Plants are the New Pets

21st November 2019

Take a quick look at Instagram, and one thing you will notice is the growing trend of emerald, leafy houseplants of all shapes and sizes, adorning the homes of millennials. These pictures demonstrate the burgeoning increase of a new wellness trend amongst the new generation, choosing to bring low maintenance nature into their homes. While dangling spider plants and attractive succulents make for eye-catching Instagram posts, there is much more to this growth than verdant aesthetics.

wooden table and chairs surrounded by green houseplants

Plant Parenting

In a generational shift, young people are choosing to start families later, in favour of career building and travel. Coined as ‘plant parenting’, houseplants provide the opportunity to nurture and care for a living entity, but one that still allows for a fast-paced lifestyle of work, social and travel. Furthermore, younger people are less likely to own their property and many landlords do not allow pets such as cats and dogs.

Linking in with the rise in people who are focusing more on their wellbeing, houseplants can be seen as an antidote to fast-paced living. The slow-growing nature of plants reminds us to reduce our pace and refines our practice of patience, as we wait to see our ‘plant children’ flourish and bloom. Start-ups such as online retailer The Sill, demonstrate the growing demand for the trend. The company sells a variety of potted plants, delivered straight to the doors of nature-hungry city dwellers. Their website builds on their ethos of ‘plants make people happy’, providing people with greenery and weekly workshops to educate them on all things plant-related.

potted houseplants on breakfast table

Plant Communities

The National Gardening Report of 2016 found that of the six million new gardeners in America, five million were aged between 18 and 34. These young people use technology to their advantage, using WhatsApp to communicate with fellow plant lovers, swapping care tips and advice. With trips to local garden centres and the opportunity to engage with like-minded people, it’s easy to see the appeal of a plant-loving community. Such enthusiasm is also apparent in the rise of blogs and Instagram pages displaying the delights of lush pot plants in clean, modern homes. Pages such as urban jungle blog have seen a surge in interest and followers. The blog depicts beautiful images of leafy homes, supporting cacti, succulents and trailing ivies and hanging plants.

 

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Bring Nature In

Bringing the outdoors in may have a number of physical and phycological benefits according to The Royal Horticulture Society. As cities expand and green spaces disappear, creating your personal plant oasis can help to match some of the effects of spending time in nature. The RHS summarises the outcome of several studies and reports that the phycological benefits of indoor plants may include:
· Improved mood and reduced stress levels.
· Increased speed of reaction.
· When used in an office – increased attention span and worker productivity.

In the same research, the RHS states that pollution levels can be higher indoors than outdoors, partially due to poor ventilation. A combination of all of the contaminants found in polluted indoor spaces, such as carbon monoxide and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) can lead to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). Symptoms of SBS include headaches and eye, nose and throat irritation. It has been observed that various plant species are able to aid the removal of these chemical compounds and help to purify the air. Different species are better suited to certain compounds, so it’s best to do some research into what you’re really looking for. Improved air quality can result in:
· Less breathing problems.
· Reduced blood pressure and fatigue.

As passionate advocates of wellbeing in all shapes and sizes, Balance Holidays want to provide you with the ultimate yoga and meditation retreat experience. Our lifestyle retreats focus on a variety of areas of wellbeing, so there is a retreat to suit everyone from E-Bike mountain excursions in Switzerland to forest bathing in Paris. For more information on retreats and destination, browse our website and for industry news, explore our journal.