Today is National Houseplant Appreciation Day. It may not be the most important date on the calendar, but there’s nothing wrong with having an excuse to remind us to appreciate our plants. A lot of people have and enjoy houseplants, but they don’t stop and really think about why. Here our top 5 reasons for keeping and loving houseplants.
- They enhance mood and productivity. There is all kinds of research that houseplants have psychological benefits. Staring at a desk plant for as little as three minutes can reduce anxiety. Likewise, people who transplanted a houseplant showed suppressed autonomic nervous system activity. They’re also economical in terms of office décor and residential communities. The occupational benefits of houseplants apply to corporate offices, home offices, and pretty much everything in between.
- They are a feat of human ingenuity and a reminder of our evolutionary history. In some ways, growing houseplants in containers is unnatural. Plants grow in the ground where there is plenty of moisture and plenty of air. Yet, with specialized soil and pots with drainage holes, we make it work. Nowadays, it takes only a few minutes to learn about houseplant care, find and buy a plant, and get started. Yet this represents centuries of indoor plant cultivation and general horticultural knowledge, and that’s pretty cool.
- Houseplants demonstrate the resilience and adaptability of life in general. Of course, it’s not just human ingenuity that allows plants to grow and even thrive indoors. The plants themselves also deserve a lot of credit. Houseplants provide an opportunity for life to show off how adaptable it can be. Some plants take it even further. Ignore them until their leaves droop, and some houseplants will still bounce back.
- They are personal reminders of places we’ve been, people we’ve met, and things we’ve done. Maybe it was a gift from a best friend before saying goodbye. Maybe it was a travel souvenir from a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or maybe you brought a wild plant back home from an annual camping trip. Maybe it’s a memorial plant from the funeral ceremony of a loved one. There are as many ways for plants to be personal mementos as there are types of houseplants themselves.
- They give us an opportunity to explore and express our creativity. It’s one thing to put a plant and soil in a pot by a window and see what happens, but you can also do some pretty creative things with houseplants. Put an air plant inside a shell, and it looks just like a jellyfish. Build a living wall inside a shadowbox. Trim a houseplant into any number of carefully cultivated shapes. Matching pots and plants and placing them artfully when decorating your living space requires an active of personal creativity.