On to Greener Pastures: How plants can help your home feel alive

Lately, green has been somewhat of a staple for the younger generations with regard to fashion and home & lifestyle. We see more and more people incorporate green into their homes and clothing – from paint color choices to plants and to wardrobe pieces. But, what is it about the color green that has captured their attention?

 

When we look up the psychology behind the color green, we get two opposites of meaning behind it. On one end, green connotes something negative like envy, and a physical illness – a direct interpretation of the expression “green with envy.” On a more positive note, the color green also connotes positive feelings such as optimism, motivation, and calm. More often than not, it also reminds people of nature – perhaps because of how green is naturally set in our minds indicates a place where food, water, and shelter are available.

 

How do you want to bring green or greenery into your homes? The easiest way to incorporate the color green without actually painting the entirety of it green is by adding little pops of it by adding plants. Aside from being a pretty addition to your home, these also help filter the air of carbon dioxide (which we exhale when we breathe) and convert it back to oxygen. 

 

There are many other added benefits of having plants around your house. Here are some of them: 

  1. Being surrounded by plants helps relieve stress
  2. It helps to sharpen your attention
  3. Working with plans is very therapeutic
  4. Plants may help you to recover from illnesses faster
  5. They help boost your productivity
  6. The plants may play a role in improving your entire outlook on work
  7. Most likely improving the quality of indoor air

 

Interesting right? But, in getting a houseplant, there are some things that you need to consider. When choosing one that works well for your lifestyle, the climate of where you live, and how much light the room you’re putting the plants in gets. So, to help you out in choosing the right plant for you, we’ve curated a list of great houseplants that are great for beginners. 

 

Parlor Palm

The Chamaedorea Elegans, more commonly known as the Neanthe Bella Parlor Palms are native to the subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas. This is a great beginner plant because of how low maintenance this is. The Parlor Palm only needs to be watered every 1-2 weeks, depending on where you place this. It would need more water when placed in brighter areas and would need less when placed in dim areas. When taken care of properly, this can grow up to 10-12 feet tall!

Fiddle Leaf Fig

The Ficus Lyrata, otherwise known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig or Banjo Fig are non-demanding plants to keep around indoors. Although, one thing to keep in mind before purchasing this plant is that it is toxic to both cats and dogs. So, if you’re not one for furry friends, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is a great houseplant for you.

 

This plant originates from tropical parts of Africa, making them thrive best in very warm and wet conditions. They need the soil to be moist to thrive, so you’d have to keep an eye out for that. The best way to indicate this is to check the top inch of soil, if it feels dry, water it. Also, it’s best to keep this plant in partial shade, so keep it a bit farther away from your windows!

Dracaena Gold Star

Another plant that is native to Africa (albeit, this one’s specifically from its northern parts), making this a very versatile plant. This is so beginner friendly that some even say that this plant thrives on neglect! With that being said, the Dracaena Gold Star requires very little water. With regard to how much light this plant needs, this needs bright, indirect sunlight, although it can survive with less. 

Monstera Deliciosa

Arguably the most popular indoor plant, the Monstera Deliciosa’s shiny leaves, and swiss cheese-like holes add a playful, tropical touch to any home. This is native to Mexico and Central America. 

 

Keeping this plant alive is fairly easy, keep it somewhere with indirect sunlight and water it about once a week or until the soil is fairly dry. This plant is a climber with aerial roots – which means that you’d have to prune it from time to time (AKA: cut off the overgrowth).

Peacock Plant or Calathea

The Peacock Plant, otherwise known as the Calathea is one of the most decorative foliage. Its leaves boast a blend of green, yellow, pink, and white. This is also known as “the prayer plant” because of how its leaves lay flat in the morning and fold upwards at night as if praying.

 

This is also a more relenting beginner house plant because it gives you distress signals for when it needs quenching. One simple trick for this when you don’t know what to do is the “drench then drought” technique: drench the soil in water and then allow it to dry out between waterings.

String of Hearts

Don’t let its delicate appearance fool you, the String of Hearts packs a mean, visual punch when you place this in any room. Like the Monstera Deliciosa, this plant is a climber, but it looks prettier cascading downwards. The String of Hearts stores water in its stems like succulents. It would be happy living in any room temperature as long as it’s far from direct sunlight, just keeping it by the window for a couple of hours is fine. It also likes being kept moist but not soaking wet.

Rubber Plant

Perhaps an equal contender to the Monstera Deliciosa in terms of popularity, the Rubber Plant is one of the most popular indoor plants you’ll see around social media. The Rubber Plant is sure to steal the eye with its prominent dark forest green leaves. Apart from its pretty appearance, this low-maintenance plant purifies the air around it by taking in contaminants for the measly price of moderate to low light and the occasional watering.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is popularly known for its cosmetic and medicinal benefits, specifically, its gel. But, what isn’t as widely known is that Aloe Vera as a plant is just as powerful as its gel. According to NASA, the Aloe Vera plant is one of the most air-purifying plants out there and it’s one of the few plants that can also do this at night. 

 

This spiky succulent requires very little care, only needing to be watered occasionally and placed in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight. In fact, it’s so low-maintenance that it can tolerate neglect from time to time.

Snake Plant

Similar to the Aloe Vera plant, the Snake Plant also spikes up from its pot with multiple shards. Each leaf points upward and stands like a sword. But despite it being thin and tall, this plant is completely strong and tough. 

 

These pretty little shards are easy to maintain, only ever needing to be watered when the soil becomes nearly dry, and should be placed in a bright spot with indirect sunlight.

ZZ Plant

The ZZ Plant is also known by two other names: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia and the  Zanzibar Gem. Its maximum height when given proper care only reaches about 3 feet, which makes it the perfect height for corner pieces and if you choose to keep it short and sweet, this beautiful plant can be placed in a coffee or accent table.

 

Maintaining this plant is really easy. The ZZ Plants wants to be situated at a shady spot and requires little watering. They grow slowly in lower light as opposed to when it’s placed in brighter spots.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Plants in general play an integral role in the overall mood of a room. But, another important detail you’d want to consider for the plants is the design of the pots you want to put your plants in. 

 

Pro-tip, if the budget allows, ditch the plastic pots and go for ceramic or clay pots. This elevates the look of the plants and the aesthetic of the room. Something about a well-designed plant pot, be it on top of a table or on the ground, just ties the whole room together. Of course, it is important to check whether or not the plant would survive being planted in that pot. 

 

Don’t be afraid to mix and match the plants that you have at home, too! Just make sure they’re all getting the TLC they need.

 

Keeping plants in your home isn’t just about aesthetics, as mentioned above, it has both physical and mental health benefits. And, it might just be a new hobby you wouldn’t have ever imagined you’d enjoy!