Does anyone know good houseplants to help with eye strain and active focus?

Hey guys,

Thought I’d do a double whammy of introducing myself and asking a question! I’m 27 and work in a legal, mainly office based role. I’m -1.5 in both eyes with floaters, which seem to have increased over the past year while working from home.

I’ve been reading and learning to think of ways to improve my home setup: so far I’ve switched my desk to face to the window and the garden but was wondering if anyone had ideas on houseplants? I thought maybe having a few around the room might give me something to focus my eyes away from the screen. I emailed Jake a few days ago (thanks Jake!) and he recommended buying cacti, which would help focusing on the sharp points. Has anyone else thought of buying houseplants and in particular which species might help? Also, would it be better to buy larger plants or smaller plants (harder to focus on, which might be a good thing?). Whether or not you’ve currently got plants at home, if you’ve got any suggestions or ideas for feel free to put them below! - would look forward to generating a discussion :slight_smile:

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Certainly switching your desk around was a a great first move. I hope you have also evaluated your lighting too. As far as house plants, I have many I don’t know that I would say any one variety is better for your vision. Except maybe that the ones outsides are, because of the distance and lighting. And in both cases I would say variety wins the day.
I have cati and succulents (including and Aloe bent on taking over the house :joy:) I have peace lilies with big dark leaves and wandering jews with fairly small fuchsia leaves and a shamrock plant, bamboo and miniroses… I love plants :grin: Though never much thought about them being part of my vision journey. For that I have well placed text stimulus.

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Thanks Reannon, gives some food for thought! Even if it doesn’t make a difference I think I’ll get some plants just to make the room nicer :grin:

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Good call. It does make the room nicer. Also freshens the air without need for chemical air fresheners :slight_smile:

Ohh I love that question. I’d get a plant that makes you want to look at it, a) simply because you like how it looks and b) because it’s so healthy that it will stay looking good. I definitely noticed for myself that I’m more likely to look up from my screen if my environment looks nice, conversely, if the plant looks like it’s dying, I won’t want to look at it because then I feel guilty every time I see it.

For maximum visual interest I’d get a variegated plant. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Something like a golden pothos is an obvious choice, very healthy and easy to keep in all sorts of conditions, can be in a small pot, trailing like a vine, pinned to a moss stick for an upright look.
  • Recently I’m also rediscovering spider plants, They’re so healthy, happy and bright with their white and light green leaves.
  • For something larger, a variegated Ficus robusta (e.g. Ficus robusta Tineke) is healthy and pretty with its red new growth, but might be a bit more difficult to come by.
  • Not a variegated plant, but if you have a white background, a peace lily’s deep green leaves would give you great sharp lines to focus on.
  • As I’m thinking about it, my top recommendation would be a Calathea makoyana, again a healthy and easy to keep plant with interesting leaves which move all day and fold up at night! They have a high contrast pattern on the leaves with sharp edges between the dark and light spots, larger and smaller details, so you should definitely be able to practice your active focus on them. It’s one of my favorite plants I own, I only wish I had a larger one.
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I love the suggestions. Thank you! :smiley:

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