Houseplants are more popular than ever, and it’s easy to see why! They make for beautiful decor, and it can be so fun to collect them and turn your home into your own personal jungle. Plants are fun and rewarding to take care of, with less commitment than kids or pets. But did you know that caring for a plant can have a variety of health and wellness benefits?
As we navigate our busy and stressful everyday lives, it’s so important to find ways to de-stress and practice self-care. Studies show that the act of caring for a plant – learning about its unique needs, watering and fertilizing it, and watching it grow – can decrease stress and help improve mental health. If you’re new to plants and looking to reap some of their de-stressing benefits, I suggest starting with some laidback, easy to care for plants so you can de-stress without the added stress of some of the more high maintenance plants. Keeping that in mind, here are 5 easy houseplants to help you de-stress and improve your mental health.
1. Snake Plants
Snake plants are super easy to care for and a perfect plant for beginners. I love snake plants for their spiky, funky look, and also for how forgiving they can be. They tolerate low-light environments and don’t mind if I miss a watering. There are about 70 different species of snake plants, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there’s one out there for everyone! I make sure to let mine dry out between waterings because these babies are more likely to suffer from overwatering than underwatering.
Did you know that the soothing, cooling gel in your first aid kit comes from a plant? Aloe is a succulent, which means that its super good at storing water in its leaves. This makes it a fab beginner plant because it’s low maintenance and easy to care for. You can cut the leaves and scrape out the gel for use on scrapes, cuts, or burns – just be sure to keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week!
Also known as devil’s ivy, the pothos is one of my favourite species of plant because it grows quickly and is so easy to care for. To determine when to water my pothos plants, I watch the leaves. When they lose their perkiness and look a bit wilted, I give them a thorough watering. Since this is a species of plant, there’s tons of variety within this group. Some of my favourites are golden pothos, marble queen pothos, and neon pothos. They’re also super easy to propagate by taking cuttings with a node and air root and placing them in water.
The phalaenopsis orchid is common variety of orchid, but orchids in general are unusual houseplants because they actually don’t grow in soil! An orchid’s roots are adapted to absorb moisture from the air in its surrounding environment, so they prefer a growing medium of bark, sphagnum moss, or a combination of the two. I run my orchid’s pot under the water for a minute or so once a week, and leave this humidity-loving plant in bright indirect light the rest of the time. That means it’s pretty low maintenance.
5. Spider Plants
Spider plants are another classic houseplant. They grow fast, can tolerate a bit of neglect, and are super easy to propagate and share with friends. If you have dogs or cats at home, spider plants are a great choice because they’re pet-safe plants in the event that your furry friend nibbles a leaf or two.
To hear more of Amanda’s tips on which plants are best for your health (along with the health of your pets), check out the video below: