I love a good houseplant. The implied environmental benefits, alongside the benefits to our health and well being are enough to persuade anyone, including me, to go out and purchase a cute little succulent at the first opportunity. However, some research is suggesting that although they can remove many different pollutants from the air, for houseplants to truly clean the air in our room we would need a lot – a living wall perhaps – which I admit, does look very cool when done well!
Generally speaking the benefits tend to be subjective. So what is it about the houseplant that really appeals to our ‘plant parenting’ needs?
For me, they bring me pleasure. I love the beauty of the orchid’s flower (although, lets be honest here, when not in bloom the orchid is rather sad looking), and I get pleasure from watching a plant flourish and produce new buds. A peace lily producing a new bloom brings immense satisfaction and a feeling of implied gratification that not only have I kept the thing alive, but it is so happy in it’s little ecosystem that it is rewarding me with this gift! However, the cost implications for replacing those plants I do forget to water, and the frustration I feel when I really have tried, yet still the plant has perished. That feeling, can take away all the pleasure in a tiny moment.
So, my system at home, and my recommendation to you, is to mix it up. I have a combination of structural, leafy, green plants, that are easy to care for and may be helping reduce the CO2 levels and other toxins in my house. These plants require an element of care; watering and feeding occasionally, allowing me to connect with the plant and fulfil my nurturing needs (in a way my children can’t – a plant doesn’t answer back for a start!).
I also have a growing number of artificial plant companions, providing reliable beauty, and creating that cosy, natural look in shady corners where plants will not naturally thrive. The orchids in my house are always in bloom!
The great thing is, if you are prepared to pay a little bit more, the believability of some artificial plants on the market, is very good. And the range of ferns, succulents, orchids, exotic plants as well as grasses and stemmed flowers available is incredible. And let’s be realistic here; the benefits to my mental wellbeing are surely the same if I take pleasure from a beautiful, living plant as they from appreciating the beauty of a really clever, well-made artificial one?
So here are a few of my suggestions of where to buy realistic looking artificial plants on the high street.
Next – their selection of artificial plants and flowers is growing and some are better than others. However, their ‘real touch orchid’s’ are particularly convincing.
M&S – the artificial fern’s in the M&S range are pretty good. And the selection of flower and foliage stems to create your own combination is impressive.
John Lewis – have an enormous range of stemmed flowers and artificial flowers in vases.
I would always recommend buying in person to check the colour, quality and feel of the plants. A big give away is often the faux soil the plant has been secured in.
Happy planting everyone 🙂