Why Are Indoor Plants So Popular?

Within the last several years, indoor plants have become a staple in many households. When you see your friends and neighbors starting to adopt indoor plants into their homes, it may make you want to consider doing the same. However, what’s the reason indoor plants are so popular?

Indoor plants are popular because they’re low maintenance, boost your mood, and purify the air. While indoor plants have several physical and mental health benefits, they’re also excellent for decorating your home.

The rest of this article will go over the various reasons why indoor plants are so popular, some examples of the most popular indoor plants, and when they started to rise in popularity. Keep reading to learn more!

Reasons Why Indoor Plants Are So Popular

There isn’t only one reason why indoor plants are so popular.

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, indoor plants have many other benefits, including:

  • They can improve your mood by lowering stress levels.
  • They’re low maintenance.
  • They purify the air.
  • They give you a sense of responsibility.
  • They reduce noise levels in your home.

I’ll explain these reasons in more detail in the following sections.

They Boost Your Mood

Not many people realize that indoor plants are proven to be mood boosters. The more plants you have around your home, the less stress and anxiety you’re likely to have. 

The average person will spend most of their lives indoors—around 85% of their time, whether at home, in the office, or in public buildings. Unfortunately, because of this, we don’t absorb the positive effects that nature has to offer.

A study published in 2015 found that having indoor plants around your home decreases stress and anxiety levels, thus helping you feel happier and more optimistic. This study reviewed the psychological and physiological effects of interacting with indoor plants versus doing computer tasks.

The results of this study showed that interacting with plants left the participants feeling more relaxed and soothed, which was opposite to how they felt after doing computer tasks. 

It’s easy to believe that indoor plants can help soothe the nervous system and lower blood pressure, leaving you less stressed and anxious.

But, why exactly is this?

Studies reveal that some plants release a bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae found in their soil, which helps release serotonin, the chemical that improves your mood.

Even the simple ambiance of plants encourages better moods, similar to going outside, as plants bring a little nature into your home. Some studies show the positive effects on your mind of simply walking through a forest, also known as Shinrin-yoku

Despite the exact scientific reason behind why plants improve our moods, having that little extra positivity in your home is excellent. This is why many people love indoor plants, and they’ve only grown in popularity throughout the years.

They Are Low Maintenance

Having decreased levels of anxiety and depression is great, but so is a low-maintenance plant. Caring for a problematic plant can be challenging and, often, downright frustrating, especially when nothing you do seems to help the plant.

Therefore, having an easy-going plant to care for in your home makes them a very popular option.

While not every indoor plant is going to be the easiest to care for, there are several that are considered low maintenance, including:

  • Aloe vera: Aloe plants need bright, indirect light and only require water every 10-14 days.
  • English ivy: English ivy thrives in bright, indirect sunlight, once-a-week watering, and moderate temperatures.
  • Jade plant: Jade plants love bright, indirect sunlight and only need water every two weeks.
  • Peace lily: Peace lilies like bright, indirect light with watering once a week.
  • African violet: African violets only need water once a week and enjoy bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus plants need full sun and water once a week.
  • Fiddle leaf fig: These fig trees require direct sunlight and only need to be watered once every one or two weeks.

These indoor plants don’t have strict sunlight requirements and require a flexible (and infrequent) watering schedule. This makes them low maintenance and, therefore, popular.

The Leaves Purify the Air

One of the most excellent perks of indoor plants is that they naturally purify the air in your home. Plants remove harmful carbon dioxide and leave oxygen in its place, leaving your room and home healthier to breathe.

A NASA experiment showed plants’ positive effects on the air and environment around them. In this study, it was found that having plants indoors can help rid the air of possible cancer-causing compounds, such as benzene and formaldehyde.

Additionally, the more leaves your plants have, the better they will purify the air! So having plants around your home will not only improve your mood but your physical health as well.

However, it’s worth understanding that only one pot of plant isn’t enough to purify the air. The sizes, types, and number of plants, the number of inhabitants, and the size of your room can affect how well the plants can improve air quality.

Plants Are Great for Decoration

The biggest perk of indoor plants is the unique aesthetic they add to your home. This is probably one of the main reasons indoor plants are so popular.

The more plants you have around your home, the more clean and sleek your place looks.

So, even if you’re not a huge fan of decorating (or not sure how to decorate your home), adding various plants will give your space a great look. Additionally, you’ll have a great conversation starter whenever you invite a fellow plant enthusiast to your home.

They Give You a Sense of Responsibility

Indoor plants giving you a sense of responsibility goes hand-in-hand with boosting your mood and decreasing your depression or anxiety levels. Taking care of indoor plants can give you a sense of purpose, which is great when you’re feeling unmotivated.

This sense of responsibility also allows you to develop a relationship with your indoor plants, as they need your help to care for and provide for them, or they’ll die. Feeling needed and seeing your plants react positively to your care improve your cognitive health and leave you feeling happier and healthier overall.

Plants Reduce Noise Levels

One of the least-known facts about indoor plants is that they can help reduce noise levels in your home. While this might not be a factor of indoor plants that many people care about, it’s very convenient for some.

Indoor plants reduce noise levels in your home by absorbing sound through the plant’s branches, stems, and leaves. However, several factors determine how well plants absorb sound, including the number of plants you have and their size.

Plants with woody stems or thicker foliage, such as evergreens, are excellent at reducing noise.

Some indoor plants that are good at absorbing sound include:

  • Peace lily plants
  • Ferns
  • Baby’s tears
  • Areca palm

Some Popular Plants to Keep Indoors

Now that you know some of the main reasons why indoor plants are so popular and only continue to grow in popularity, it’s an excellent time to discuss some of the most popular indoor plants.

These plants are popular for many reasons, including the fact that they’re relatively easy to care for (and, therefore, hard to kill), and they look pleasing in your home environment.

So, let’s go over some of the most popular indoor plants and why they’re the most favored:

Philodendrons

Philodendron plants are some of the most popular indoor plants, with several varieties. They’re easy to care for, typically requiring water once a week. Philodendrons also aren’t overly picky about sunlight, as they can grow just fine in medium to bright indirect light.

Additionally, philodendrons can come in two varieties: climbing and non-climbing. So you can choose whether you want a philodendron that will climb, have long stems hanging out of baskets, or the type that’s non-climbing and denser.

Some climbing philodendrons include:

  • Philodendron hederaceum (heartleaf philodendron)
  • Philodendron pedatum (oak leaf philodendron)
  • Philodendron bipinnatifidum (tree philodendron)
  • Philodendron hastatum (silver sword philodendron)
  • Philodendron gloriosum (creeping or velvet philodendron)

Philodendrons’ easy-going and easy-growing nature is the main reason why they’re such a favored houseplant.

One interesting fact about philodendrons is that some varieties have been proven to reduce inflammation. One study found that Philodendron bipinnatifidum (Araceae) displayed anti-inflammatory activities, adding to indoor plants’ many benefits.

Snake Plants

Snake plants are another common indoor plant that plant enthusiasts everywhere enjoy having around. Snake plants are also excellent for first-timers, as they’re so easy to care for that they’re hard to kill.

These plants require very little water to survive and can tolerate both shade and direct sunlight. Additionally, you won’t have to repot this plant very often, as it’s not one to get infected easily or to need frequent repotting.

A primary reason snake plants are so popular could be because many people believe they can absorb negative energy, according to Feng shui, which is an ancient Chinese practice that works to “align your energy with your surroundings.”

With this belief, you can align your living space with who you are and what you want. While there’s technically no scientific evidence to back this up, having a snake plant around for this reason won’t hurt.

Spider Plants

Spider plants are very similar to snake plants when it comes to plant care. Like snake plants, they’re ideal for people new to plant care, as they’re very low-maintenance.

These plants can thrive in almost any condition and tolerate neglect. Additionally, spider plants are very easy to propagate. So, if you’re someone who wants to learn how to propagate their plants, starting with a spider plant is a good idea.

And, just like snake plants, spider plants are seen as positive, according to Chinese culture and Feng shui. So, if surrounding yourself with plants believed to absorb any negative energy and bring you luck sounds appealing, this is a great place to start. It may even be a reason why it’s such a popular indoor plant choice today.

Monstera deliciosa

Monstera deliciosa is a very popular indoor plant choice, one of which you’ve likely heard about.

Monsteras go by many names, including:

  • Swiss cheese plant
  • Windowleaf plant
  • Split-leaf philodendron

While the monstera plant isn’t technically a philodendron, they are in the same family. And while philodendrons are typically small to medium-sized plants, monsteras are much larger.

One of the main reasons monstera plants are a popular indoor plant option is their beautiful leaves. These plants develop natural leaf holes or fenestration, which is what gives it the nickname of “Swiss cheese plant.”

These massive plants are also popular because they’re fast-growing and relatively easy to care for, as long as you don’t mind having a large plant indoors. It’s essential to note that because monstera plants are fast growing, they often begin to grow sideways, which can be a nuisance to those who don’t want to give their plant a pole or trellis.

If you’re someone who loves larger plants like monsteras, you’ll likely enjoy the creativity you have when it comes to choosing how to support your plant. For example, choosing between a moss pole and a trellis for your monstera, can significantly change the look of your plant and your room.

Having creative freedom with a large plant in your home is likely why this plant is so popular.

Succulents

Succulent plants are some of the most popular indoor plants because they’re small and easy to care for. Not to mention the large variety of succulents, all of which come in different sizes, shapes, and colors.

There’s a succulent plant out there that suits just about everyone. Succulents can also survive in many different climates, including climates that might be too harsh for other plants.

So, they’re a popular indoor plant choice because of their low-maintenance nature, wide variety, and ability to withstand neglect.

Let’s go over some of the popular succulent plant options:

Aloe vera

Having an Aloe vera around is excellent, especially because you can use it for skin healing treatments when you need it—which is likely why it’s such a popular succulent plant to keep indoors.

Aloe vera plants can be kept indoors year-round, but like many indoor plants, they will benefit from some outdoor time during the summer.

Cacti

Cacti are interesting plants to have indoors because there are so many varieties. There are different shapes and styles to choose from, which is why they’re a popular choice for indoor succulent plants.

Additionally, edible cacti species have their own benefits, including easing symptoms like hangovers or high cholesterol.  If you want a fun, lively, low-maintenance plant, cacti might just be for you.

The Growing Popularity of Plants

If you remember a time before indoor plants were a popular thing to have, you probably just didn’t know anybody with houseplants. Indoor plants have been popular for a while, and even though they might go through phases of being more popular, they’ve been around for centuries.

Indoor plants became popular in the 19th century during the Victorian era. However, the beginning of indoor plants is traced back even further to the early Greeks and Romans. Despite when indoor plants originated, their popularity continues to grow even today.

Many people believe the millennial generation is responsible for the rising popularity of indoor plants, which might have some truth behind it. In the next section, I’ll discuss millennials’ obsession with indoor plants.

The Millennial Obsession With Houseplants

The stereotype about millennials being obsessed with houseplants might hold some truth, as millennials are known as the “wellness generation.” They care about their health, both physically and mentally.

Millennials are obsessed with houseplants because of the many health benefits the plants offer, both mental and physical. Because millennials are known as the wellness generation, they prioritize a healthy lifestyle, which includes having air-purifying and stress-relieving plants around.

So, although many people might believe millennials having several indoor plants is only for the look and aesthetic, it’s likely also because of the wide range of benefits it gives you and your home. 

Conclusion

Indoor plants are popular for a wide array of reasons, including their various health benefits—both mental and physical. However, the popularity of indoor plants can also be due to the aesthetic appeal they bring to your home.

While indoor plants have been a thing for years, they have grown in popularity more recently, and many believe this is due to the millennial generation. Whatever the reason for their rise in popularity, everyone can agree that having indoor plants offers more benefits than drawbacks.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the founder of TheGrowingLeaf.com and its lead content writer. He created the website in 2022 as a resource for horticulture lovers and beginners alike, compiling all the gardening tips he discovered over the years. Alex has a passion for caring for plants, turning backyards into feel-good places, and sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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