indoor jungle

What are the benefits of having house plants?

This is a popular search term, which is why I’m writing a post about it.

Personally, it’s a bit weird for me. Like someone asking what the benefit of sharing my home with an enormous angry rabbit is.

I don’t know, I just like ’em.

Why do I look after them?

Er, because they need someone to look after them.

This goes for both the plants and the rabbit, but if something happened to me, I’m pretty sure the rabbit would survive the plants. Probably by eating the plants.

It’s a cheap hobby

I mean, it can be.

It can also be wildly expensive, but that’s true of most hobbies.

You can have a lot of house plants and spend little money though.

Places to buy cheap house plants

  • Supermarkets

You can get a wide selection of cheap plants from supermarkets, but they may well need a bit of TLC when you get them home. This article has a great guide to acclimatising supermarket plants.

  • Garden Centres

You can either buy baby plants cheaply, common plants cheaply OR massive, overgrown MONSTERS cheaply My philodendron scandens was £20 and is the size of a husky.

  • Online marketplaces

Another great place to great massive free or cheap plants that are simply to pick for some people’s houses. If you like spiky plants, this one’s for you. Though read this post first.

So yeah, if you’re after a cheap hobby, leanring to take care of house plants is a great one. You can even earn money from it, by selling propagations, taking care of people’s plants whilst they’re away or, you know, writing about them on the internet 😎

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They’re beautiful home decor

House plants look cool af, and are kind of timeless. I know we’re going through a bit of a boom period for them at the moment, but house plants as decor is a fairly constant theme – it’s just that the types of plants that are trendy change all the time.

Whoever picked Fiddle Leaf figs is a sadist.

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They give you something to nurture

As I mentioned, I live with an angry rabbit (and a calm boyfriend), but neither need much in the way of nurturing.

I want to cuddle and snuggle and brush the bunny, but she’s not keen, and I want her to be happy, so I settle for the odd nose scratch (I scratch hers, she just wants to bite me) and then go and fuss over my plants.

If you want to water your plants every day, I’d HIGHLY recommend getting 100 plants. It’s a rare day that SOMEBODY doesn’t need a drink.

Seriously though, if you’re in a rental and aren’t allowed pets, or you don’t have the time for them, or you don’t want them (no shame – pets are a lot of work and aren’t everyone’s cup of tea), then plants are a nice anchor.

Something to come home to, a little bit of life in your home that doesn’t make any noise or demand a bite of every slice of toast you make yourself.

Seriously, if your kids beg you for a bunny, do your research. House rabbits are incredible pets, and I have loved all of mine, but they’re not an ‘easy’ pet.

And when they bite they mean it.

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Learn a skill

Looking after plants is a cool and useful skill – what if we all end up having to grow our own crops? Us plant parents will be the first ones to identify mealybugs and aphids and we’ll be spraying away with our neem oil before anyone else has even noticed.

Also, it’s a covetable skill, and somewhat mysterious. A lot of people think that you’re either good or bad with plants, with most people being bad.

I now know that this is rubbish, and that plants are easy to look after once you’ve mastered the basics (which are all here, in this post), but that doesn’t stop it from being seen as a skill akin to magic by any other people.

Stick on your CV, right at the bottom – you never know, you might be hired because the company is sick of replacing dying plants.

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Air quality

Hmmm.

Hmmmmmm.

Let’s face it: unless you’re cultivating your own private jungle, you’re unlikely to have enough plants to make any real difference to the air quality in your home.

EXCEPT

I have a hundred plants and a tiny house. SURELY they must make a difference.

Have I noticed one?

Er, no, but I’ve built up my collection over the past 8 months. If I’d dropped 100 plants into my house overnight then maybe I would notice a difference in the air quality.

But in all likelihood, there’s not much difference.

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Quality of life

I think my quality of life has vastly improved since acquiring my plants, and I’m not just saying that so I can justify buying 100 more.

Learning about houseplants really made me question things I thought I knew. I assumed a lot of things (you didn’t need drainage holes, a day outside in the garden would be great for plants etc etc etc) that only turned out not to be true, but were also…kind of obvious.

So nowadays I try not to be such a know it all, and learn before making assumptions.

I also started this blog, which has been so much fun and clearly will make me a millionaire.

My weekends have definitely improved since discovering my love for house plants. My boyfriend and I both love garden centres (he has tropical fish) so we no longer alternate having fun weekends – we both love going to the same places.

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An outlet for hoarding tendencies

This is probably not healthy, but it’s better than hoarding, say cats. Actually , since every flat surface of my home is covered in plants I no longer buy home decor.

I don’t spend money on pointless beauty products in TK Maxx because I prefer to spend my weekends touring garden centres like a granny.

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There are countless articles out there that go on about purifying the air etc, but I don’t believe that a) there’s enough evidence to back up those claims) an b) there are many more benefits to having house plants than improving the air we breathe.

Though if they did, that would definitely be top of the list.

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