Go Green — Being A Plant Parent Is Good For Your Relationship

I’ll admit it: I don’t have any houseplants. It’s not that I don’t want them, but my wife and I have cats that will eat our houseplants and get sick, so we skip the greenery. Our lack of plants may put us in the minority amongst our peers — as countless outlets have reported, millennials are obsessed with houseplants. As it turns out, though, our friends filling their homes with plants may be onto something; research suggests that houseplants may be beneficial to your relationship.

The Power Of Plants

If we consider the most fundamental things we know about houseplants, it’s obvious that there are countless benefits to introducing greenery into your home. Plants filter the air, reduce stress, and foster a sense of accomplishment. In fact, your relationships with your plants can be therapeutic.

From an interpersonal perspective, all of these benefits also translate to your romantic relationships. For example, if stress can put a strain on relationships, introducing plants into your space, with their stress-busting abilities, can help ease some of the tensions between you and your partner. But that’s just scratching the surface.

In addition to reducing stress and boosting mental health more generally, research shows that spending time around plants encourages greater compassion and empathy in individuals. And when couples spend time around plants or in nature together, it deepens their bond and specifically increases their compassion for each other. Caring for nature and caring for each other go hand in hand.

Romance With Plants

When it comes to their relationship value, some plants yield greater benefits than others. While succulents may be all the rage right now, they require such minimal care, that they’re unlikely to create the sense of closeness and compassion that a more high-maintenance plant would. On the other hand, you don’t want to choose a plant that’s so demanding that you end up even more stressed than you were before you brought it home. No, you need to find your gardening middle ground.

If you and your partner have a passion for plants, take some time to learn about them together or make a date to visit your local garden center. You can pick out some plants together and talk about where you’ll put them. Sturdy houseplants like the Asparagus Fern, African Violets, and Calathea are all great for beginners, and each brings a certain aesthetic flair to your home. As your plant collection grows, you’ll have the pleasure of watching your little “family” expand and thrive.

The Nature Of Neglect

Finally, we can’t talk about houseplants and relationships without highlighting a new phenomenon — what some are referring to as “houseplanting.” We all know about being ghosted, when someone simply disappears from a relationship rather than formally breaking up or otherwise communicating, and houseplanting is a similar sort of abandonment. Rather than completely disappearing, though, you’ll know you’ve been houseplanted if your date continues to show up yet simultaneously neglects you. Their heart isn’t in the relationship and it’s time to call it quits, but you may need to be the one who ends it before you wilt entirely.

Let your passion for plants go beyond the personal and let them bloom beside your relationship. Caring for plants together can be a labor of love, and one that’s good for your heart and your mind. What will your combined gardening efforts yield?