- Having an indoor house plant can help with pandemic loneliness.
- If your plants grow, it can instill a sense of satisfaction.
- There are low-maintenance plants available if you’re new to plant parenthood.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As you scroll through Instagram, you’ve probably noticed indoor plant parents proudly displaying their latest purchase — adding to their lush collection and bringing the outdoors inside.
During the pandemic, “plantfluencers” have amassed thousands of followers, and businesses such as The Sill, Horti, and Bloomscape have seen a rise in sales.
Robert Syska, the owner of NY Horticulture Group, said this rise may be because people have more downtime and want another task to check off their to-do list.
But aside from just improving room aesthetics and picking up another activity, there are other, perhaps deeper, reasons behind the trend, according to Gwenn Fried, manager of horticultural therapy services at RUSK Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Health.
“It fends off loneliness because you’re interacting with something that changes,” Fried told Insider.
A lot of people continue to struggle with loneliness in the pandemic, but buying a low-maintenance plant can help ease those blues, according to Fried.
Indoor plants offer an array of science-backed health benefits
Embellishing your home with indoor plants has numerous benefits.
A small study, published in the journal of Physiological Anthropology, found that interacting with indoor plants reduced stress among participants. Another study found that employees were more productive after plants were added to the office — which may be a reason to buy a plant as we continue to work from home.
Research conducted by NASA also found that plants clear the air of toxic chemicals, like ammonia.
Even though most of us don’t have to worry about toxic air, still, “the oxygen and the detoxification of the air from the plants alone is fantastic,” Syska said.
Beyond those benefits, indoor plants can help with loneliness because you’re interacting with a living, changing organism.
“You have something that you are nurturing you’re taking care of and something that needs you,” Fried said.
As you start to take care of your indoor plants, you get to know each one and develop a sense of their watering needs.
Taking care of a plant can also instill a sense of satisfaction, especially if it grows. “The new growth is proof that you’re doing a fantastic job,” Syska said. “The plant’s saying ‘Hey, good job.'”
5 indoor plants that are easy to take care of, and carry unique benefits:
If you’re looking to spice up your home decor, but are intimidated by the responsibility, here are some low-maintenance starter plants to ease your way into plant parenthood.
But whichever plant you choose to buy, Syska stressed not to overwater your plants, as planters retain moisture. “If you were to keep your hand in a tub for more than 15 minutes, your skin gets affected. Well, these plants are sitting in wet soil for days on end.”
- Spider plants
A tiny, two-inch spider plant can be found for as little as $5 online. Syska said this is a great starter plant because they can be repotted, “and that in and of itself is rewarding.”
Brendan Maher/Getty Images
With big leaves and sprawling vines, the pothos plant can live in both high and low lights. It’s also effective at cleaning the air, according to Syska.
Mike Hill/Getty Images
Although ferns require humidity, looking at their signature green arching can be calming, according to Fried.
- Snake plants
“If you’re the person who forgets to water your plants or forgets that you have plans, this is the plant for you,” Fried said. Snake plants don’t require much water and can grow in both light and dark environments.
- Aloe vera
Peter Carruthers/Getty Images
This medicine plant grows well in the sun but can tolerate medium light, according to Fried. You can also put the plant’s clear gel to use by applying it to burn or making tea from it.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.