, and you’ll know that you’re overwatering it almost immediately because the leaves will turn brownish and fall off. The only thing you should make sure is that the soil is well-drained, and the plant will thrive in your room for a long time.
Ferns are one of the most effective sound absorbers. The first reason for that is their density, which enables them to quickly trap the sound. The second one are their wide leaves, which help the fern cover a larger area.
The fern can both absorb the sound and deflect it, so it works well with other plants. You can place it on the floor, or hang it above another plant. It does the best job in the corners of a room.
If you want to add a tropical feel to a room, Areca palm is the way to go. As you can probably guess, the broad fronds of the Areca palm are able to deflect the sound waves. In addition, the plant is dense enough to absorb the sound from the bottom to the top.
Another reason why you should buy the Areca palm for your home is that it can grow much larger and wider than most plants. Thus, you’ll need just one for the whole room. It’s perfect for smaller rooms where multiple plants won’t fit in well.
The weeping fig is one of the most popular plants that people decorate their homes with. The density of weeping fig’s leaves and branches make it an effective sound absorber.
Besides being a great addition to your room and a great sound absorber, the weeping fig has another important property. This plant can actually filter pollutants in the air, which is amazing, especially if you live in a city. The plant doesn’t grow quickly, so you’ll need a couple of them if you want to maximize the sound-absorbing properties.
However, this plant isn’t the easiest to care for. You’ll need to place it under direct sunlight and make sure that you’re not overwatering it in order to avoid rotting of the roots.
What’s more, once you find the perfect spot for your weeping fig, you shouldn’t move it around the room. That’s because the plant won’t like that. In case you have to move it somewhere else, you should expect it to lose at least a couple of leaves.
Norfolk Island pine
People love the Norfolk Island pine because it doesn’t really look like a regular plant. That’s because Norfolk Island pine is actually a tree. However, it grows slowly and gradually, so you’ll be able to keep it for a long time before it’s time to move it to the garden.
Norfolk Island pines are great because they are low maintenance. You’ll only have to place them under the direct sunlight and water them from time to time.
The key to the Norfolk Island pine’s sound absorbing properties lays in its small needles. They grow in a crisscross pattern, which enables them to sort of trap the sound waves.
In case you’re looking for a plant that will be a good sound-absorber on its own, then money tree isn’t for you. However, if you want to add extra noise-reducing properties to the plants that you already have, the money tree will be perfect.
The tree has a thick bottom that will send the sound to the leaves which are wide enough to successfully trap it. It is great for smaller spaces and offices. The money tree only needs bright light and a bit of water to thrive.
But, you should be careful, because overwatering this plant can easily lead to roots rotting. Thus, you’ll have to wait for the soil to completely dry out before you water the money tree.
Dracaena “Janet Craig”
The density is what makes Dracaena “Janet Craig” good at reducing noise. This plant is different from others because its leaves start at the base, so the plant is dense from top to bottom. These leaves are able to effectively trap the sound.
In addition, the leaves often drape down and spread to the larger area. So, you won’t need many other plants in the room. Furthermore, in case your room is small or medium-sized, one Dracaena “Janet Craig” will be enough.
Fiddle leaf fig
The fiddle leaf fig has thick leaves that spread out and cover a larger area. The thickness and the unique shape of the leaves give the fiddle leaf fig great noise-reducing properties.
The plant thrives in bright areas that have high humidity levels. Thus, the bathroom is the perfect room for it. However, if you need its sound-reducing abilities in another room, the fiddle leaf fig can be just as happy there.
However, the fiddle leaf fig won’t be able to reduce the noise on its own. So, you should place it next to other plants for best results.