It’s no secret that I am obsessed with my houseplants. I have over 100 of them at this point, ranging from orchids to cacti (and even succulents), all tucked away inside various rooms around our apartment.
I’m not alone either — it turns out people can’t get enough of their potted friends too. According to research by The American Society for Horticulture Sciences, there were 3 billion plant-related products sold on Amazon last year, which is an insane amount considering how new the industry actually is. That number was up 29% compared to 2017. And according to eMarketer, we spend $44 billion every year globally on these things.
Plant lovers buy everything under the sun because they’re so damn cute, but what exactly draws us to our little green babies? Why are we such devoted caretakers? Well, here are just a few reasons why you might be interested in keeping your own plants indoors.
1) They bring life into otherwise dull spaces.
If you live somewhere where natural light is scarce, then having something alive and breathing adds color and freshness to your home. It also makes your space feel more populated. When you walk through a room full of flowers, it feels less lonely than one without any greenery. Plus, if you’ve been feeling blue lately due to being stuck indoors during quarantine, taking care of plants may help lift your spirits.
2) Plants beautify apartments.
Having plants in your living quarters has many benefits aside from making your environment look better. For example, it helps reduce noise pollution caused by traffic outside, keeps pests away, improves energy efficiency, reduces cooling costs, lowers emissions, and prevents mold growth. In fact, studies show that homes with more vegetation tend to stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer. If you enjoy growing plants yourself, try planting them near doors and windows to maximize its effects. You’ll never go wrong with adding greenery to your daily routine!
3) Having plants could improve mental health.
A study published in 2014 found that exposure to nature boosts self esteem, while another paper shows that spending time outdoors can increase feelings of happiness and relaxation. A 2019 review suggests that gardening activities promote well-being and lower depression rates among older adults, especially women. On top of that, it seems that plants boost creativity and problem-solving abilities as well. So next time you find yourself staring at a blank screen, consider getting some leafy greens in front of you instead.
4) Planting a garden will save money.
Some people think caring for plants takes time and effort, which means those who want to grow their own food should give it a shot. But before you start planning anything, remember that seeds cost way more per unit than buying pre-grown potting mix. Then add onto that the labor involved in watering, fertilizing, harvesting, etc., and you’ll see why saving money on vegetables isn’t worth sacrificing quality of life. Not only does going DIY offer unlimited customization options, but you’re also able to pick specific varieties based on climate preferences, personal taste, and so much more.
5) Indoor plants don’t require as much water as outdoor ones.
When it comes to maintenance, indoor plants need far fewer resources than their outdoor counterparts. However, if you’re used to checking on your roses once every two weeks, switching to an artificial version won’t mean watering them twice a day every week. This is because indoor plants consume between 10 percent to 20 percent less water than their outdoor cousins. Even though indoor plants use less water overall, keep in mind that each type needs different amounts of hydration. Some plants prefer higher temperatures, others prefer low humidity levels, and still others crave regular fertilizer applications. To know which plants need which level of attention, check out this handy guide provided by the National Gardening Association.
6) Plants create oxygenation in homes.
According to NASA, “Indoor air tends to contain about 80 percent less oxygen than outdoor air.” While it sounds counterintuitive, lack of sunlight causes a buildup of carbon dioxide inside buildings, leading to poor ventilation and stagnant conditions. By contrast, plants release oxygen by using photosynthesis, turning carbon dioxide into oxygen and releasing nothing harmful into the atmosphere. Aside from improving your mood, planting trees and shrubs near your windows can also decrease CO2 concentrations within your home.
7) Keeping plants requires minimal upkeep.
Although maintaining indoor plants usually involves less work than tending to gardens outside, it doesn’t take long to reap the rewards of having them around. Since they rely on you to survive, plants don’t require as much upkeep. Unlike grass and other ground coverings, you hardly ever have to rake leaves off of your houseplant, nor do you have to mow lawns or trim hedges. Also, unlike window sills, you don’t have to worry about cleaning dirt off of them since they sit above the surface. Just treat them right and they’ll continue thriving indefinitely.
8) Giving plants to someone else is selfish AF.
In 2020, millions of Americans lost their livelihoods after being forced to stay home and practice social distancing. Many of those workers depended heavily upon tips from customers, which explains why restaurants saw drops in revenue of 40 percent to 70 percent. Meanwhile, homeowners relied on landscapers and gardeners to maintain their yards. As a result, garden centers reported losses of 40 percent to 60 percent in sales. People gave plants as gifts to family members, neighbors, and co-workers to say thank you for helping them through tough times. Instead of giving away your hard earned cash, why not share your love for potted pals by gifting them to someone close to you?
9) Houseplants aren’t always healthy.
Not all plants are made equal when it comes to staying healthy indoors. Although plants come in hundreds of thousands of species and vary greatly regarding size, shape, appearance, habits, nutrition requirements, and environmental preferences, some types simply aren’t meant to withstand constant abuse. Examples include bamboo and spider lilies, both of which shouldn’t be placed directly on surfaces, given their tendency to drop roots. Other common mistakes include placing small pots on wooden tables and providing inadequate drainage capacity. Lastly, don’t forget to clean up spills immediately. Water stains left unattended will turn into black spots that permanently damage the root system.
10) Your houseplants deserve respect.
Household pets receive plenty of appreciation throughout the course of their lives, whether in the form of treats, playtime, affectionate hugs, or loving scratches behind the ears. Yet despite their adorable appearances, most plants are often overlooked when it comes to pet ownership. Don’t let your plants suffer in silence. Treat them with the same courtesy and compassion you would expect from Fido. After all, they deserve it, too.