Have you noticed the huge resurgence of houseplants lately? I don’t think houseplants are something that ever go out of style, but they seem to be enjoying the spotlight recently, don’t they?
As someone who would live outdoors if possible, houseplants seem like a logical way to bridge the gap by bringing nature inside. So why did I not have them in my home, until recently?
Because my name is Megan, and I am a plant-killer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty nurturing person. I have raised many different types of animals, large and small, and I care for children. But when it comes to greens, I’m a black thumb.
I’m guessing more than a few of you reading this might be in the same boat, yes? But maybe you’re so intrigued by the benefits of having houseplants, you’re considering giving it another shot?
Can I tell you something? Do it! I, Megan-the-mighty-plant-slayer, have had great success with houseplants, which means you can too! (Seriously, I’m really the worst gardener I know.)
The key is careful selection, based on your skill level, and a bit of trial and error.
I should warn you though, the benefits of having houseplants are plentiful, and you might just find yourself getting addicted and going houseplant crazy. That’s okay, we’ll be crazy cact-us ladies together! (See what I did there?!)
Ahem. So here we go, in no particular order–my favorite benefits of having houseplants:
1) They’re Pretty
We recently bought a new house that is much bigger than our old one. I found myself with lots of space to fill, and that’s where the houseplant craze kind of took off for me.
I’m a minimalist-meets-farmhouse-meets-Scandinavian style decorator, so plants fit in perfectly with my aesthetic. And that’s the thing–houseplants are one of those chameleon decorating accents that look great with any sort of decor. There’s not too many accessories you can say that about!
Not only do you get to pick from all the different plant species, you also get to choose pretty pots and planters to put them in. But lest you think they are just for show, did you know that houseplants are actually hard-working little creatures? In fact…
2) They Purify Your Air
This whole concept just blew my mind. When you put plants in your house, you are actually getting mini air filters. Plants absorb hazardous gases and VOCs into their leaves. Some of the compounds they absorb, like formaldehyde, are almost impossible to remove from the air in any other way.
Many times, the air pollutants that plants filter out are the same pollutants that cause allergies and asthma attacks. If you or a family member suffers from one of these, why not give houseplants a shot?!
As someone who considers herself to be pretty crunchy and chemical-free, I appreciate that my plants are ridding the air of some of the chemicals I can’t avoid.
3) They Help You Sleep
Yes, it’s true. This might have been the part where I jumped in wholeheartedly. As a lifelong insomniac, I will (skeptically) try anything for a good night’s sleep. Certain plants are exceptional at emitting oxygen and taking in carbon dioxide.
Since we breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, plants help keep up with us and purify the air. Pure air means better breathing which means better sleep. Breathing pure air is also calming to us, and can help lull us to sleep.
My bedroom currently has two Peace Lilies, as they are beautiful, hard to kill, and top notch air purifiers. I’ve heard a rumor that Gardenia can be as effective as Valium at relieving anxiety and helping you sleep, but I’m a little nervous as it can be hard to care for indoors. That seems like a hefty promise, though, so if I come across one, I might just give it a shot!
4) They Are Hard to Kill
Okay that’s a bit misleading–some houseplants are hard to kill. There will always be finicky ones for you master gardeners, and I tip my hat to you! Show me your ways.
But if you wanna know the most hardy plants, give them to me for 3 months, and see which ones are still standing by the end. These plants I deem “Megan Proof,” which is the highest level of hardiness a plant can have. It’s science, my friends.
So which plants have survived my reign?
- Dragon Tree (Dracaena): There are several different varieties of this plant, all equally as hardy. Like, water-once-a-month hardy. Yup. I actually don’t know if I could kill this plant if I tried.
- Snake Plant: Also called Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, this is the plant you see in this post’s photo. While I have not owned it as long as my dragon tree, it promises to be every bit as hardy, and survived being transplanted with nary a wilt in sight.
- Peace Lily: If flowers are on your checklist for benefits of having houseplants, the peace lily might just be your jam. A word of warning–my peace lily wilted the other day, and I called my mom (garden expert) as a very concerned plant parent. Was it getting too much light? Was my bedroom too dark? Her reply, “Did you try watering it?”….Oh. Hehe. Turns out two weeks is too long to go without water for a peace lily. A quick drink and it perked right back up.
- Majesty Palm: The majesty palm is the newest addition to my collection. I’ve actually only had her for about a week, so I really can’t say for sure if she’s actually Megan-proof or not. What I do know, is that palms are typically very easy to care for. I also know that when she came to me, her soil was very dry, and I didn’t get around to watering her for a week and she still looks happy as ever. I just know she’s going to be my new best plant-friend.
Okay, have I convinced anyone yet? The benefits of having houseplants far outweigh the cons of taking care of them. I mean, these fellas soak in toxic gases from the air we breathe, and all they ask for in return is a bit of sun and water.
Please don’t let your black thumb fear keep you from jumping into the whole houseplant game. I could not be more serious when I say that if I can do it anyone can.
So now that I’m on a houseplant kick, tell me, are there any good ones I’m missing? What should I add to my collection?!