The houseplant is making a comeback

Houseplants are growing in popularity and, in the midst of a pandemic, the timing is perfect.

With so many working from home these days, and spending more time in their kitchens, living rooms, and family rooms, some are finding that houseplants provide good environmental, health and ornamental benefits.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen some of my quick posts about cool-looking indoor tropical plants being offered by many of the nurseries and garden centers I endorse.

In addition to filling extra at-home time by tinkering with houseplants, miniature gardens or succulents, there are some other really good reasons to grow indoor plants during these unusual times.

  1. Plants expel oxygen, which we need, but they also help humidify the air during dry periods … very good for our health.
  2. Houseplants also help to purify the air by absorbing indoor air pollutants and volatile organic compounds, including benzene from cigarette smoke.
  3. Houseplants can buoy our spirits, making the household seem calmer. I’d say we all need more calming these days.
  4. They can help us live a little longer. An eight-year Harvard study released in 2016 found that American women living amid lots of vegetation had a 12% lower mortality rate than those living in less “green” environments.
  5. You know that plants do better when they're spoken to, right? Well, if you’re by yourself during this pandemic, you’ll have something to talk to.

No matter what kind of indoor plant you purchase, put it in a new container with some high-quality potting soil when you get it home. Why? Because you’re probably not going to water and care for it on a daily basis the way nurseries and garden centers do. The soil and containers they use are designed to be tended to every day.

If you get a high-end potting soil (cheaper is not better), you’ll probably be able to get by with watering like once a week.

Here’s an article from a few years ago explaining how easy indoor plants can be, complete with detailed tips and a list of good choices. If you still have questions after reading it, give me a call on the radio this weekend or get into a GardenLine Facebook discussion anytime.

PHOTO: Randy Lemmon