TAKE SOLACE IN PLANTS
As humans, we long to nurture and be nurtured. It’s an understatement to say that times are challenging as the normal routines of daily life have been upended. This election season has been stressful to say the least but when politics and a pandemic leave you feeling hopeless, it’s important to cultivate a sense of purpose, to find comfort in the place you call home.
Plants aren’t great at phone banking, registering to vote or filling out ballots but they can provide the calming vibes you need to make it through the next month and beyond. The rituals of plant care can help divert your attention from despairing thoughts and focus them on the tender greens at hand. Plants can provide the anchoring support that you crave in the midst of collective tension, no six-foot distance required.
If the pandemic has ushered in hellish levels of anxiety and left you feeling like a captive among familiar trappings, turn your attention to the green creatures growing in your corners who have been training their whole lives to thrive inside. Who better to help you cultivate new habits rooted in gratitude during the days, weeks and months to come?
Touch Your Plants Instead of Your Mask.
There’s no doubt that by now your quota of human touch is abysmally low. Even if you’re surrounded by loved ones, extending a tender hand to waxy leaves soothes as it stimulates growth for you and your plants. Houseplants, unlike roaming humans, make microscopically slow and steady movements that facilitate a sense of calm—a quiet reminder that they’re still alive in an increasingly sterilized world.
Research shows that plants can feel it when they are being touched. Their growth is slow and steady, quiet enough to elicit surprise at new shoots or the heights reached by wandering vines, but interactive enough that a few missed waterings will make their demands for attention loud and clear. Plants are in constant motion, curiously seeking out support for their stems and nourishment from the sun’s rays.
Stimulation like a gentle splash from the watering can or a soft cloth wiping away dust can trigger distinct sensations inside of plants. These touch responses set off signals inside of them to prepare for the future like redirecting gene expressions, activating defense systems and adjusting their metabolism. Plants lack our animal instinct of flight or fight because unlike humans, they are rooted to their environments and unable to flee, so it’s their heightened sensitivities to light, temperature and touch that aid them in survival. Your tender caress, light misting and careful pruning can give your houseplants a welcomed boost they need to keep growing.
Plant More, Zoom Less.
The more that virtual reality encompasses your every waking moment, the more you need time without any screens to ponder something tangible tied to the rewilding world outside. Studies show that the closer in proximity humans are to greenery—the real stuff, not plastic replicas—even if it’s a distant tree outside of the window, the more relaxed and focused we’ll be.
Plant care is a beautiful exchange that allows us to nurture something outside of ourselves, giving a sense of purpose amidst the mundane day-to-day. The presence of plants in the homes and at the workplace is proven to decrease stress and bring soothing vibes to our surroundings. People who are uprooted or confined indoors need stimulation and routine to-dos beyond mealtime to stay positive. Not only do plants make environments more cheerful, houseplants are splendid companions for folks with low mobility and who live in isolation. Plants can even help us to heal, if we will let them.
The resilience of life itself is represented in the form and shape of plants. There’s a deep seeded evolutionary wisdom planted in your psyche that’s unlocked when you sit still among the leaves. Not only do houseplants brighten the rooms they inhabit and leave the air a little cleaner than the way they found it, their mere presence has been proven to help humans manage stress (currently at an all-time high), reclaim our fleeting inner peace and focus on joy.
Talk To Your Plant Because They’re Already Listening.
Science shows that plants respond to sound, whether it’s the soaring notes of a symphony, the quiet messages they communicate with each other, or the gentle cadence of a human voice. When the Royal Horticultural Society conducted a study to see how plants react to human voices, they did so by having individuals read aloud excerpts from Shakespeare, Wyndham and Darwin to garden tomato plants which responded with increased growth.
You don’t have to recite a sonnet to your houseplants to get their attention, but recognizing that you have an unwavering audience might give the sounds you make a new sense of purpose. Unlike your downstairs neighbors, plants welcome karaoke ballads at all hours and they won’t breathe a word about what happened in therapy. And at the end of a long day, they enjoy hearing a soothing greeting or word of praise just like the rest of us.
When you’ve reached your limits, remember that the bandwidth of plants is boundless. And as much as your voice is good for them, it’s good for you, too. Maintaining optimism and a sense of gratitude has been shown to improve mood, aid in coping with hardship, and affect the human psychological and immune responses to stress. Not only can bringing a new plant into your home can make being stuck indoors more bearable, but in taking time to nurture your plants, you’re ensuring you will be more resilient, too.
Hippie tip: Register to vote so your plants don’t judge you. Time is running out so head to Vote.org to get started
Plant lovers share one thing in common and it isn’t a (so-called) green thumb; it’s a desire to cultivate intimate relationships rooted in care. The core of plant care is a collaboration between us and plants. Houseplants are deeply relational living beings that mirror our human need for connection.
Plant lovers don’t collect plants like trophies to hang on the wall—except for the Staghorn Fern, which is truly a majestic piece of living art. Plant lovers cater to each plant’s needs and personality, establishing mindful routines that nurture their mutual growth. It’s a beautiful exchange where people focus attention on nourishing these other-worldly green creatures who, in return, fill the indoor spaces that they inhabit with good vibes, clean air and soothing energy.
THE GIFT OF GROWING TOGETHER: TOP GIFTS FOR PLANT LOVERS
Everyone loves to receive gifts but when it comes to plant care, gift giving can often feel intimidating. Knowing how to choose the best variety, temperament and style of plant that will thrive in someone else’s home isn’t clear cut, which can make plant shopping feel like you’re going out on a limb.
We’ve curated a list of our favorite green gifts that will surprise and delight the plant lover in your life all year round and can be adapted to suit any budget.
The Ceropegia woodii aka String of Hearts is a subtle gesture of love thanks to its vining leaves that resemble tiny hearts. A less common houseplant, this semi-succulent is surprisingly hardy and thrives on indirect light. Though dormant in cold weather, it grows delicate purple flowers during the spring/summer months and, when given enough light, it can grow up to 9 feet long. As a hanging plant, the String of Hearts is ideal for cozy apartments or anywhere floor space is limited. This plant is also safe for pets.
Whether your loved one is a planting newbie or on their way to growing an indoor jungle, a plant subscription is a thoughtful gift that brings a carefully designed monthly program to guide them through new levels of plant care with all of the tools, tips, and hardy plants they can imagine. Our subscription plans ship nationwide and range from month to month, 6 months of plant parenting guidance, and up to a full year of greener futures on their plant journey.
Set the mood with this aromatic kit that pairs one of our houseplants with a botanical-infused candle made in collaboration with Davisburg Candle Factory, who have six decades of experience hand-making candles.
Dim the lights, light the wick, turn on some botanical tunes, and inhale the intoxicating aroma of Forest Alchemy, a blend of rare tree resin from Oud, Tonka and Teakwood, that’s paired with a breezy tropical Palm plant. Or meditate on the fragrance of Sacred Woods, which carries notes of Indian Sandalwood, Peruvian Palo Santo and Egyptian Cedarwood, next to our cheerful Pilea Peperomioides.
The plants are pet-friendly, and each candle is made with environmentally friendly 100% soy wax and hand-poured into our signature terracotta pots and made with.
If your loved one wants to build confidence, expand their plant knowledge and develop better plant care skills, Happy Plant is the perfect comprehensive how-to guide for houseplant care written by our co-founder, Puneet Sabharwal. It’s as much of a trouble-shooting manual with accessible infographics as it is a visually rich coffee table book with detailed illustrations, hand drawings and vibrant color photography.
Tune-in to the music of houseplants with Plantwave, a palm-size gadget that wirelessly transforms sonic waves produced by plants into music that can be played on Bluetooth devices. The rechargeable player is made with sustainable materials and has a free app (iOs and Android) that turns plant biorhythms into music using small electrodes that gently attach to the leaves, perfect for botanical/tech/music enthusiasts alike. Available for pre-order now but won’t ship until June 2022. We think it’s worth the wait.
For the plant lover who wants their green babies to live forever, Plant Insurance is the gift that keeps on giving. A sickly plant is something everyone encounters in their plant care journey but few have the support to save their sad fronds from the compost pile. With help from resident plant scientist/doctor, Chris Satch, our two insurance plans help alleviate plant care anxieties, and we occasionally work plant miracles: if despite your best efforts you lose a plant, we will resurrect it!
Give the gift of an immersive botanical experience that can be enjoyed again and again. The beauty of a membership is that your plant lover can experience the wonder of the plant kingdom as it changes from season to season. And there are often special perks in addition to free admission like exclusive access to new exhibits, members only events like live concerts, films & lecture series, and discounts to local plant nurseries or arboretums. Plus, most botanic gardens are non-profits, making your gift tax deductible.
If your plant lover is the adventurous type, plan a surprise trip to visit a patch of green you have yet to explore together. Nature is everywhere! Even densely populated urban centers have protected habitats like state parks and nature preserves. There are bird watching groups, foraging workshops, hiking trails and community gardens that are closer than you might think (and often accessible on public transportation). Pack a picnic basket, hug the trees, and soak up the beauty of your local ecologies.
A hand-crafted planter can make a unique art piece as much as it functions as a protective home for houseplants. Given that plants need to be repotted annually, your plant lover will appreciate a new pot to sink their growing plant into. Local vintage shops, flea markets and craft fairs are great places to source one-of-a-kind pieces. We love the ceramic planters made by Brooklyn artist Marian Bull.
If you’re feeling indecisive or your plant lover has a very particular taste, a plant gift card makes it easy to shop even when you’re not sure what to give them. Sometimes the gift of letting someone choose their own present is the best gift of all. Hippie gift cards are delivered by email and include instructions for how to redeem them at checkout. You can either forward the gift card from your email to your recipient, or you can replace your email with theirs during checkout to send it to them directly.
Plants are the gifts that keep on giving, and they make the best gift. We hope your favorite plant lover falls in love with these gifts too.