Do you talk to your plants? If not, maybe you should – almost half, 48%, of people interviewed by Trees.com admitted that they talk to leafy creatures.
And a majority of those people, 62%, think it helped their mental health.
The survey interviewed 1,250 people, asking them if, why and how often they talk to their plants.
A majority say they only talk to their houseplants. However, 62% talk to outdoor plants and 37% to trees they pass in the street.
When asked how often they talk to their plants, 70% of participants said “occasionally” and 9% only “rarely” talk to their plants.
But 1 in 5 people say they talk to their plants at home or trees outside every day.
And more than a fifth of the participants, 27.67%, say they have kissed a plant and even 22.5% have kissed one.
When asked why they were participating in what most would consider an unusual practice, here are some of the answers:
- “I think it’s fun and I’ve read that it helps them grow.”
- “I am proud and happy because my plants are beautiful!!”
- “They have feelings and when I talk to my plants, they move.”
- “They are our beautiful friends [I want to] thank them for their beauty. Indoor plants help oxygenate [too]I believe.”
- “I don’t know if I have a reason. I think it’s more me thinking out loud.”
Caring for plants can benefit your mental health
Regardless of how you choose to interact with your plants, possessing the oxygen-producing organisms can benefit overall health, including mental health, according to Gary Altman, director of the horticultural therapy program at Rutgers University.
“Having plants in your home or office really helps increase positive feelings and reduce feelings of fear and anger, which are associated with that uncertainty about what’s next,” Altman told CNBC Make It.
Plant care as a form of healing is called horticultural therapy, and Altman describes the practice as “the use of plants for treatment and rehabilitation for people recovering from illness or injury. or who adapt to a handicap”.
The treatment can be used for people struggling with mental health issues and those with physical disabilities or developmental/intellectual disabilities, according to Altman.
Horticultural therapy allows individuals to process the challenges they face in their own lives by focusing on controlling something more predictable, he notes.
“Just step away from whatever is stressing you out and turn to your plants for a few minutes, maybe mist them, water them,” Altman says, “it gives you some space to give yourself a bit of holiness.”
And studies have found that the longest living people in the world garden as a hobby.
Being a plant parent can also teach you valuable lessons before you take on a huge responsibility like having a pet, Altman says.
Looking at your plant can be a check for yourself to decide if you’re ready to take a big step that carries more weight, he adds.
“It’s kind of like a tool to measure your performance,” Altman says. “It’s about learning that nurturing skill, so for people who might not be in the best place in your life, there might be a lesson to be learned there.”
You can even reap some of the benefits of having a real plant if you consider alternatives like aesthetically pleasing artificial plants and hanging pictures of nature around your home, he says.
But it’s also important to remember that as a first-time factory owner, there will be ups and downs.
“I just learned from my mistakes, so I encourage people not to get discouraged if their plants aren’t growing, thriving, and looking as good as they could be on Instagram,” Altman says. .
“That’s not the goal. The goal is to learn from experience and practice.”
Register now: Be smarter about your money and your career with our weekly newsletter