The Houseplant's Comeback Story
Updated: Nov 5
Trends come and go after every couple of decades, but the 70s aesthetic will always hold a special place in my heart. Which is why I'm so happy that retro is back and thriving. From people's obsession with flipping vintage clothing, to installing retro kitchen appliances, it's everywhere. I've been basking in it and decided to delve into classic 70s movies. I noticed a reoccurring theme... of course a majority of their plots are centered around pulling off heists and racing American muscle cars. But, being the interior design nerd that I am, what stood out to me the most was the amount of plants in the characters' homes.
I decided to do some research and ended up perusing the archives of 70's decorating magazines and books. In comparison to most contemporary decorating magazines, there were a plethora of plants in 70's interiors. I'm talking jungle level versus tiny succulent from home depot level. Just look at the images I found:
Decorating With Plants, 1978© Time Life Books
The Decorating Book, 1981© Mary Gilliatt
It's pretty obvious as to why houseplants are making a come back and I have listed the reasons why below. I can tell you right now, it's much more than just aesthetics.
1. Retro Resurgence
What goes around, comes around. If you haven't noticed that retro is back and thriving, you must live in a cave or not have any hipster friends. It's everywhere! Apartment therapy made some great points in this article about popular retro trends in our homes. Whether its vintage clothing or midcentury modern furniture, people are flipping these products. With that comes the resurgence of the 70's aesthetic. I‘m just glad that houseplants made the cut.
2. Social Media
Houseplants can thank trends in social media for their resurgence as well. Instagram in particular is booming with photos depicting cozy apartments full of potted plants. Just take a look at social media: Hashtags like #houseofplantlovers, #urbanjunglebloggers and #plantsmakepeoplehappy are all trending. I'm even guilty of following some "plant influencers". My personal favorite is Jamies Jungle who is based in the UK. Check out the link to see his apartment, which features an amazing skylight for all of his plants to soak up tons of sunlight.
3. Research on how plants benefit our mental and physical well-being
These organisms provide our lives with so much more than just aesthetics. There has been a surge of research on how they benefit us mentally and physically. By releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, they freshen the air and eliminate harmful toxins (like volatile organic compounds which off-gas from furniture and finishes). But don't just believe some crazy "plant mom" on the internet. Do your research and check out the extensive research by NASA which revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in 24 hours.
Plants also improve concentration and productivity (which is exactly why I have ten plants surrounding my desk. Not joking people). Being able to view/care for plants decreases stress, increases productivity/creativity, helps us focus, and improves memory retention. I highly suggest placing easy-to-care for plants in areas that you need to improve productivity.
Tending to your plants is such a fulfilling hobby. I personally use this hobby as a gauge for how much I am focusing on self care. My plants are an extension of me, and if they are looking droopy, its a reminder for me to take better care of myself too!
4. Millennial lifestyle
Millennials simply prefer the freedom and flexibility of a child-free lifestyle or would rather prioritize career and travel. In fact, the recent National Gardening Survey states that “18 to 34-year-olds now occupy 29% of all gardening households.” Plants obviously require much less care than babies or pets do and with millennials holding off on having children until much later in life (or altogether), it's easy to see why taking care of plants is a suitable alternative.
Either way, humans have an innate need to nurture something. Many people have pets, but houseplants can also fulfill this need. Plants require care and attention (some much more than others!) and this is a relatively low maintenance way to do just that! There’s something magical about noticing that your plant is growing a new leaf and watching your plant grow before your eyes under your care. It’s very fulfilling! Especially when you start to propagate your plants and make new baby plants!
After reading this post, I'm sure you're considering which plants you should bring into your home. I have listed the best low maintenance houseplants.
Best Low Maintenance Houseplants
1. Devils Ivy (Pothos Vine) ($25.99)
2. Jade Plant ($12.50)
3. Chinese Money Plant ($5.99)
4. Spineless Yucca Cane ($73.99)
5. Monsterra ($54.99)
6. Peace Lily ($39.99)
7. Snake Plant ($37.99)
If you have any questions about the houseplant lifestyle, feel free to reach out to me. And don't forget to pot it like its hot. 💁♀️