10 Reasons to Keep Houseplants in the Home
By Ophi Hodgman
People bring houseplants into their homes for many different reasons. Whether you want to deepen your connection to the natural world or simply add a splash of color indoors, houseplants can serve many different purposes. Check out these 10 reasons for inviting houseplants into your spaces...
1. Bringing Life Into the Home
We often forget that we are never separate from nature, but having plants in the home can help us feel more appreciative and connected to the natural world around us. Plants can bring life to empty corners or remind us of the places we've travelled to and made good memories. You can put as much or as little thought into keeping a plant as you choose. Either way, it gives you the opportunity to watch something grow!
2. Learning and Exploring Something New
There is a large portion of us who classify houseplants as decor that we water once a week. For others, plant ownership can open us up to a whole new and exciting world of research, knowledge and exploration, or even a career. One may be looking for the perfect plant to fill a bare corner while another is so fascinated by a single genus, they dedicate their entire living space to collecting as many subspecies as they can get their hands on. Some plant owners today have even started pollinating their plants and developing their own cross-species. The possibilities are endless!
3. Life Lessons from Houseplants
If we consider the last few years or who we were before coming into plant parenthood, we may see positive behavioral and habitual changes within ourselves. Below the surface, plants can teach us a lot about how consistent we are, the importance of meeting our basic needs and what those needs are, what our patience level generally is and even where we tend to hold expectations for ourselves and other people. What aspects of your plant's habits can you reflect back onto yourself?
Keeping houseplants is a great hobby to keep for those of us who enjoy different colors and textures in the home. What is so great about keeping plants is that it is so diverse and can adapt with you at any stage of life. This may mean that you'll have one-hundred fifty houseplants with a strict daily care regimen one day, and only three easy-care plants a year later that can easily adjust to missing a watering or two. Your plant practice can require as much or as little effort as you choose to give it. What's important is that it makes you happy.
5. Anxiety Relief
There is a lot in life that we cannot control, and often times, that is where the anxiety we may experience comes from. Houseplant-keeping can be used as a tool of self-regulation and as a means of bringing us back to the details of the present moment instead of hyper-focusing of the past or future. We have seen evidence of this during the Global Pandemic of 2020 when the majority of us were struggling with the effects of longterm quarantining, job loss and working on the frontlines as essential workers. Our plants brought us back down to Earth, and even acted as a lifeline in some cases.
Humans have an inherent connection to plants, even if we don't always realize the extent of it. If you look back in your family's history, every person comes from some kind of plant-related background, whether it was harvesting potatoes in Northern Maine or making herbal medicines two or three centuries ago. Nowadays, there are industries and entire farmlands dedicated to the growing of crops, flowers and even tropical plants in warmer climates.
For the modern indoor gardeners, community has come from social media platforms, family and those in our local communities who enjoy the same hobbies we do. Due to this sense of community a lot of us have been lucky enough to find, we have the ability to ask people about their firsthand exposure to a plant and compare results in what has and hasn't grown well in one's experience. You have to admit that talking to someone about your shared plant experience is far better than giving it a Google.
7. Living Furniture
Bringing houseplants into the home is a great way to add color, texture and visual interest to a space. It is also a good way to save money on expensive furniture! Having multiple large floor plants or hanging planters can make a space appear warm, cozy and distinct.
8. Air Purification
Plants are well known for being efficient cleaning systems for the environment in a process known as phytoremediation, which can be done through various techniques in which plants clear the environment of harmful pollutants. Houseplants are considered to be natural air filters as they can purify air through different methods, such as absorption, dilution, precipitation and filtration.
While houseplants can't replace something as strong as an air purifier, they do have the ability to assist in filtering pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbonyl, nitrates, sulfates, ammonia, calcium, carbonate - and so much more!
9. Plant Trading
Plant trading is a good way to change up your collection and move out houseplants that don't bring you joy. Trading multiple cuttings of your plants can put you in the position to own a wishlist specimen in the future!
Last but certainly not least, one of the most rewarding parts about owning plants is growing them and witnessing how they evolve over time. It takes time and practice, but there is nothing like growing a plant that started off being three inches tall to becoming a beautiful, robust bush with large, mature leaves - and you are the reason the plant looks the way it does!