I have been a crazy plant lady for many years now, but it runs in my family. Both my mother and grandmother have homes filled with tropical plants, and it is from them that I inherited my first houseplants. But in 2020, the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, houseplants were all anyone could seem to talk about. So why this sudden surge that’s quickly become an addiction for so many? Here are a few reasons why houseplants have suddenly become so popular during this pandemic.
They Keep Us Company
Houseplants, similar to pets, are alive, but they cannot talk back to us. This makes them excellent listeners. While self-isolation and social distancing have left us all alone and locked up in our houses, we have our houseplants to keep us company. Despite the fact that they cannot actually speak, they DO communicate with us. They tell us if they are happy by sprouting a new leaf or flower. They droop when they are thirsty. Their leaves fall off when they are sick or uncomfortable. Because of these things, simply being alone in a room full of houseplants makes us feel a little less lonely.
They Make Us Focus On The Future
Even houseplants that go dormant in the winter still grow, no matter how slowly. Houseplants remind us to never stop growing, never stop living. While the pandemic might have turned our world upside down, our green friends continue to thrive and grow and change with the seasons. They may lose a leaf or get cut down, but they will grow again. Houseplants are an example of persistence and steadfastness, of never losing hope that we will come back from whatever problems we face.
They Have So Many Health Benefits
The health benefits of houseplants are numerous. They clean and detoxify the air inside of our homes. With the coronavirus pandemic being spread through the air, this makes owning a few air cleansing houseplants very appealing. Many plants are grown for their medicinal benefits as well, such as Aloe Vera and Lavender. A lot of herbs can also be grown indoors that are used to treat ailments all naturally.
They Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Just as houseplants benefit our physical health, they also offer respite for our mental health as well. Having a living plant inside our homes can reduce levels of anxiety and irritability. Studies have shown that houseplants can improve heart rate and blood pressure. They make us feel calmer and more at peace. Plants also make people happy. Flowering houseplants can be a great mood booster, especially for those battling seasonal depression during the winter.
Those on the hunt for a clipping of a rare houseplant will tell you there’s no better thrill in life. Groups are popping up all over the country filled with houseplant collectors looking to buy, sell or trade a clipping or two. With hundreds of varieties available, houseplants have become the latest treasure hunt prize. Some find themselves trying to collect all the different varieties of a single species. Others want a wide array of succulents and cacti. Some pride themselves in “rescuing” half dead houseplants from grocery store aisles. Once you get a taste of the world of raising houseplants, it’s nearly impossible to stop.
They Give Us a Sense of Accomplishment
Is there a better feeling in the world than growing something from nothing? Or bringing a plant back from the edge of death? The pride that comes along with growing lush, beautiful houseplants is unlike any other. In fact, bringing an over or underwatered plant back to it’s former glory is one of my favorite pastimes. There are so many things in life we can be proud of (raising three kids included) but none give us quite the satisfaction of seeing our hard work “grow.”
They Make Our Space Beautiful
Interior decorating using houseplants is one style that works for everyone, no matter your taste. This new outlet for creativity has opened the door for makers of plant stands, plant hangers, woven baskets, moss poles, trellises and more! A simple space filled with plants has now become the most desirable room in the house. With more people spending so much time in their homes due to the pandemic, it’s no wonder they want to make it the most beautiful space possible.
They Are So Easy to Care For
Unlike adopting a pet, which has been another popular pandemic craze, houseplants are easy to care for. They don’t require daily maintenance and some even thrive on neglect. A little bit of water and sunshine is all you need. While many are investing in grow lights and humidifiers, it’s definitely not a necessity. There is such a large range of plants from low to high maintenance that anyone can find one (or a few) that suit their schedule.
They Offer Us a Challenge
While the majority of houseplants are low maintenance, there are those few that no one can seem to keep alive. These infamous plants offer up a challenge to those houseplant gardeners who want to prove their worth. Cultivating the most beautiful and healthy Calathea or growing a tall Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your home gives you some bragging rights. Perhaps propagating is the challenge you seek? Growing new plants from cuttings or succulent leaves can be so rewarding… if you succeed.
They Don’t Break the Bank
While many addictions end up costing a fortune to maintain, raising houseplants doesn’t have to cost you anything at all. Grow an entire tree from a discarded avocado or fruit seed. In fact, you can grow almost anything from leftover vegetable scraps that would normally end up in the trash. Take a clipping from a friend’s plant, it costs them nothing to give it to you. If you have your own little collection of plants, look into propagating them and then trade them for new plants. While the houseplant accessory industry might be taking off, the truth is, you don’t need anything fancy to simply grow a plant.
These are just a few of the reasons why houseplants have become the latest pandemic craze. If you have another reason, please leave it in the comments! I firmly believe that anyone can grow houseplants, even the self-proclaimed “black thumbs.” And with all the all physical and mental health benefits of owning houseplants, why wouldn’t you? They are often easy to propagate, so you can get more from nothing. And when this pandemic is over and everyone goes back to their normal lives, you will have an urban jungle to enjoy for years to come.