How the COVID Lockdowns Turned Everyone into Plant Enthusiasts

Gardener holding a pot with plant in garden
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Somehow, and there is no specific way to pinpoint when this happened, buying and growing plants became a trend during the one year of lockdowns and quarantines and isolations. In-between the fear of getting the virus and losing loved ones and saying our goodbyes to co-workers who have been retrenched, we find our sanctuaries in raising plants. It started as a simple hobby to get our minds off the fears of the virus outbreak, but it soon becomes an obsession, then a piece of heaven in a home that has become more of a prison in the past year.

The houseplant hobby is time-consuming and not to mention, expensive. People are actually spending thousands of dollars on houseplants. Some are calling in landscape artists to make sure their gardens can rival that of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Everyone is talking about it—from celebrities to social media influencers to your neighbors. In fact, planting and gardening have become so popular that you have an app on your phone to diagnose plant ailments. You’ve also paid for a garden reticulation system for a water- and energy-saving way to keep your plants thriving.

It’s a Form of Routine

The COVID-19 pandemic might have forced people to stay indoors, but it disrupts the everyday routine. Sure, plenty of people stayed indoors the past year more than any other year in their lives, but that doesn’t mean it provided a routine. If anything, people don’t know what to do with their excess time at home. Since they’re working from home and finishing work earlier, they’re left with hours that they usually spend commuting. So, what should they do with that time?

Taking care of plants is a routine. You check them first thing in the morning when you wake up. You water them once or twice a week depending on the care instructions. They are predictable, too, in a way. While the rest of the world is shaken down to its core, your plants are surviving and even thriving inside your homes.

It’s a Sense of Progress

flowers in the garden being watered

There’s something comforting about watching these plants grow. You cannot control a lot of things in the past year. You’d want to see your loved ones healthy, but that has no assurance. Even when it comes to your business, you’ve somehow lost a sense of control. Growing plants will give you a sense of progress. There’s nothing going the way you want, but your plants are thriving. Somehow, that’s enough progress amid months of uncertainties.

It’s a Break from Screen Time

Workers have to transition to online work during the past year. They spent more time before laptops than any other year in their career. Even their meetings and presentations, which used to be done face-to-face in a boardroom, are now happening via Zoom. This is not just a disruption of the highest order, but it is also a form of abuse. After spending seven to eight hours in front of the screen, your eyes will begin to water and your lower back feels like it will snap in half.

Having plants to take care of gives you an excuse to leave your desk for 15 minutes or so and check on your plants. They are an excuse—and a good one at that—so your eyes and back can have the rest they badly need. Since there is virtually no interaction with other people (aside from anyone staying in the house with you), that short amount of time with your plants is a haven.

It’s a Positive Hobby

Sometimes, in the middle of a hobby that has slowly become an obsession, people stop themselves from falling further. Why should you do that with plants? If anything, this is the only pandemic trend that will actually be beneficial to society and the environment. You only need to grow one plant to help in protecting the environment and reducing its further degradation. Imagine having several indoor plants, as well as the variety of plants you have in the garden. Nature will thank you for it.

It’s funny how things like a pandemic have a silver lining. Growing plants—whether inside your house or outdoors—has such a positive effect on people that they began clinging to it to survive what was largely an unpredictable and scary year. So, don’t think of yourself as so strange that you’re spending on seedlings, fertilizers, organic soil, glow lights, and humidifiers. Your plants, just like what you need for the past year, require care and maintenance.

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