The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
When I was in Grade 10, I decided to buy my first houseplant: a small, unidentified leafy sprout that I purchased in order to fill a chicken-shaped pot I found at the thrift store. This plant sparked my love for houseplants, and my collection continues to grow to this day.
Over the years, purchasing plants have not only acted as a source of retail therapy but improved my wellbeing through the nurturance of my plants. Watching my plants grow and develop has inspired a sense of accomplishment and devotion. My leafy sprout has quadrupled in size, and it’s inspiring to see what my efforts have cumulated to. Not only that but having a home full of greenery is refreshing. In a city full of skyscrapers, it’s enlivening to wake up surrounded by foliage.
According to the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, there is evidence to support the fact that plants can improve your mental health. They concluded that “active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress compared with mental work.” The study shows that houseplants promote comfortable, soothed and natural feelings.
Personally, whilst taking care of them, houseplants have acted as a reminder to take care of myself. They’ve reminded me that I can only love and nurture others if I have first taken care of myself. Many plants show physical signs of their need for water and light, which are often more noticeable than my own internal signs. If I’m not well enough to water a plant but notice it needs water, I’m tempted to drink water myself and get back to life so I can make room to prioritize my plants, as well.
As we all know, plants don’t always survive. It can be more complicated than regularly watering and providing sunlight. This, however, is an inherent part of the journey which I feel strengthens an individual. The process of trial and error can incite persistence and resilience. Houseplants have allowed me to try and fail, to learn new things and improve without the judgement of others.
Plants provide both a beautiful living space (which can brighten one’s mood) and act as a gentle reminder of love, care and nurturance, both for others and ourselves. They provide the opportunity to learn, improve and watch your accomplishments flourish. The next time you’re at your local grocery store or passing by a flower shop, consider picking one up for yourself.