Opinion: Why you need plants in your life this year

Jenna Peterson ® News Editor |

Before moving into the dorms my freshman year, my roommate and I decided we would put succulents and other dorm-friendly plants all around our room. I had never owned a plant until then, and I got them only for aesthetic reasons. I knew nothing about taking care of plants, and it showed. Out of the five succulents I bought that year, I have only one of them, and I’m pretty sure it’s dead.

So why do I still go out of my way to spend more money and buy additional plants? 

To simply put it: they make me happy.

There are numerous benefits that come with plant ownership. Some plants help cleanse the air, boost your mood, improve your sleep, or even reduce your stress. Each plant has its own characteristics that make it stand out from others.

Growing plants successfully involves trial and error. I didn’t realize right away that there has to be some sort of filtration in the bottom of the pot to help the roots, and that was one of the reasons why my plants kept dying. I also tend to either over water or under water my plants, causing more problems. I even recently had an aloe plant die on me within days of buying it because I re-potted it too early and shocked it.

Right now, I have a snake plant, a spider plant, a silver edge and a practically dead cactus. 

All of these plants are very low maintenance and require water every two to three weeks. The level of sunlight will also affect a plant’s life, and all three of mine require a moderate amount of light. 

But why should you become a plant parent? As I listed some benefits earlier, taking care of a plant also teaches you how to care for things while giving very little effort. This makes people feel like something is relying on them to live, which is true. Knowing that you are needed for something to thrive can bring a sense of happiness that many of us need during this pandemic.

To help you sort through the thousands of different types of plants, I’ll tell you the low maintenance ones. Along with a spider plant, other air-cleansing plants include English ivy, lady palm, and rubber plant.

Other easy-to-take-care-of plants include peace lily, string-of-pearls, and zebra haworthia.

Do I think you should go out and buy a plant or two, even if you’ve never owned one before? Absolutely. And if you end up hating it, at least you wasted only a few dollars.

Photo  courtesy of Flickr

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