Houseplants: Indulging In Our Guilty Pleasures
Everyone has that one thing that they can’t resist when they see it in the store. That one thing that you have to sneak past your husband so he doesn’t lecture you on how you have 25 more sittings in the other room. For me, it used to be throw pillows and blankets, but through all the craziness of last year, my little addiction quickly shifted to something a lot more lively, houseplants!
4″ Alocasia Frydek 49.99 | Square Concrete vessel 29.99
I have always been a big lover of gardening and plants. Even at a young age, I would enjoy staying home from hanging out with friends so I could re-design and tend to my mom’s gardens. It was kind of a little secret of mine since none of my friends were interested in the same hobby. But recently I have noticed a huge spike in interest in the younger generation. In fact, It has been difficult to even source certain types of plants because the demand has been so high. So what is it that’s drawing in such a huge new clientele?
6″ Pencil Cactus Firestick 39.99 | Matte black vessel 19.99
In doing my research I stumbled across an article that said this,
“American gardeners spent a record $52.3 billion on the lawn and garden retail sales last year, according to the 2019 National Gardening Survey. A quarter of that spending was attributed to 18- to 34-year-olds, whose spending on plants has grown at a higher rate than any other age group since 2014.”
This is an older study and it has been proven that during the pandemic the demand has become even greater and a large number of these plant lovers are millennials and gen z.
With social media becoming so prevalent in our day-to-day life, scrolling through perfectly curated photos of eclectic or boho homes with rare and unusual plants being the highlight, has made the craze become a huge trend for 2021. Collecting “hard to find” plants or clippings and sharing them on social media, has almost created a status symbol for some influencers.
For me, I believe my love for plants originated with my mom. She always had a green thumb for orchids. In her kitchen window, she had a variety of different orchids all ranging in unique colour patterns and shapes. As soon as one flower would die off, a new flower would bloom. Seeing how these beautiful flowers made such an impact in her space along with her soul, made it clear that I wanted my own houseplants for my home.
In my home, I like to choose plants based on my decor needs and the living conditions that they’ll have. For my kitchen, I wanted a statement piece for next to my window. The pineapple plant was the perfect addition with its large foliage and tropical pineapple to perfectly compliment the fruit bowl it sits next to.
Another favourite of mine is all the different types of succulents. Their sleek nature and easy-to-care-for requirements make it the absolute perfect houseplant. Here are some short step-by-step instructions on how I like to arrange my succulents.
Step 1: Material
Lambert Potting Mix 4.99 | Grey bowl 19.99 | Assorted 4″ succulents 4.99
- Potting mix
- A vessel with or without a drainage hole, deep enough for a tight root system
- Moss or decorative stone
- 1 vertical succulent
- 3-5 mounding succulents (echeveria)
- 1-2 trailing succulents
Step 2: Instructions
- If your vessel has a drainage hole simply fill it 3/4 of the way with your potting mix.
- If your vessel does not have a drainage hole, add a 1″ thick layer of pebbles or gravel to the base of your planter before adding your soil. This will be used as drainage for your succulents.
- Create a small hole in the center of your planter for your largest vertical succulent.
- Plant 3-5 mounding-shaped echeveria closely to the center plant.
- In the spaces between the echeveria, plant any cascading varieties you may want to include.
- Make sure all the plants are hugging each other and leaving a small gap around the perimeter of the pot.
- Along the perimeter of the pot, use moss or stone to cover the soil
Gently water around the base of each plant. If you do not have a drainage hole, only use a small amount of water. Water your arrangement once it has become completely dry. It is best to test the soil beforehand to know when it is an appropriate time to water. If you do not have a drainage hole use 1-2 cups of water to hydrate your arrangement of 3-5 succulents. If you do have a drainage hole you can water thoroughly until water escapes the base, then leave to dry before watering again.
Through this pandemic, I found using plants as a hobby to distract my mind from all the negativity seen on social media is exactly what I needed as a cleanse. There’s something so therapeutic about filling your workspaces with healthy plants and the excitement that comes with it when they start to show signs of growth.
Matte black modern large plastic planter 99.99 (In-store) | Matte black 10″ vessel 49.99 | 8″ Swiss Cheese Monstera 39.99
In searching for ideas as to why the younger generation all of a sudden have become plant fanatics, I reached out to Bethany from The Plant Suite to see what she thought about the latest trend. I also wanted to know where her love for houseplants began and why she chose to start a business revolving around houseplants.
Here’s what she says,
“I think we’ve seen a growing interest in houseplants for young people, especially in the past year or so. Throughout the pandemic, many young people have taken on caring for houseplants as a form of self-care, as the act of caring for something, living can be incredibly therapeutic, and is quite a bit more affordable than caring for a pet. Caring for a few houseplants can help to add routine and order to someone’s life, especially in this period of time where much is out of order for many.”
She went on to say, “I personally developed a love of houseplants just before the pandemic, and it grew steadily in the peak of the stay-at-home order. In April 2020 I had 60+ houseplants in my 1 bedroom apartment! They brought me a sense of routine, and it was therapeutic studying them, watching them grow and taking care of them. I started my business The Plant Suite (a houseplant delivery service) as a way to make houseplants accessible to those who perhaps could not access plants due to COVID. Seeing/hearing the joy from customers after they received their plant deliveries always fills me with joy, and I’m thrilled to have a business that brings happiness and plant therapy to my customers.”
Every room in my home is filled with some sort of plant baby that either purifies the air or simply just adds that perfect natural element. To help justify which plants to buy, I have to consider the living conditions I have available for them. Utilizing humid places like the bathroom for plants that prefer a damp environment, and saving all my bright windows for plants that require bright indirect light, is how I narrow down which plants I have space for in my home. Often I find myself attracted to specific houseplants, however after doing my research, quickly I found that educating myself on the care requirements and preferences of the plants first, can easily help me narrow down my search.
The nice thing about using plants as a guilty pleasure is they have so many therapeutic purposes along with being a nice decor piece. Learning to propagate, to arrange, to nurture and to smell are all ways horticulture therapy is helping so many people of different ages through these hard times.
There is so much we can learn from our plant companions.
“If speaking kindly to our plants helps them grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.” – Unknown.