Are plants the new surrogate for kids?

The rise of plant parenthood and how they help keep us (kinda) sane

These little green leaf babies were already enjoying a surge of popularity well before the pandemic, but it wasn’t until lockdown when people across the globe curled up in a fetal position and softly thought to themselves:

“…Now what?,”

and started collecting plants for want of things to do.

The greenery indoors certainly makes up for the outdoors that we don’t get to experience as much these days. Even the polyester-and-plastic versions have become a staple of living rooms, hotel lobbies, and any place where people have gathered for decades, if not centuries. And it’s not surprising why: plants have a calming effect on people.


There are debates on why millennials seem to have cornered the market on succulents and cacti, the dominant one being that couples nowadays are more reluctant to have kids of their own. Plants make for great surrogate kids in that nurturing them gives as much pleasure without the wallet-busting expense…There is evidence suggesting that birth rates show strong links with economic performance, so it follows that people have fewer babies in a recession yet still have that need to nurture something.

A plant’s needs are easier to understand as well, and if you happen to slip up, the consequences aren’t quite as terrifying as when you slip up in  caring for a tiny human being.

Besides being cute and helping people find their happy place in a world that’s going haywire, plants have loads of practical uses besides helping build your social media presence. There’s the contention on whether plants  really help clean the air in your home or office, aside from keeping unwanted pests out, thus helping stop the spread of various diseases.

Research on young adult males likewise shows that having plants around aids concentration and increases productivity by reducing stress levels. This, in turn, improves psychological health, another explanation on why more people are surrounding themselves with plants during times of crisis.

In all, there’s no real question that houseplants are every bit the great investment many proclaim them to be. The investment and upkeep are negligible compared to most pets, and there’s a whole assortment of benefits to be derived from having more plants in your life. About the only real downside is that this is a dangerously deep and slippery rabbit hole to fall into—your room might soon be more plant than air if you don’t keep things in check!

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