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Here's Another Reason To Love Your Houseplants: They Give Us Sense Of Control

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Just Another Reason To Get That Houseplant: It Can Provide A Sense Of Control

Among the loaves of banana bread and sourdough starters of the last few months, there's another thing we've only gotten more attached too since stay-at-home orders began: our plants. And for many of us, they've become something we have all over— maybe even in every room.

And zero-waste activist Lauren Singer has a theory as to why our houseplants are suddenly top priority: They give us a sense of control, something many people are desperately craving as the world stays topsy turvy. In fact, there are three specific details of caring for and spending time with our plants that can help keep us grounded and feeling in control of our immediate surroundings, at least.

How houseplants help us feel in control.

While bigger things like the weather changing with the. seasons is one way to note the passage of the year, our houseplants are a microcosm of change over time. "They're a beautiful realization that time is passing," Singer says of her plants, "because I watch them grow and change."

Not only that, but she points out that having plants to care for "teaches me to focus on my surroundings and be present because they are entirely dependent on me." Making plant care, especially watering, a regular practice can also help reinforce a morning routine—something lots of people are craving more of right now.

And for a third reason, she points out that in its own tiny way the practice of caring for a plant can create purpose—beyond just the other things we do each day, caring for a plant, and subsequently watching it grow, is directly linked to our actions. "Growing things and cultivating things gives purpose, and right now we could all use a little bit of purpose and control," says Singer. "Giving and providing life gives us a sense of control a lot of us are lacking right now."


Feeling a need for green? Here are some suggestions.

If you're not yet a plant parent, or you're looking to add to your collection, it's important to make sure you're picking a plant that will thrive in whatever space you have for it.

While most plant purchasing platforms give you details about what a plant needs, those instructions aren't always self-explanatory (like, what does "bright indirect light" even mean?). Luckily, we got some advice from bona fide plant pros about the best house plants for different locations.

Got a super-bright space? You can go for something leafy, like monstera, or a super-useful aloe vera plant. Not as much light? Try a snake plant or even a pothos. It's also important to keep in mind the full ecosystem of your space: which includes your furry friends! Make sure whatever plants you do pick are pet-friendly.

Already got a bit of a jungle in your space, but wanna give it an update? Here are five inexpensive ways to up your plant parenting game.

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