Most of us dream about having an extensive and luscious outdoor garden where we can cultivate many plants and flowers of all shapes and sizes. In reality, most of us are working with something more like a closet-sized apartment patio, if we have outdoor space at all. If you find yourself wanting to be a plant parent but have minimal to no outdoor space, you live in a place with inclement weather, or just want your home to resemble the plant palaces you’ve seen on Instagram, you’re in the right place. Here you’ll learn how you can take a break and de-stress from day-to-day life with the help of indoor potted plants. We’ll review how you can keep your indoor potted plants growing big and strong while also ensuring that you aren’t inadvertently creating an annoying task for yourself.
If you’ve seen those amazing indoor plant gardens filling up your Instagram feed, you aren’t alone. There’s a reason people are flocking to their neighborhood plant store or favorite online retailer: if you pick the right indoor plant, they’re very easy to care for. A quick Google search for “hard to kill indoor plants” will surface lengthy lists, mostly of succulents, palms, air plants, and those varietals with thicker, waxy leaves. Most indoor plants only require watering when they’re dry, which bodes well for those of us who don’t remember we have a plant until it’s as dry as the desert. No shame here — an indoor plant can actually thrive with minimal effort.
Yes, they look great. But indoor plants have also been found to make you feel more comfortable, soothed, and natural. The plant itself can bring your calmness, but so can the act of gardening. Gardening (whether indoor or outdoor) has been known to lower our stress response compared to performing a task like working on a computer. And working with plants can reduce both physiological and psychological stress. Feeling like you need to calm down amidst all the time spent indoors and at home? Start by getting an indoor plant.
No, we don’t mean you’ll be extra aware of not getting stabbed by an indoor cactus. Although that is definitely a thing too. Indoor plants, specifically real indoor plants, have been shown to produce students who were more attentive and better able to concentrate than those who studied without one.
When it comes to indoor gardening, those who have practiced it in the past know that it brings a sense of calm and accomplishment to an otherwise stressful life. In fact, researchers are using horticultural therapy (think, gardening) to increase feelings of well-being among people with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, dementia, and others. While studies are ongoing, there is also evidence that suggests having plants in a hospital room might help patients manage pain. Certainly, indoor gardening and plants are no substitute for proper medical attention, but they can be a part of a well-rounded mental health plan.
Your plastic plant might always look amazing, but unfortunately, it’s not doing anything for your environment and the air you’re breathing indoors every day. On the other hand, an indoor plant does! Enter “phytoremediation,” which involves technologies that use living plants to clear up not only the air but also soil and water that contain hazardous contaminants. Your city apartment might not be a hotbed for contaminants, but the roots and soil of houseplants have been shown to reduce airborne volatile organic compounds (or VOCs, if you’re feeling fancy). Keep in mind that you’d probably need an entire greenhouse in your actual house to get the equivalent air purification of a more modern system, but a plant here or there certainly won’t hurt the cause. Some plants are extra-good at freshening the air naturally: areca, lady, dwarf date, and bamboo palms, Boston fern, rubber tree, spider plant, and Ficus tree.
Sorry, your indoor plant isn’t a miracle drug. But plants do offer us some physical health benefits that you should know about. Plants release water vapor into the air, which increases the humidity of the area, and that can help improve respiratory and skin health because it offsets the drying effects of heating systems. We all know how dry our skin and hair can get during the winter months, and a houseplant can help combat it. In addition to being beneficial for your skin, the humidity can also benefit those with respiratory issues, headaches, and allergies. Bet you never thought a plant would actually help with your allergies, huh?!
The white and neutral trend is in full force when it comes to home decor, but you still need spruce of color here and there, and a plant is a great way to get it. Plants are a perfect way to add both color and texture to your home, especially if they’re a variety that has multiple shades within it. Think greys, blues, pinks, and of course, greens.
Indoor gardening doesn’t have to mean you have hundreds of living things crowding every surface of your home. Unless you’re into that kind of thing, of course, in which case, please share a photo. Houseplants come in all shapes and sizes, allowing you to select the best one for your bedroom, living room, home office, or even your bathroom (we won’t judge). When it comes time to bring your new plant baby home, ensure that they’re in a good spot. Plants vary in how much and how direct they like light to be, so do your research! Even better, look to UrbanStems to find the perfect one! You can even sort by attribute to find something that fits in with your environment and lifestyle, whether that’s based on location, temperature, and if you’re also a pet parent. Regardless of which indoor plant you choose, get ready to enjoy the many benefits that the little guys can provide.