Caring for houseplants is an age-old hobby, and a recently popularized one as well. There is a direct link between houseplants and mental health that makes this hobby super beneficial to everyone! Plants can be very good for your mental health in a number of ways. Here’s a few of them.
ARE HOUSE PLANTS GOOD FOR MENTAL HEALTH?
Taking care of houseplants is proven to reduce stress, improve mood and make us feel overall better in so many ways. The link between houseplants and mental health is definitely there. If you havenâ€™t yet joined the houseplant game, you should try it, especially after reading here about all the ways that houseplants are good for improving mental health.
HOW EXACTLY DO HOUSE PLANTS HELP WITH MENTAL HEALTH?
Houseplants are Pretty. Science has shown that humans are generally happier when they are surrounded by pretty things. Office workers perform better when they have plants nearby. Hospital patients heal more quickly when they have plants in their room. So it makes sense that for any person, having plants in the house can increase happiness, and therefore improve mental health.
Looking at and caring for our houseplants promotes mindfulness. Taking time to really focus on something that isnâ€™t work or your Instagram feed can improve mood and reduce stress.
Houseplants Need Care. Just like furry pets, plants need us to give them love on a regular basis. There is a symbiotic relationship between plants and the humans that care for them: we give them water and sunlight, and they grow strong and tall and make us smile. Having something to take care of is shown to improve mental health.
Having plants to take care of also promotes routine in our lives. Water every monday, move pots around for each season, etc. You create a routine around taking care of your plants.
Houseplants Help Us Breathe Better. Plants create oxygen and help to clean impurities out of our indoor air. Often, stress and anxiety is caused by or made worse by us not breathing correctly. If we have plants around, our air is cleaner and all of those deep breaths we take are just a little bit better for us. Some plants, such as Ivy, actually reduce mold spores in the air, and some studies have shown that mold is activating for anxiety and depression.
WHAT INDOOR PLANTS HELP WITH ANXIETY?
Many plants that people like to have around the house to help with anxiety offer not only the benefit of being green, but the benefit of smelling good.
Potted herbs such as mint, sage, and rosemary smell amazing and their scents can promote calm.
Plant a pot of lavender to have that relaxing scent on hand all year long. Itâ€™s not only for the outdoor garden! The scent of lavender has been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
HOW TO START WITH HOUSEPLANTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH
It only takes one plant in your house to get started with houseplants. If youâ€™ve never taken care of a plant before, Iâ€™d suggest starting with one of the following, which are generally easy to take care of.
Pothos. I’ve always had one or two of these at home and in my office, and I haven’t killed one yet! They need semi regular watering, but if you forget they perk back up once you do. Pothos are really easy to propogate (make new plans from cuttings) too.
Snake Plant. I just love how these look, and they are also really easy to take care of. They are sturdy and can grow really tall!
Aloe. This is technically a cactus, so it really doesn’t need to be watered often, and likes to live in a sunny spot. The bonus of having an Aloe plant is that the inside the leaves you’ll find aloe gel which can soothe sunburns.
WHERE TO BUY HOUSEPLANTS
This year Iâ€™ve seen a huge increase in the number of small plant shops and nurseries popping up where I live. You may have a fantastic local plant shop very nearby.
You can almost always find houseplants at home improvement stores, grocery stores (Iâ€™ve picked up adorable little plants at Trader Joeâ€™s and Aldi in the past), and superstores like Walmart or Target.
If youâ€™re on the hunt for something specific, you might want to join some groups on Facebook for buying/trading houseplants. One for your local area would be ideal.
If all else fails, did you know that you can order plants online? Itâ€™s not foolproof, but in my experience Iâ€™ve gotten some really great, healthy plants shipped right to my front door. Try to avoid ordering in the hottest and coldest months of the year to be safe. If youâ€™re ordering in winter, some sellers offer heat packs in their packaging for a small extra cost. Itâ€™s worth it.
WHERE TO BUY HOUSEPLANT POTS AND ACCESSORIES
Buying and finding pots for your new plants is one of the most fun parts! I like to look for ceramic pots at estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores. You can sometimes find the most interesting pieces from someone elseâ€™s collection. If you’re looking for where to buy pots for plants cheaply, I can help with that too!
For cheap plant pots, start with thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, and anywhere else that sells secondhand goods. Used plant pots are just as good as new ones, and often much less expensive.
If you’re ok with spending a few bucks to get what you really want, retail stores that often have really great plant pots include Home Depot, Lowes, HomeGoods/ TJMaxx, and Michaels.
Of course, online outlets such as Amazon will also have a nice selection of pots. I like this set:
Other online plant retailers I like are listed in this post about my reasons for buying plants online.
Finally, go visit one of your local plant stores or nurseries. Support small business and find really great plants and accessories at the same time!
PLANTS YOU CAN ORDER ON AMAZON
Look, Iâ€™ve been quarantined for the better part of this season, so Iâ€™m not really going to stores. All of my new plants have come from Amazon!
The link between houseplants and mental health is clear. Everything about houseplants can be shown to have a positive impact on our physical and mental health. If you donâ€™t already have some, go out and pick up a few little plants today and see how they improve your life.