Why you should get a houseplant this spring

The mental health benefits of nurturing a plant

There are pros to becoming a plant parent.
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We all know the people who treat plants like their children. I’ve spent my entire adult life scoffing at these "plant parenthood" folks with their watering cans and fertilizers. 
 
I was never opposed to houseplants, but the maintenance never seemed worth it for me. It also seemed like any plant I got would immediately die and wilt, no matter what I did. 
 
Things changed for me when I got my first pathos. 
 
My cousin was visiting me in Kingston and suggested we visit The Plant Shelf, a local plant store near West Campus. I left with an aglaonema, a marble queen pathos, and an attitude for having to pay $30 for a purchase I could probably pick for free outside.
 
I swear it happened overnight—but I came to adore those little plants. They’re the most endearing, adorable creatures ever, and I find myself looking forward to watering them and finding them a sunny spot. 
 
I skip over to my housemates with joy to show them any new leaf growth or flowering. 
 
This new phase wasn’t something I planned on. Sometimes, learning to love houseplants just happens. I implore everyone to join the houseplant-snobbery­—and overenthusiasm club. It’s the place to be. 
 
You don’t have to start whispering sweet nothings to a monstera to reap the benefits of having a plant indoors—you could just get a cactus and leave it on your desk.
 
Studies have demonstrated a that having fresh plants indoors has positive effect on mental health. They give us better air quality and are therapeutic to care for, which is all students can ask for during busy exam seasons. 
 
While my botany education is limited to the how-to-care instruction sheet that came with my plants, I’ve compiled some research and the most important findings for soon-to-be plant parents. 
 
Pathos are a beginner plant, and the spider plant is another great option: they’re resilient, easy to care for, and air detoxifying. If you have pets, this is also a wonderful plant to start with, as it’s non-toxic for animals.
 
If you’re looking for the least maintenance possible, succulents are the perfect solution. They don’t need as much watering or fertilizing as regular houseplants. 
 
Even though spring is ahead of us, there are still a few weeks left of our chilly Canadian weather. So go out, support a local plant store, and detoxify your air. 

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