From the Benefits to the Role of Proper Plant Care — Diving into our Houseplant Obsession

Houseplant Obsession

66% of American households own at least one houseplant. And, with demand surging 18% during the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no question that we’re obsessed. For those who are looking into starting a houseplant collection of their own, diving into the reasons behind the obsession can be enough to make anyone want to build a collection of their own. From the unique benefits that indoor plants can bring to the major role that proper care plays, here’s what you should keep in mind if you’re looking into purchasing a few of your own.


A wide range of benefits

While many people enjoy houseplants simply due to their aesthetic, there are an abundance of benefits to having indoor plants that may explain the recent houseplant craze. One study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, for instance, found that having plants in the home or office can actually make you feel more comfortable and soothed. However, having plants in the office can have additional benefits, according to a separate study in which researchers interviewed over 440 Amazon employees in India and the U.S.. The study found that those whose office environment included natural elements (such as indoor plants) felt greater job satisfaction and more commitment to the organization than those who didn’t work around such elements. It was further noted that the natural elements helped in buffering the effects of job related stress/anxiety, according to researchers.


Diving deeper into the obsession

When seeking to understand why so many are seemingly obsessed with houseplants in recent years, it’s important to understand that it’s actually nothing new, with houseplants being a concept that is “believed to have originated in ancient Greece and Rome as early as 500 BC and in China as early as 200 CE,” says one NBC News article. The article, by Taylor Davies, goes on to suggest that the trend has been passed down through generations, with millennials reflecting on the past. “Watching my mom from such a young age and seeing the joy that [gardening] continues to bring her, it just seems to make sense as to why I’d (at least try to) follow in her footsteps,” says Jessie Artigue, a Californian entrepreneur. When it comes to other reasons for adopting a houseplant or two, the pandemic may shed some light on the matter, with a survey of 1,250 American adults finding that for 54% of 18-24 year olds who began caring for houseplants during the pandemic, the hobby was meant to improve their mental health during a stressful time.

To further delve into the popularity of houseplants, one article highlights the matter in a more unique way, of which could be tied to our natural instincts. The Sill references Edward O. Wilson’s 1984 book Biophilia, which may further explain why so many love houseplants. The biophilia hypothesis that Wilson wrote about “suggests all humans possess an innate tendency to seek connection with other forms of life — whether that be other humans, nature, or animals — and that this connection is deeply rooted in our biology,” notes The Sill.


The role of proper plant ownership

Whether you’re investing your time into a houseplant for sentimental or health reasons, caring for it properly is imperative in ensuring you reap the benefits that it can bring and in ensuring that it thrives in your home. This is especially important when considering that the average millennial plant parent has killed seven indoor plants they brought home. That said, understanding your plant’s basic needs is the first step, and while specific needs vary from plant to plant, proper watering and sunlight are essential in order to thrive. In addition to having a proper watering routine and placing your plant in a place where it will receive the optimal amount of sunlight, however, having a comprehensive resource on hand can help you answer various questions, such as: Why do houseplant leaves turn yellow? In turn, you’ll be able to efficiently troubleshoot the problem by learning various causes to the matter — such as a lack of water or poor water damage. Because water is essential for plants to grow and is a part of their food that provides rigidity for structure, plants that don’t have enough water won’t be able to grow properly. And, without proper drainage, a potted plants’ roots could wind up sitting in the same water for too long, and could wind up rotting.

Owning a houseplant or two can present a fulfilling hobby, though for many, the houseplant obsession is about much more. From the benefits involved with owning indoor plants to a connection that goes beyond the aesthetics, properly caring for houseplants will ensure your plants thrive — whether you’re a beginner or an expert plant owner.

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