It’s easy to want to resist buying into a trend, and that is exactly what indoor plants have become over the past five years – trendy. For the longest time, tending to plants was a strictly outdoor activity and there was even a name for it – gardening. Now, everyone and their mother seem to be fawning over their newest find after a trip to their local plant shop. This brand-new level of popularity begs the question – why is becoming a “plant parent” the cool thing to do these days?
If you take a moment to look into the benefits of keeping house plants around, you start to find countless articles boasting the constructive mental and physical health advantages. Many of the articles you find online don’t even begin to touch on the economic boost spending money on plants and supplies for their care can do for your local community.
No matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned plant parent, you are welcoming a variety of good things into your life by tending for a few plants around the house. Afterall, learning to care for something helps you learn to take better care of yourself.
So, here are a few reasons why you need indoor plants in your life
Indoor Plants can purify the air in your home
When someone tells you they “need to get some fresh air,” your mind automatically thinks of a person going out for a walk in nature, somewhere lush with plant life and greenery. Though many of us learned in school that when plants take in carbon dioxide to live, they breathe out fresh oxygen, we now know that isn’t all they do. Yes, the air in the countryside is cleaner than the air in the cities, but we can still find a local park that gives off that same refreshing feeling.
Back in 1989, NASA conducted and published a research project frequently called The Clean Air Study. In this program, a team of researchers tested a range of plants to see if they had the ability to purify the air of naturally occurring pollutants found in most homes and offices around the world these days. Not only did all the plants involved clean the air of matters such as benzene, trichloroethylene (a very scary-sounding toxin, if you ask me), and formaldehyde, but many even used those same pollutants as food for its roots to grow new, strong leaves.
Plants used in this study included the common Sansevieria, English Ivy, and even a few members of the Dracaena family – things commonly found in every plant shop you can visit, online or in-person. One thing to keep in mind is that this study was done in a small, 100 square foot (or 9.2 square meter) chamber. Since the average home is significantly larger than this, you would need many more than one plant in your home – which really can’t be a bad thing.
Growing plants indoors can improve your mental health
Now that we’ve established how wonderful house plants can be for your physical health, we can’t forget to talk about how amazing they are on your mental health. In this day and age, biological scientists and psychologists alike warn us that everyone will experience some feelings of depression and anxiety in our lifetime. As concerning as that may sound, many people of the same field have come out stating that plants can not only help us deal with these feelings but also avoid them entirely. Indoor plants have even been prescribed by doctors to treat moderately high blood pressure, loneliness, general anxiety, and indoor allergies!
Cultivating green spaces in both your home and office are fantastic ways to encourage these positive mental health benefits take hold in every aspect of your life. The stress-releasing, therapeutic sensations every plant parent drones on about to their plant less friends rings true and has even gained an official term in the psychological and physiological realm – it’s called Horticultural Therapy, and it’s the kind of therapy that everyone can afford.
Indoor Plants add beautiful, living décor to your space.
With many of us spending more time at home, doing (or more likely, finding) projects around the house, and putting more time into the appearance of our rooms, it’s easy to look at the décor surrounding ourselves. Sure, that band poster you have held onto since your teens, that’s now vintage, is fun, but the beauty of living décor gives you much more than a sense of nostalgia (and maybe embarrassment, depending on the poster – we’re not judging). There are very few spaces plants cannot go or things they cannot pair well with, and the compliments that come with them are never-ending, so it’s worth a try.
With the steady increase in popularity among indoor plants also comes the accessibility of more unique and rare plants to the average person; this means you can find a plant of any color, pattern, shape, or size to fit your style – the options are limitless. If you aren’t immediately inclined to bring a plant in your home just for the sake of it, there is always the option to grow food in your home as well; windowsill herb gardens, upside down tomato planters, and even dwarf citrus trees always make a wonderful choice for the more practical plant parent, too!
Buying from local plant shops directly helps your community.
Last but certainly not least, is the economic benefit that comes along with buying plants and the tools or supplies you need to care for them. In 2020, many plants shops were hit awfully hard by lockdowns, and though many were able to stay afloat after making the change to sell plants online, many others did not and were forced to close their doors.
Supporting locally owned garden centers and plant shops can not only give you the warm, fuzzy feeling of finding a new plant to bring home, you can also know that your purchase supported a local family, and in turn, your community. That feeling can even be better than the feeling of seeing a new leaf or stem on your favorite plant, if you look at it that way!