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Woman realizing benefits of indoor plants

Source: Courtney Hale / Getty

Keeping potted plants in the home has become the new big trend for many reasons, from interior décor appeal to mental health benefits. There are even “plantfluencers” who have blown up on social media, showing off their gorgeous and green homes and sharing their tips on caring for plants. The very fact that the word “plantfluencer” is a thing depicts just how popular indoor plants have become. Garden Pals reports that seven out of 10 millennials call themselves a “plant parent,” and NBC News did a story on a plant Etsy shop that received nearly 70,000 orders in the pandemic. There is great news about the plant parent trend. Unlike other trends that take social media by storm like internal showers and ice bucket challenges, caring for plants is scientifically proven to be good for you. Here are the benefits of indoor plants and the easiest ones to care for.

 

Improve Air Quality

Mid Adult Mixed Race Woman taking care of her Houseplants

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Starting with one of the more well-known benefits, having indoor plants can improve the air quality in your home. So in addition to adding great air purifiers and filtration systems, don’t forget to add Mother Nature’s air purifier: greenery. The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health reports that indoor plants can be effective at phytoremediation – the process of removing toxins from the air.

 

Beat Stress

Here’s one reason Plantfluencers like Christian Esguerra (@crazyplantguy) have hundreds of thousands of followers: the act of potting plants can be calming. The Journal of Physiological Anthropology reported on a study in which participants were asked to pot plants and report their stress levels. They saw a significant reduction in stress after the activity.

 

Alleviate Depression And Anxiety

Woman Spraying Water On Plants While Sitting

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If you battle depression or anxiety, in addition to speaking with a professional, consider adding some greenery around your home. Research from BJPsych International has found that taking care of plants can alleviate depression and anxiety. That’s why plant therapy is one of the more popular alternative therapies out there.

 

Be Creative And Productive

Middle aged woman watering her houseplants

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Multiple studies have found that people come up with more creative ideas when plants are in the room, and that people work faster when plants are in the room. Furthermore, the American Society for Horticultural Science found that workers who have plants in their office environment take fewer sick days.

 

The Easiest Plants To Care For

 

Dracaena Giganta

A garden plant in Hawaii

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If you’re looking for something that will grow big and tall to add a lot of greenery to a corner, get one of these beautiful and bright plants. It thrives in low light conditions, so keep it somewhat shaded. You’ll know it’s time to water this plant when its soil feels dry, which is typically once to twice a week.

 

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum

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This spunky plant requires very little tending to. It is happiest in indirect sunlight, but if you accidentally put it in the shade for a day or two it won’t die on you. Knowing when to water it is as simple as sticking your finger in its soil. When the upper two inches feel dry, it’s time to give it a little H2O.

 

Sansevieria

Green plant (Sansevieria) in terracotta pot against white background)

Source: Christina Reichl Photography / Getty

If you’re worried you’ll forget to move a plant from the shade to the light as the sun shifts throughout the day, this is a great plant for you because it thrives in most light conditions. It also doesn’t require a ton of water, so if you skip one irrigation session, it won’t die on you. Plus, it’s highly resistant to temperature changes so you won’t have to monitor the thermostat too closely.

 

 

Hedgehog Aloe

Aloe Vera Plant

Source: Li Fook Cheah / EyeEm / Getty

This is an excellent plant for anyone who forgets to care for their greenery for days on end. It loves bright sunlight, and can even be left outdoors in the summer so feel free to place it on a window sill or balcony. Its water needs vary by season, but it’s easy to keep up with. The simple rule is to keep the soil damp in the hot months, and water it on a weekly basis the rest of the year, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions.

 

Monstera

Dark green leaves of caladium in the rainforest

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When you want your home to look like a lush tropical rainforest, add some monsteras. Their uniquely shaped leaves add a lot of personality to a room and grow quite large. They do well in most light conditions and don’t need to be watered often (once to twice a week).

 

ZZ Plant

ZZ plant

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Frequent fliers can get a ZZ plant and not even worry about having a neighbor tend to it while they’re away. It needs very little water – think every two to three weeks – and does well in both low and bright light conditions. It’s good at letting you know when it needs water, too, because its leaves will wrinkle or yellow when it’s dehydrated.

 

Chinese Money Plant

If you’re looking for a compact plant to complement a side table, check out this option. It has unique thick and round leaves that fortunately don’t require tons of water. It does well in low light conditions and generally grows to be eight to 12 inches tall.

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