From crocuses to cacti: Why the plant obsession?

People have been keeping plants as far back as Ancient Egypt and Rome, and they are quite simply the kind of thing that never goes out of style. However, recent years have seen a huge plant boom, with a 70% uptick in sales in 2019 and more growth ever since. Houseplant-focused Youtube channels such as Planterina and Crazy Plant Guy have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Even TikTok has caught on to the trend, with many creators offering tips and tricks as to how plucky gardeners can keep their greenery thriving. But why is it that we have such a huge plant obsession?

Firstly, plants look great: they enhance the overall appearance of our room with their shapes and colors. By bringing life into our space, we are able to breathe new life into it. 

Numerous studies have also demonstrated the many benefits that keeping plants can have on our mental health. A Japanese study concluded that simply looking at a plant on your work desk may reduce anxiety, and there is also evidence that having flowers in your home can lead to less stress and more happiness. 

The process of looking after the plants we own also has similar perks. We can find great value and purpose in looking after something, and this can extend to planting and watering. It provides both a challenge and a great sense of achievement in the longer term.

One of the biggest sells for plants, though, is something belonging to their very being - the way they bring nature closer to us. They are more than just decor; they add another dimension to our spaces, particularly our indoor ones. This took on even more worth during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when for most access to nature was limited. With only an hour to get out each day, the plants in our otherwise lifeless spaces increased in value and mental health benefits. 

Whether it is reducing our stress, replacing the puppy from home that we miss, or making our rooms look bigger, it is easy to see why so many of us love a plant or two, so maybe we should remember just how amazing our little (or not so little) green friends can be.

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