Every day is a great day to appreciate houseplants
Did you know that January 10 is Houseplant Appreciation Day? I think this is one of the best dates to celebrate the joy that beautiful plants bring to our homes. In many places around the country, January is quite gloomy, and after the festivities of the recent holidays, it is nourishing to remind ourselves of the things that can cheer us up in the stark absence of all the commercial fanfare.
What do you appreciate about house plants? There’s so much to love! For many people, including myself, houseplants provide a way to stay grounded and develop a routine that nurtures both me and my plants. It is rewarding to help things grow and be beautiful. Yet on the other hand, at the end of the day, plants are just plants, and there is less pressure to make mistakes and try new things. Much less stress than a pet or another person.
Where did the first houseplants even come from? As much of early human history is intertwined with myth and folklore, so too are the origins of botanicals in our homes. One of the most infamous early tales of indoor plant cultivation is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
If the legend holds true, around 600 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar II commissioned the gardens for his wife, Queen Amytis around 600 BCE. While modern historians have failed to find definitive proof of their existence, classical authors lauded their beauty and intricate technologically advanced irrigation systems.
More concretely set in history, houseplants found their way to major Mediterranean powers between 500 and 400 BCE. Prosperous Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans are all documented to have kept houseplants in their sprawling estates.
Check out this lovely blog by Dan to learn more about the history of houseplants!
What are the best houseplants for low light?
Some of my favorite houseplants this time of year include Snakeplant Sayuri, known for its resilience and air-purifying qualities. Additionally, there's the intricate patterns of the Pinstripe Calathea that add a touch of elegance, the charming Heartleaf Hoya Kerrii Variegated, the rich and earthy tones of Philodendron 'Choco Empress', and the graceful Satin Pothos.
What do all these plants have in common? They are all low-light plants, perfect for the winter months when the sun is hiding. These resilient plants thrive even in the absence of abundant sunlight. (And, they’re available in our shop year-round!).
How can I appreciate my houseplants?
The best way to appreciate your houseplant is to understand their needs… just like people! Less sunlight during the winter months translates to less frequent watering, as the plant is not growing enough to need a lot of nourishment. However, once the warmer months roll around, you’ll need to be ready to change your routine and begin watering your plants more (and maybe even incorporate some plant food). And can you tell how much more they should be watered?
The best way to ensure that your plant is getting the right amount of water is to use a moisture guide. Digital moisture meters are a great option for plant parents who like exact numbers and can log moisture levels, whereas colorful moisture guides like PlantDoc are approachable and fun to use, and suitable for all ages and plant expertise. Did you know? PlantDoc was designed by us to meet needs we saw in our plant store every day! There are benefits to both styles, and at our plant shop, we use both to ensure that our plants are perfectly cared for throughout the dynamic seasons of Portland, Oregon.