How indoor plants can help improve mental health

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Tending to plants can provide us a break from our fast-paced lives. Photo from TIERRA PLANTS/FACEBOOK

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Instagram has been reported to be the ‘worst social media app for young people’s mental health.’ The author of the report, Matt Keracher, says that young women, in particular, tend to “compare the themselves against unrealistic, largely curated, filtered, and Photoshopped versions of reality.”

While this may be the case, the platform has also given users the ease with which they can achieve a trend or a reality that may have been difficult to live in had Instagram not existed. One trend that users continuously see on the app is the abundance of living room photos with indoor plants.

According to the 2016 National Gardening report, 37 percent of millennials (ages 18 to 34) in the U.S. are growing indoor plants for a “calm and peaceful environment,” whereas there are only 28 percent of baby boomers who latched on this trend.

Tierra Plants, an e-commerce platform selling plants in the Philippines, shares that most of their clients are ‘hip, stylish, and limited to their space’ (characteristics that may also be used to describe millennials). “Most of our clients they send us photos or they talk us through … They send us their space, where the sunlight comes through, and what are their lifestyles, and that’s where we recommend plants that fit their personality and their space,” says Bern Victoriano, one of the owners of Tierra Plants.

As gardening is also closely linked to a better mental health, Victoriano adds that this trend may be because people are looking for something to nurture, especially now that we are living in a fast-paced, digital age. “Plants give us a connection to nature — especially to the urban dwellers. Tending to plants give the millennials a break from their smartphones or laptops and connect with something real and living,” she says.

“[Plants] offer some kind of relationship or companionship as they react to how you care for them and sometimes even ‘reward’ you with blooms.”

CNN Philippines Life talks to Victoriano to know more about Tierra, her family’s passion for horticulture, and how everybody can have a greenthumb.