By Andrés Muñoz

For the better part of my life, I have lived in cities. Pavements, bridges and highways have always surrounded me, the concrete jungle ever present as I ride my bicycle through streets and buildings. The sheer number of different people that you meet in a city is amazing. I love to talk to people, hear their stories, find out what they are passionate about, and laugh with my fellow urban dwellers.

That being said (and taking the risk of sounding rather new-age), there are moments when all that energy is just too much. Everyone’s batteries eventually run out, and the need to unplug from the hustle and bustle of city life becomes not an option but a necessity. 

When I feel like this, I find more peace surrounded by nature than anywhere else. There are few things as calming as seeing the city grow smaller and smaller as you drive away. Walking through trees gives you a chance to decompress, relax, and forget about the high stresses of city life. Your job and all the things that come with it recede to the background. You are at peace, living in the moment. While city parks can be oases (especially if you’re a dog person), camping in the countryside is absolute perfection.

A Bridge Between The City And The Countryside

As much as I’d love to live in the countryside, current obligations tie me to the city. So how do I connect more with nature while living in the city? I’ll answer this question with another question: 

Have you watered your plants today? 

Here are three main reasons why houseplants are the best roommates out there.

While not the ubiquitous trees, shrubs, and saplings you find in the countryside, houseplants are a vital component of a healthy and well-balanced household. Whether you look at it from modern science-backed arguments or through the ancient art of Feng Shui, plants are a source of wellbeing and should definitely be a part of your home. And as humans are affectionate creatures with an inherent need to care, whether for a pet, a child, or a houseplant, they can fill this desire.  

The Science Behind Houseplants

If we feel so good in the countryside, why not try to replicate it within our homes? Several studies from all over the world have linked the benefits of being near plants to better wellbeing. A South Korean university study shows that indoor plants can help reduce stress levels in a world that throws stressors at us daily. 

Multiple studies from 1996, 2004, and 2007 indicate humans’ increased productivity levels when plants are around. Now that many of us are working from home offices, it definitely seems like the best moment to stock up on some plants!

Feng Shui – Harness The Energies

The Chinese practice of controlling the flow of energies around an environment has been around for over 5000 years. In modern times, it has been popularised by interior designers to strengthen health and wealth in a client’s household. 

According to Feng Shui, different plants counteract negative energy and reinforce the positive. I am no Feng Shui specialist, but I’d rather be on the side of the good energy than the bad one. 

Humans: We Care!

As the meme says: “Plants are the new pets, pets are the new kids, and kids are the new exotic animals.” Many people might find the concept of having a kid daunting and not exactly suited to their life plan. Others might love to have a pet but don’t have the time or real estate to give a pet a good home. Enter… houseplants!

Unlike wandering kids or pets, plants are static and are much less maintenance than the previous two. This makes them perfect for people wanting a more independent lifestyle who still feel the need to nurture and care for something. 

Houseplant Basics

Are you planning on having houseplants? Have you brought many into your home but have been unable to keep them alive? Here are a few basic guidelines from our friends at Gardening Know How

One of the first aspects to consider is light. There are three kinds of light: bright, medium, and low. Some plants need specific lighting conditions to grow healthy. 

The second critical thing to consider is water. The rule of thumb with interior house plants is that these should be watered whenever the top soil feels dry. Many people also miss out on the following items of fertiliser and temperature. Stores sell water-soluble fertiliser that can be added to the water weekly or every two weeks during the growing season. Generally, for most plants, the temperature should be kept at around 18°C. 

There you have it! Make some house plants your roommates and take your first steps towards a healthier and more balanced home. What other houseplant tips or recommendations do you have for us? Let us know in the comments section below!