5 Reasons a Real Plant Is for You

5 Reasons a Real Plant Is for You

Real vs. fake plants -- is it a question? If so, dig in! 
I was looking for a plant online the other day and noticed a bunch of ads for artificial plants. As a horticulturist, I’ve never paid attention to fake silk/plastic plants. But I got curious about what the fake plant makers say about artificial plants.

Have you ever wondered if a live houseplant or an artificial plant is right for you? Here are some advantages of going with the real deal. 

Snow White Waffle Plant1. Artificial Can Plants Pollute; Live Plants Purify the Air
Scientists have shown plants remove pollutants—called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air. Many of these compounds are commonly found in our homes and offices and can impact our health. Repeated or excess exposure to VOCs like xylene, toluene, and benzene may cause headaches, sore throats, irritated eyes, and even cancer. 

A variety of common products release VOCs. These include cleaning products, adhesives, carpet, and plastics. That means a new artificial plant may release harmful VOCs into your space. A live houseplant will immediately start cleaning the air.

2. Live Plants Are an Investment
Provide it with good care and the average houseplant can happily grow for years. (My great grandmother, for example, had a Christmas cactus that was well over 25 years old.) It’s fun—and easy—in that time to propagate most houseplants. As they grow, you can take cuttings and make more plants for free. Grow them around your home for added greenery or share with friends and neighbors. 

Artificial plants don’t grow larger and more attractive with time. And you can’t propagate them to give to friends and family. 

3. Real Plants Offer an Experience
Over time, houseplants become larger, and are ever-changing décor, like a living statue. They grow in response to you. You can get them to grow faster or slower depending on how much you choose to water, fertilize, and repot them. Depending on the type, you may be able to prune and shape them. That artificial plant just sits there. 
See how experiencing life with houseplants can make you more mindful!  

4. Live Plants Improve the Environment If They Die
Even at the end of its life, your houseplant does good for the environment if you compost it. Microorganisms break it down, returning it to the earth and improving your soil in the process. What happens to an artificial plant? It likely ends up in a landfill where it sits for centuries. 

5. Support North American Jobs
A lot of artificial plants come from far-off places like China. Because of agricultural restrictions between countries (and the fact that a lot of plants don’t love long overseas trips), houseplants are grown here. Buying Costa Farms plants, for example, means supporting an American company and our employees across the country. 

Chinese EvergreenNot sure what to start with? Here are some of my favorite easy-care plants:
Chinese Evergreen
Red Aglaonema
Snake Plant
ZZ Plant

Written by Justin Hancock