It’s no secret that having plants in your living or work space provides a plethora of health benefits. Studies have shown that they can clean the air, add moisture to the air, increase your ability to focus, decrease anxiety and depression, and more! But for some people (my former self included) the idea of keeping something green alive for more than a week or two seems like an impossibility. Trust me, it’s not! And the mental health payoffs are so worth the effort!
Below are a few tips I learned while developing my own green thumb:
Find a greenhouse.
You’ll be supporting a local business and, as an added bonus, the plants are almost always healthier than what you’ll get at a home improvement or grocery store, which generally just label everything as “assorted foliage”.
Do your homework.
This step is the hardest one for me to remember, particularly when I’m scrolling through Instagram and an interesting plant catches my eye. #monsteramonday? I’m all about it! But a brief Google search will confirm that Monestra will never thrive in my dismal apartment. So make sure, before you purchase a plant, that you are not setting yourself up for failure by bringing something home that could never survive in your particular environment.
Purchase plants that are…
1. Easy to care for: This is when having that greenhouse expert will really come in handy. If you have killed your share of plants.
2. Satisfying: Satisfying will mean different things for each of us. For some, it will mean that the plant serves a specific function (like air purification). For others, it will simply mean that the plant looks pretty. For me, it means that I want to actually see the plant doing… something. Blooming. Sprouting new leaves. Anything other than dying. Based on my personal criteria, I have a few suggestions: spider plants; they are super low maintenance and grow rapidly, producing little baby spider plants and even tiny, white flowers; ivy/vines. I have several English ivy, which happen to be renowned air purifiers, a passion fruit vine, and a jasmine vine, all of which hang from a shelf in my living room, which makes it very easy to see how much they’ve grown since they have inched further and further down the shelf every time I look at them.
3. Fun: Even if you have never had even the slightest interest in houseplants, you have probably been tempted to purchase a succulent or two (or three) after stumbling across a particularly lovely Instagram of someone’s plant collection. If this has never happened to you, I suggest checking out @houseplantclub or @urbanjungleblog. The collections of greenery they showcase make even the dreariest studio apartment look like a tropical oasis! Right now, most of my plants are too small to create such an ambiance, which is another thing to keep in mind: unless you’re willing to shell out major cash for a grown plant, you may have to wait awhile, depending on the plant!