By Wendy Davila
Recently during my daily scrolls on social media, I have been engulfed by rooms filled with plants. Jungle like fig leaf trees in a dark corner, phathos hanging from the ceiling, and Zanzibar Gems hanging out on top of their dressers. If we would take a step into their room we’d be met with fresh filtered air and peaceful energy. For some of us when we think about plants in our home, we automatically receive images of insects flooding the house but for plant owners, that’s not how they see it.
Having an aesthetically pleasing room automatically brings comfort and security but having plants in your living space is more than just a decoration. You may have noticed that once you buy one plant you suddenly want to go to your local plant store and sweep up the rest and give them all a home.
While we are breathing in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide our house plants naturally do the opposite cleaning up our air and making it fresher for us. NASA revealed through a study that house plants remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in a 24 air period. Plants are not only providing clean, fresh air for us but they are also increasing our productivity by 15 percent. Being surrounded by plants reduces your stress levels and ultimately boosts your mood. Because of these factors, they should be essential in the workplace; being able to sit next to plants and have them at eye view may be met with an increase in workflow and overall balance.
Having plants in the household has shown such promising results that hospitals and medical spaces have implemented them into their offices. Placing plants in rooms after surgery, strokes, or any illness is now seen as a form of rehabilitation. These plants create a safe environment for their patients and increase their mood which later on gives them hope in recovery.
Creating a plant sanctuary can be done in any living space, you can choose a small counter in your kitchen or even a spare room that you couldn’t find a purpose for until now. An indoor garden could be your space and a place where you can recharge and reconnect with yourself. For many, owning plants and being able to take care of them creates joy and overall health improvements. When you can tend to something and once you see your hard work come to fruition it brings joy into your heart. Watching your plants grow a new leaf, a flower, and grow into itself is a rewarding process. It’s a daily reminder that you are needed and you’re loved, your plants need you!
People who have space move on to planting their very own fruits and vegetables in their backyards and that itself has many added benefits. Aside from combating stress, depression, and increasing your mood, there have been studies that show that gardening has shown the risk of dementia by 36 percent. Spending time out in a garden allows you to get a moderate workout and receive all of the Vitamin D recommended. The beauty of gardening is that you don’t need a lot of space to make it happen. Just like house plants, all you need is a small space. Fruits and vegetables such as radishes, tomatoes, strawberries can all be grown from one pot. They just need adequate sunlight and water and they’ll bloom right before your very eyes. You could even get an old shoebox and plant your favorite herbs such as cilantro, basil, and mint and use them in your daily recipes. Or propagate your celery and lettuce by placing the scraps into the desired container and filling it up with water. The world of plants, vegetables, and fruits is endless and ready for you to take your first leap into it.
If you are ready to get started and be a plant mom and or dad to your plants there are some things that you need to keep in mind:
You do not have to have a green thumb to keep plants alive. So many people are gifted, others read up on it and there is a good percent that spends their mornings driving to work listening to podcasts on how to keep their plant named Susie alive. Read up on what kind of plants are ideal for you and your space and look over the care by them.
If you want to start slow, try succulents! They need minimal water and care, and if you do miss a water session they won’t be too mad at you. You can even propagate and create your perfect sanctuary from one plant. It’s a great place to start and see if you’d like more.
Zanzibar Gems are one of those plants that are easy to tend to but if you didn’t do your research you wouldn’t know that they are toxic to the touch. If you own an animal that gets into every nook and cranny of your space you may want to hold off on getting this plant. Make sure that the plants are adequate for you and your family.
DO NOT OVERWATER! Please, do not overwater. I know it may seem tempting but look up their ideal routine and stick to it. Most people kill their plants by overwatering them.
Fiddle Leafs, Ferns, and even air plants are some of the hardest plants to keep alive and it’s because of how picky they are. I forgot to water my fiddle leaf one time and she flopped over as if it was life and death for her. And it very well could have been. It’s okay to get stepping stone plants before you get the ones that need extra tending.
House Plants are more than just a decoration, they are your friends who are ready to grow by your side and tend to your needs, so plant them in their home, give them a name and start your plant journey.
Wendy Davila is an editorial intern who is knowledgeable in all things environment, sustainability and arts and culture.