I confess: I have a brown thumb. My grandmother could grow a fern in the desert on instinct alone and my father was a brilliant horticulturalist, so my inability to keep a simple philodendron alive is particularly frustrating! I just did not get the "knack," and even when I followed the science Dad taught me, I could never really get a plant to thrive. You may wonder why I am recounting this family history, but there is a point: Sharing one's space with plants and greenery has tremendous health benefits--both mental and physical---but the misery of killing plant after plant absolutely does not. Happily, psychologists have lately determined that artificial plants and faux greenery offer many of the advantages of live plants and flowers, with no risk of accidentally creating a sad, droopy disappointment.
Live plants can enhance your environment and bolster your mental health in many ways, the most notable ones being:
This is an exceptional list of benefits! It is important to note, though, that the science is still out on exactly how many plants it would take to truly, measurably, improve air quality and moisture. A 2017 study by NASA found that snake plants could clean the air in a closed environment, but more recent studies suggest that it would take about 10 plants per square foot to achieve optimum air quality in the average American home. If you live in a modest 1,800 square foot house, that's 18,000 plants. That is not practicable, to put it extremely mildly.
Further, you can choose faux plants based on their aesthetics rather than the suitability of your space and light to their needs as well as pot them to match your with no consideration of what is best for the growing vegetation. Considering those gains, you can easily see how artificial plants may be the best greenery choice for many, many people!
Non-live greenery gives you options you would not otherwise have, too. A preserved boxwood wreath hanging by a ribbon over an interior door or on top of a large piece of art is a gorgeous and elegant way to add low-maintenance greenery to your home. Bring life to a poky corner with a sweet little artificial tree or add faux Boston ferns to a high ledge where you could not water live plants to create vignettes of natural beauty where they would not otherwise be possible. If you want to play with traditional or Grandmillenial style, pairs of topiaries made from imitation greenery are low maintenance, arrive ready to display, and will always look manicured and elegant flanking a fireplace or anchoring a sofa table. Raising living topiaries requires a good deal of time, dedication, and expertise; jump ahead to enjoying topiaries in your home by looking to artificial shrubs! These are just a few ways you can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of live houseplants with none of the care and worry they require to thrive.
Did you know that looking at wall art featuring trees or other plants and flowers offers--get this--many of the same advantages of having actual plants and greenery, real or artificial, in your space? It is TRUE! Give it a Google and prepare to be amazed! Switch out a piece of your home décor for a floral still-life, forest landscape or bucolic scene and you may experience a palpable upswing in your mood, focus, and feelings of well-being. This floored me, personally, but resonated deeply upon careful thought. Have you ever looked at a painting of Monet's gardens or a Bierstadt landscape and felt your jaw relax and your shoulders drop? I have, many times. Reflect on whether getting a new piece of art might be the best way to benefit from sharing your space with a bit of nature.
If you would like to reap the rewards of living with plants without the maintenance, literal dirt, and potential disappointment attendant to potted plants in your life, consider the addition of artificial greenery to your home. You can always get an air filter if what you really want is optimum air quality, while beauty, tranquility, and mental health benefits can all be achieved with attractive artificial plants.