Houseplants have certainly seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years thanks to trending Instagram hashtags and Pinterest-worthy photos. However, this foliage frenzy is more than just a passing social media craze. In fact, the act of growing plants indoors dates back to ancient China and the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In the 17th century, Sir Hugh Platt, an English agricultural authority, wrote about cultivating plants indoors in his book, The Garden of Eden. The propensity people have towards caring for plants is certainly not unique to the millennial generation.
The benefits of owning a houseplant are endless. Often intrinsically tied to the self-care and wellness movements, plants have been lauded for their physical and mental health benefits. Spending time near them can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, reduce mental fatigue, and promote concentration. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published a study in 2015 showing that interacting with houseplants actually suppressed the sympathetic nervous system in young adults. A 2009 study by the National Institutes of Health discovered that patients recovering from surgery who had hanging plants in their hospital rooms reported lower levels of physical pain, anxiety, fatigue, and stress than those without. NIH published an additional study in 2015 that discovered phytoncides, airborne compounds released by trees and plants, can boost the human immune system.
Houseplants can also absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, making for healthier, cleaner air. But don’t just take our word for it. In the 1980s, while investigating ways to clean the air in space stations, NASA scientist Bill Wolverton found that certain houseplants were able to significantly reduce volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) in small, sealed spaces, making them what Wolverton called “a promising, economical solution to indoor air pollution”.
There is a houseplant for everyone. If you’re just starting your houseplant collection, then you may want to begin with something low-maintenance like a Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), or ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia). Keeping plants alive and happy isn’t as hard as you may think and it is the best way to bring a little nature into your home.
More than anything, there is something to be said about nurturing a living thing. A well-cultivated plant can propagate more plants and quite literally grow alongside you and your loved ones.
Are you a first time plant owner? Or, have you mastered the variegated Monstera? Either way, you’re in good company. Houseplant Haven is here for those who are just finding their green thumb and also for master gardeners looking for a new challenge. Whether you live in an urban apartment or a split-level suburban home, we have plants that will suit your lifestyle.
We believe that the most compelling benefit of plant collecting is the incredibly active and encouraging community that exists in real life as well as online, which is why we created Houseplant Haven, a virtual space to connect with fellow plant enthusiasts. So many customers walk out of our sliding doors with their new plant finds and we wish we could touch base with them every so often to share a great article we read or pass along our helpful go-to tips. Now, we can.
Head over to @HomesteadGardensHouseplantHaven on Facebook to join our plant-loving community today!