Everything You Need To Know About: Succulents
You may have noticed the overarching theme of my blog aesthetic is very green and abound with succulents and cacti. The theme seamlessly translates over into my at-home lifestyle, from my succulent-lined windowsills and shelves, to the wallpaper of my phone and laptop. And I know, I'm not the only one. Indoor plants are all the rage right now-- they're everywhere, from the social media of every boutique brand, to your officemate's desk. But it's not just another trend or gimmick--stocking up on these adorable indoor plants actually has some major benefits.
- Air quality. We all know (hopefully) that plants produce oxygen by means of photosynthesis. By filling up your living space with indoor plants, you're increasing the oxygen concentration in your home and actually making it easier for you to breathe! added bonus but don't quote me on it: some research I've done led me to claims that NASA studies showed evidence of indoor plants having the ability to remove toxic compounds from the air that are produced by plastics, ink, smoke, etc. in your home. AKA: super cheap air purifier.
- Increased feelings of happiness and calm. Succulents, cacti, and other indoor plants are aesthetically pleasing to look at, especially if you take the time to pot them in pots that appeal to your decor palette. Every time I look at my arrangements of plants on my windowsill, or scroll through my blog interface, or browse through photos of succulents on Pinterest (yes, I do that with my spare time), I can almost feel the instant rush of dopamine and serotonin hit my brain. Things that are aesthetically pleasing = increased neurotransmitters to the brain = happiness, reduced anxiety, higher levels of productivity, and increased focus and awareness (so keep a couple at your desk, too).
- Illness prevention. I'm not saying that if you buy a few plants you can go around licking bathroom floors (ew). However, in addition to producing oxygen, plants also release high levels of moisture. Especially during the cold wintery months, when heaters are on high and sniffles and coughs are abound, increased moisture in your the air in your home can help prevent things like dry skin, dry coughs, and the onset of colds.
- Alleviated loneliness and depression. Personally, my plants have names. Stanley has been with me the longest, traveling with me from my previous apartment and withstanding the recent freeze that Austin just endured. Samuel is planted in my favorite pot and sits on a shelf above our couch...you get the picture. I have nurtured these plants, tried to keep them alive, and watched them grow and flourish. There's a sense of accomplishment that comes from caring for plants, and a sense of constant company when you're in their presence. They are, after all, living and alive. Studies have shown that having plant companions can really decrease feelings of loneliness and depression!
- They thrive on neglect. I will never forget when I bought my first succulent from a Farmer's Market and I was explaining to the woman who owned the booth that I had never been able to grow anything green/keep it alive for shit. She looked at me with a laugh and assured me, "you'll do just fine with these guys--they thrive on neglect." And boy, have I tested that theory. Indoor plants like succulents and cacti do better in arid temperatures and can withstand lack of attention or sunlight compared to herbs or other plants you may have tried at some point to grow. It's actually easier to kill them by overwatering them than under. So, if you lack a green thumb like myself, these babies are the way to go.
- Cheap decor! I'm big on making my living spaces feel cozy and inviting, but let's face it--home decor is f'ing expensive and as a fresh college graduate, I don't have much of a budget to work with right now. Empty shelves? A succulent can fix that. Need a personalized touch on the table? A cactus can go there. Plants are super cheap, super aesthetically pleasing pieces that are versatile and can seamlessly blend with any interior design style. Buy them separately from the pots as its usually more cost effective this way--and make them your own!
So there you have it. The science and psychological factors behind why seemingly everyone is currently obsessed with the almighty succulent. Unlike some millennial trends...this one does have a purpose!