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Why are houseplants addictive? man covered in houseplants

Why Are Houseplants Addictive? 14 Signs To Look For!

It seems as if we all have that one thing that we can’t get enough of. For some, it’s shoes, or something collectible, like teacups. For some though, it’s something with a little more personality; houseplants. 

So, why are houseplants addictive? 

Houseplants are addictive because although being affordable, houseplants can increase health, productiveness and wholeness. Houseplants also give us the feeling that everything is calm and in its place, helping to sustain positive relationships between housemates. For many people, those feelings feeds the need for more houseplants. 

Even though plants are great, they’ve always been great.

Why is this trend of keeping houseplants becoming even more popular? 

Over the past twenty years, the Netherlands, the world’s biggest producer of plant life, has been the center of exports to the United Kingdom and the United States. The indoor plant market is now worth over two billion dollars.

Plants are especially popular with people in their twenties and thirties, which is surprising because I always seem to remember my grandmother having an abundance of houseplants.

The general consensus among Millenials is that houseplants bring character and color to the home.

Plants naturally give off the aura of relaxation without saying a word, and owners take pride in seeing them grow over time.

Why are houseplants addictive? small succulent near a laptop in office

Not only in the home but the workplace, and it’s been proven that plants encourage stronger work morale among employees.   

They are also a natural air cleanser, and it’s been proven that exposure to green space is essential for humans. Science has long told us that plants absorb gases through their leaves and roots, in turn leaving us with cleaner air.

Plants in the environment have been long associated with good mental health and are beneficial for conditions such as asthma and heart disease. 

The raised awareness of the body and soul that we have today has also contributed to the boom in houseplants.

The psychological benefits of owning plants go beyond just clean air.

Along with increased productivity, plants lower our stress levels and help improve our overall moods. In a world where tech has increasingly taken over, the simple care of a houseplant is time away from that as well as respite for the soul.

Can You Be Addicted to Houseplants? 14 Signs To Look For!

You sure can! And it’s not hard to do, either. I’ve put together a lighthearted list with 14 signs that will tell you whether or not you may be suffering from an addiction to houseplants.

  1. If you go away for a weekend, you have someone come to water and feed your plants, as you would with a pet
  2. There doesn’t seem to be any empty space in your house because it’s all filled with houseplants
  3. Your phone’s wallpaper or your screensaver are beautiful pictures of plants
  4. The only thing hanging from your ceiling is houseplants
  5. Every empty container you have is a potential pot for more houseplants
  6. You’ve made renovations to your home in order to increase sunlight
  7. You are convinced your houseplants have their own personalities
  8. You name your houseplants
  9. You are overly concerned about the air quality in your home
  10. You find yourself shopping for houseplants at 3 am on the internet
  11. You have plants at work
  12. Your Facebook page is filled with pictures of houseplants
  13. You prejudge people according to whether or not they own houseplants
  14. You make wiping down your plants a part of your regular cleaning routine 

What Do You Call Someone Addicted To Houseplants?

Why are houseplants addictive? small girl planting a houseplant
You can call someone addicted to houseplants a lot of thin

Although people are familiar with terms such as horticulturist or botanist, these are more professional terms, meant to describe someone’s profession.

A person addicted to houseplants can be called a plantsman or a plantaholic. These words describe a person who is enthusiastic and contains great knowledge when it comes to plants, but also reflects a certain attitude towards plants, often known as an obsession or addiction.

Plantsman however has be used historically interchangeable with horticulturist or botanist, but those are more professional terms.

Are Too Many Houseplants Bad?

Yes and no. Houseplants are a wonderful hobby to get into, but one that can slowly turn into a full-blown addiction that may even take over your life.

You may have started with one or two, and then the next thing you know, you have an entire jungle in your house!

And maybe it’s draining your bank account too.

While the hobby itself is not terribly expensive, it can get all-consuming. The money you spend on your houseplants can quickly go into the hundreds or thousands if you aren’t careful.

You also have to buy pots, soil, hangers, and other necessities to add to the cost. 

Many houseplants are dependent on several different factors, such as growing conditions and the number of people or pets you have. There are cases where you may be able to grow over a dozen succulents successfully, but that one bonsai tree refuses to grow.

If you have trouble walking through your house without tripping over your plants, you may be unintentionally causing a mess, especially if you tend to go overboard and don’t arrange them properly.

Actually, if you are interested in knowing more about the topic of too many houseplants and also what to do with unwanted houseplants, check out this in depth article I wrote a while ago.

Houseplants have the ability to make a home feel alive and warm, but too much of a good thing can be detrimental.

If you find that you no longer have the time to care for your plants, you may have too many. They will take up some time every day, as you need to water and prune them.

And houseplants do get sick, just like people, and that can be time-consuming as well. 

Thankfully, health-wise, there is no danger to having too many houseplants. For humans, that is.

Pets, not so much.  

You need to be very careful if you have animals because some houseplants can be toxic to cats and dogs, not to mention small children. Even if it’s not toxic, the consumption of any plant by a pet can cause serious GI upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular houseplants that can be deadly to cats and dogs.

Houseplants Dangerous to Cats and Dogs

  • Easter Lily. These are some of the most common flowering plants, especially at Easter. However, they contain calcium oxalates and can cause vomiting, irritation of the mouth, drooling, or difficulty breathing if ingested by cats or dogs.
  • Aloe Vera These plants are a staple in many homes and have many beneficial medicinal properties. But they are toxic to cats and dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. 
  • Swiss Cheese Plants These trendy houseplants are fairly low maintenance and produce stunning foliage, but they are very toxic to cats and dogs. They can cause burning of your pet’s lips and mouth, drooling, and vomiting. 
  • English Ivy These plants may be the epitome of the English cottage as they cascade down walls, but they are not good for cats and dogs. If eaten, they can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Jade Plant These may be hard to kill, but they can also be killers themselves among dogs and cats, causing vomiting, slow heart rate, and general malaise.
  • Rubber Tree Plant These plants come in different shapes and sizes, and the toxicity to cats and dogs can vary. But in general, they can cause skin rash, mouth irritation, drooling, malaise, or vomity if ingested.

If you notice your pet eating any of your houseplants, it’s best to reach out to the veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

While there are certainly worse addictions to have, houseplants addiction can come with it’s own set of challenges to overcome.

If you find yourself tripping over plants at every step, filling any available space with a new plant although your wallet says otherwise and you can’t really keep your plants alive anymore, maybe it’s time to downsize your collection.


US National Library of Medicine – Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress.

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