“There’s a whole new group of ‘plant parents’ out there and they’re absolute newbies,” says Lisa Steinkopfblogging since 2011 as The Houseplant Guru and author of four books on indoor gardening, including Bloom, (August 2022). Many of these new plant shoppers started during the pandemic (myself included), but indoor gardening was already becoming a trending hobby among Millennials before Covid.
Enthusiasm for pandemic plants
“One of the biggest things we found was that consumers felt the plants helped them throughout the pandemic to cope with stressful thoughts and feelings,” reports Interviews with producers, an industry publication, quoting a University of Florida professor. The publication predicts houseplant sales will continue to grow, attributing it to the happiness of shoppers. “Indoor plants make people feel good,” added the professor.
Benefits of plants for mental health
I quoted one Medical construction and design business review article in my Wellness by design book pointing to studies with natural elements, including plants, aiding in healing, reducing stress and anxiety, and even decreasing the need for pain relief. That’s not to say your new ficus or fern is comparable to medical care but, as Mulhall notes, “most people spend over 85% of their lives indoors, so these spaces have a big influence on your health.”
“People want to be surrounded by plants in the places where they decompress the most,” says Pismo Beach, a California-based interior designer. Ariana Lovato. She is increasingly being asked to incorporate integrated plant elements into the spaces she creates. “The rooms where we design the most integrated pieces would be the main bathroom and living room,” she says. Kitchens are also popular places for plants, judging by the pictures circulating online. Several kitchen storage companies make plant holders specifically for these high-traffic rooms.
Living walls are also becoming a frequent request for Lovato. These can be created for indoor or outdoor spaces and add visual warmth. Grass walls are also popular trends. “For the Seasonal Living Virtual Showhouse, we designed a hydroponic wall system so homeowners could grow their own herbs while looking stylish.” It was one of the standout features of this online-only showcase home during the pandemic.
Physical benefits of plants
The plants you add to your home can have a positive influence on your well-being, including your physical health. “There is a strong association between the quality of your indoor environment and risk factors leading to heart disease, so great care needs to be taken,” Mulhall suggests.
Plants can also have an air purifying effect, but this will depend on the room, the plants, and other environmental factors. “It is best to combine plants with an effective air purification system in your home,” advises the environmental specialist.
He also notes that houseplants can be part of a healthy diet. “Very young vegetables like cabbage and radishes are high in vitamins C, K, and E. Microgreens are full of antioxidants like polyphenols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease by helping your body repair heart disease. elasticity of your arteries”, one of his focuses as an entrepreneur, based on technology from Clemson University. “There are some interesting crosses between indoor medicinal plants and heart health. Many herbs are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Chamomile, basil and thyme are examples.
Plant tips and trends
Although the pros far outweigh the cons, according to Mulhall, there are some issues to consider when growing the plants. If mold is growing, that’s a problem, he points out. (Some people are allergic to them.) Some people are also allergic to flowering plants. This is something to consider before bringing one home. Some plants are harmful to pets; the The ASPCA maintains a list of these (which houseplant maven Steinkopf recommends to readers). Plants can also attract insects, warns Mulhall. “If you start using toxic pesticides to control insects, you defeat the purpose; there are safe alternatives.
One of the biggest precautions when it comes to plant parenting can be shedding. The most common question Steinkopf asks is “what’s wrong with my plant?” she shares. “People send pictures of plants with spots, dead leaves, insects and mites and ask me to diagnose the problem.”
The most important aspect of a successful grow is choosing the right plant for the right place in your home, she comments. “Know what exposure your home is facing so you know which plants will work for your environment.”
Lovato keeps this in mind for her customers, especially as they get busier with less time for plant care. “Most people want plants that are easy to care for. We also make sure to place the plants in the right places. Hanging indoor plants are a fun trend right now,” she observes.
Some systems are available today to facilitate successful cultivation, Steinkopf explains. Electric lights that can give plants exactly what they need are a trend she suggests for beginners. “Economic lights work very well and are an economical way to grow a lot of plants in a small space.”
Self-watering pots are also popular now and are an easy way to keep your plants hydrated. (Lovato says her clients love their convenience factor.) The soil needs to be very porous so it doesn’t stay too wet, and drainage is essential, Steinkopf says. “A lot of people feel like they just need drainage material. Although it is possible to grow a plant in a container without a drainage hole, it is not easy and for new plant parents in particular, a hole is a must.
“Learning about the benefits of different types of plants is super important and interesting,” says Lovato. Its California homeowner customers invest heavily in landscape and indoor plants, but you don’t need a favorable climate or a gigantic budget to make plants work for your home and your life.
Lovato, Mulhall and Steinkopf will share their insights on plants in an hour-long conversation at the Clubhouse tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Eastern/1:00 p.m. Pacific. You can participate in this discussion WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS here. If you can’t attend, you can watch the recording via Clubhouse Replays or the Gold Notes design blog here next Wednesday.