Happy Houseplants

I love having plants around me at home. They make me happy. And apparently, we all have “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.”  The is called biophilia, a term popularised by biologist Edward Wilson in 1984. There is a wonderful book all about it by Sally Coultard, which is well worth a read.

There is a lot of research which proves the beneficial effects of having plants and other natural materials in our homes. It can destress us, lowering blood pressure. It gives us something to care for, which can be very positive for anyone struggling with their mental health. And plants can purify the air (although so can opening a window!).

Doesn’t it make sense, that as a species that once roamed the earth living and surviving in such close proximity to nature, we should still have an innate craving to be near it today?  

Confession time. I tend to neglect my houseplants. They are under-watered rather than overwatered, so my collection of more than 100 plants is mainly made up of those which can withstand this treatment. Anything which requires more attention doesn’t tend to last very long.

These are some of my favourite foliage plants.

I have a lot of succulents which have fleshy stems and leaves and require minimal watering.

Senecio (left) and Watermelon Peperomia (right)

Houseplants can be fun to propagate. It’s an easy and cheap way to grow your collection or share it with friends and family. Many can be grown from a stem or a leaf. I took the baby Pilea from next to the mother plant. The Kalanchoe I broke off a stem and put it in soil. The Peperomia I snapped off some stems and have them in a jar of water until the roots grow longer. I will then pot them up.

Jam jar propagation – look at the tiny roots!
Pilea (left) and Kalanchoe Mother of Thousands (Right).

Visit my Facebook page to watch a tour of some of my favourite houseplants. I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t get more houseplants in my life while I was in London. They weren’t trendy back then but I should have worked harder to surround myself with greenery – both at home and in the office. Maybe it would have given me something to care about, and in doing so I might have slowed down and noticed the world around me. Perhaps in doing so I would have noticed how I was, and looked after myself better? I hold no regrets, but I know that for the rest of my life I will always surround myself with plants. It brings me a lot of joy.

4 thoughts on “Happy Houseplants

  1. Hi Hannah
    I too have numerous house plants and many areas of my garden are wild. I love your emails. I’m much more likely to read articles, like yours, that are short!
    Good luck with your book.

    1. Thank you, Ruth! Yes we are too busy to take in too much at a time, aren’t we? I am the same.

  2. Hi, I think I will get some house plants. Not something I’ve considered before but it will be nice to spend time looking after them and taking my mind off FND.

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