There's something about houseplants that makes them oddly addictive to certain types of people.
Some folks manage to have one or two plants placed around their house, not paying too much attention and watering them occasionally without much thought. Perhaps every few months these casual plant owners will notice their plant has grown larger than they remembered and be surprised, but otherwise it's just another random item in their home... as much as the dusty books or random candle holder (that still doesn't house a candle after years of sitting on that shelf).
For others, houseplants are like tattoos. A couple are purchased, then a couple more, then suddenly you're creating lists of all the plants you plan on eventually purchasing. Every day that any signs of growth are noticed is a day to celebrate, and photos of new leaves must be shared with friends on social media. When you're out looking for a new apartment or house to move to, you're checking out how many windows the prospective place has so that you know how many plants it can hold... and let's face it, the only reason you're in the market for a new home at all is because your current place has become too small for your plant collection.
What is it about houseplants that makes us love them so much?
I believe there's a sense of purpose that comes with owning plants, as much as a sense of accomplishment. Seeing a plant grow taller and wider, watching as new leaves unravel, and seeing flowers bloom are all tangible results of the successful work you've put into your plant. Things are happening. They're surviving. Which, in turn, means that you're surviving. That Ficus wouldn't be getting taller if you had totally given up on life weeks ago... that Ficus is prospering because of you!
I also think there's a bit of a hunter/gatherer/caveman mentality that goes along with plant ownership. I love the idea of having a farm and "living off the land," but it just isn't realistic. However, I can still care for and watch my own miniature farm grow inside, whether or not any of the plants produce actual food.
Additionally, life is a bit stressful. There's some control that comes with caring for houseplants. You get to decide the type of plants you own, the pots that they'll reside in, and their location in your home. You can move them around and figure out what works best for you and the plant. If (and when) you get to the point that you're dusting and misting leaves, there's a therapeutic result to the process, as well.
Plants also make a small space feel larger. Bringing plants indoors is quite literally bringing a small piece of the outdoors inside... and what's bigger than the outdoors! You can easily create an indoor jungle in even the smallest of apartments.
On top of everything else, houseplants are one of the best conversation starters. Nearly every time that I mention that I have a plant blog to someone, they immediately start sharing their own plant adventures (or misadventures, depending on the story).
If you're reading this post, you're more than likely already a plant lover. I'd love to hear what makes plants so special to you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Also, if you are a fellow lover of houseplants, check out the great book Plantopedia: The Definitive Guide to Houseplants. It's a beautiful and fantastic book that I flip through every single day and am constantly finding something new!
~Happy Planting! 💚