Why Is Buying Houseplants So Addictive?

There is just something about indoor plants, and with the new social media houseplant craze, more people are discovering their love of them. But why is purchasing these plants so addictive? Is there a reason you always want more? 

Buying houseplants is so addictive because they are good for your mental health, provide a sense of purpose, and are aesthetically pleasing. Indoor plants have also been known to improve feelings of depression or anxiety. Plus, they are a low-maintenance way to feel accomplished. 

In the rest of this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of owning houseplants, signs you’re addicted to them, and a few essential questions about how they affect your mental health. So if you want to learn more about why purchasing houseplants is so addictive, read on. 

The Science Behind Plant Addiction

First, it’s essential to know what a plant addiction is. So often, the word addiction is thrown around jokingly if you are slightly obsessed with something like coffee or shopping. However, anything can become an addiction if allowed to get out of hand. 

An addiction is a feeling of being strongly drawn to something by complex brain mechanics. Addictions can take many forms, from food and drinks to items. If an obsession is severely hindering your everyday life, it’s most likely an addiction and requires professional help to right.

Some addictions are more detrimental than others. For example, houseplant collecting will have far less dire consequences than someone with a substance abuse addiction. Also, there is a significant difference between someone who likes to collect plants and someone addicted to purchasing them. 

Do Plants Improve Mental Health?

Understanding the mental effect houseplants can have on your mind is essential. For some, houseplants are simply a decorative addition to their home. For others, owning houseplants is a way of life. So do these beautiful plants have a significant effect on your mental health? 

Plants do improve mental health. Several studies show that houseplants can help a person establish a routine and aesthetically boost their surrounding environment, decreasing depression and anxiety. Indoor plants can also be a good indicator of someone’s mental health. 

Additionally, setting up a good routine and having a daily purpose can aid your mental health, according to a study done in 2020. Everyone likes to feel needed, and plants can sometimes fill that void. Not to mention, plants are a stunning addition to any home. 

What Is Horticultural Therapy? 

Plants have many benefits, but did you know they are also used in certain types of therapy? For example, there is a branch of therapy known as Horticultural therapy. So what is horticultural therapy, and what makes it so unique? 

Horticultural therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on healing through gardening and growing. Initially, this therapy targeted war veterans, but in recent years has expanded to anyone with mental health needs. A licensed horticulture therapist typically guides the healing process.

For whatever reason, caring for plants is healing emotionally and mentally. Growing and caring for plants can do wonders for your mental health, which is why it’s become a form of therapy. So this might explain why you find yourself so drawn to houseplants. 

Signs Your Addicted to Houseplants

It’s no surprise that many are addicted to collecting and growing houseplants. There are many varieties and ways to challenge yourself as an indoor gardener. However, as with anything in life, obsessions can occur. 

Signs you’re addicted to purchasing and growing houseplants include the following:

  • You’re constantly thinking about them.
  • You research plants whenever you’re on your phone or computer. 
  • You purchase new houseplants at your financial determent. 
  • You buy plants to make you feel better when you’re sad.
  • You use houseplants to motivate or reward yourself. 
  • Houseplants have become your whole life and personality.

Like anything in life, houseplants are easy to obsess over. Plants can provide comfort and little boosts of dopamine as you succeed in helping them grow. However, if you find that your obsession has reached an addictive level, it’s time to implement some rules. 

How To Stop Buying So Many Houseplants

If you feel your plant collecting is getting out of hand, setting up a system to combat your plant obsession is crucial. The best way to do this is to set up healthy ground rules for yourself when it comes to bringing home new plants. 

Ways to stop buying so many indoor plants:

  • Learn to propagate. By learning to propagate, you can make more plants from your own and stop spending so much money on new ones. Plus, if you get good at propagating, you can even start selling some of your fantastic houseplants for fun. 
  • Halt impromptu plant purchases. Unless you went into a store to purchase a plant, you should not buy any new plants. You can go home and wait a week. If you still want the plant, then it’s okay to go back and purchase the one plant. 
  • Work with the plants in your yard more. Outdoor plants are also a great way to get some therapeutic benefits without overcrowding your home with plants. 
  • Stop using plants to regulate your emotions. Instead of rewarding yourself or making yourself feel better with plants, it’s best to get to the root of the problem.
  • Set a budget for purchasing and caring for your plants. Once that budget has been reached, you should stop purchasing any more plants.
  • Find some other hobbies that bring you joy. Having multiple purposes or things to fill your free time can aid in your mental health and make you feel fulfilled in life. Additionally, other hobbies can distract you from purchasing more plants. 

Houseplants are a great addition to your home. However, they can get out of hand if you purchase too many. So it’s essential to set rules in place if you feel you’re buying too many. If you’re still struggling with your plant addiction, seeking a professional’s help to understand why you’re hoarding plants is a good idea. 

Pros and Cons of Owning Houseplants 

Additionally, if you’re a collector of houseplants or are looking to get into acquiring some, it’s essential to understand the many benefits and disadvantages. Of course, collecting indoor plants has many good points, but it also has a few drawbacks. 


  • Helps combat anxiety and depression.
  • Provides a sense of purpose.
  • Cultivates a healthy daily routine.
  • Provides a sense of accomplishment. 
  • Combats loneliness. 
  • Cultivates a more creative environment. 
  • Can reduce stress levels. 
  • Boost the aesthetics of a home. 
  • Increases a home’s humidity levels. 


  • Plant collecting is an expensive hobby.
  • Some plants are poisonous to animals and humans.
  • Indoor plants can bring bugs inside
  • It can be sad when a plant you raised dies. 

As you can see, there are pros and cons to raising houseplants. However, in my opinion, the pros greatly outweigh the cons so long as you don’t overdo it with the plant collecting. In addition, there is something incredibly therapeutic about bringing a bit of nature indoors. 

The Best Houseplants for Mental Health 

Houseplants can undoubtedly boost your mood and mental health. However, some are much easier to care for and produce better results than others. Raising a plant only to watch it die can be devastating, so I recommend these indoor plants to boost your mental health:

  • Snake plants.
  • Aloe vera.
  • Air plants
  • Succulents.
  • Herbs.
  • Peace lily.
  • English Ivy. 

Each of these plants is relatively easy to grow and does well indoors. Not to mention they have a longer indoor lifespan. In addition, desert plants like succulents and aloe vera do well with infrequent watering, making them perfect for beginners or someone with little time. 

When purchasing new plants, always research how to care for each houseplant. Especially if you have pets or children in the home, some plants are poisonous to consume and should be kept away from animals or small kids.

To learn more on keeping your houseplants healthy, you could check out my other article here: How to Care for Houseplants (The Ultimate Guide)

Are Too Many Indoor Plants Bad for You?

It’s easy to accumulate a growing collection of houseplants unknowingly, but how many houseplants are too many? Are there adverse effects from having too many indoor plants?

Having too many indoor plants is not bad for you. There are no drawbacks to having multiple houseplants so long as you don’t own any plant harmful to pets or children. The pros of having many houseplants include improved air quality, humidity, indoor aesthetics, and mental health.

Luckily there are no adverse effects when it comes to plant collecting. Plants are a great addition to any home and, as you well know, have many benefits. If houseplants make you happy, there is nothing wrong with having one or several in your home. 

However, you must check your new plants for pests or diseases that may harm your other houseplants. Isolate the new plants for 3-4 weeks before introducing them to your healthy indoor garden.


Buying houseplants can be addictive because of the positive feeling you associate with them. In addition, indoor plants can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment as you watch them grow. 

Moreover, houseplants add to the look of a home and can help take your mind off stressful things going on in your life. Finally, the happy feeling of plant collecting and growing keeps you coming back for more.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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