Where is everyone on Instagram getting these gorgeous plants?
Even if you denounce influencer culture, you have to admit that the social validation of a good selfie is intoxicating. Whether you posed in front of the bright pink wall in West Hollywood or embraced your heavenly side with angel wing murals scattered across the United States, the backdrop makes the photo.
But if you want to add some depth to your posts (and quality to your life) look into houseplants. Not only do houseplants add color to your photos, but they’ll also improve your life outside of your online presence.
A study from NASA concluded that plants can remove up to 87 percent of synthetic toxins from the air in just 24 hours. Note that this study was conducted in an airtight, controlled environment, so don’t expect a few palms to magically purify the air in a room where you frequently open doors and bring external substances in. However, plants do emit oxygen and take in your carbon dioxide, so your stale indoor air will be a bit fresher if you keep them around.
Plus, a study conducted by Thrive Research Hub at the University of Melbourne found that the bacteria dwelling among plant roots can basically “eat” the toxins present in glue and household chemicals, including formaldehyde, benzene, and Toulene.
“In terms of removing chemicals from the air, 80 percent of the reduction comes from these bacteria in the roots,” Thrive researcher Cristina Hernàndez said in a University of Melbourne publication. “So it means a bigger pot is better.”
And aside from the wellness benefits, keeping plants around keeps your living space photogenic as hell. But where can you get the potted plants Hernàndez is referring to?
Here are 5 places you can buy Instagram-worthy house plants:
You’ve probably seen ads for The Sill, fittingly, on Instagram. The online store offers a variety of plants, from desert to tropical that can be filtered based on your green thumb skill level, available natural light, and whether you need something pet-safe.
The Sill is designed to turn someone who isn’t a plant person into someone who can at least keep a plant alive. As our review of The Sill notes, “Yes, it might be too soon to say I’ve cracked the plant care code, but The Sill has certainly helped.”
In addition to including specific instructions on how to care for your new plant child, The Sill also offers weekly workshops in Los Angeles and New York City.
And if you’re really dedicated to the craft, you can sign up for a monthly plant subscription that’ll deliver plants directly to your door. The plans include pet-safe plants, low-light plants, and plants curated specifically for beginners, for $35 a month.
Price: Plants range from $5 to $78 for individual plants and $35 per month for a subscription from The Sill.
Like The Sill, Bloomscape is entirely online. The digital greenhouse has a larger range of plants for sale than The Sill does, though.
Bloomscape was founded by Justin Mast, who comes from a long line of greenhouse growers. If you have questions about your new plant, Bloomscape offers the adorable option of emailing a “Plant Mom,” a support network of plant professionals inspired by Mast’s own mother Joyce.
Plants delivered through Bloomscape also come with cute plastic pots in a variety of muted, extremely Millennial colors.
Price: Depending on the size, plants range from $35 to $195 from Bloomscape.
3. Home Depot
Yes, you can buy plants at the hardware store!
Home Depot’s house plant selection is significantly cheaper than both Bloomscape’s and The Sill’s. Prices and selection depend on the season, but it’s worth looking at if you’re willing to put in some more work yourself.
Although Home Depot doesn’t offer the curation and guidance of either online greenhouse, simple YouTube tutorials can teach you how to repot your plants, how to keep track of growing and fertilization, and what your new green child needs to survive. In addition to having cheaper plants, Home Depot also sells the gardening supplies you’ll need to keep your indoor garden healthy and happy. You can usually find everything you need, from succulent-specific dirt to peat moss in one corner of the hardware chain.
Price: Potted plants range from $7 to $121 at Home Depot.
4. Trader Joe’s
If you’re looking for a smaller tabletop friend, check out your local Trader Joe’s. In addition to offering its own house-brand products for way less than name brands, the grocery store also sells seasonal house plants that are often much cheaper than online greenhouses do.
The plants sold at Trader Joe’s are often small, so don’t expect to nail down a massive monstera. But you can usually find some cute desk-sized succulents, complete with a pot, for less than $10. Trader Joe’s has been upping its plant game recently, and shoppers have bought some super trendy pileas, like the one above, and small dracaenas this season.
The selection depends on the season, but if you’re looking for more popular plants, go during early spring when everything’s in bloom.
Price: You can find potted plants ranging from $6-12 at Trader Joe’s.
Support small businesses and be ecologically responsible by buying native plants at your local plant nursery. A simple Yelp search should help you find garden centers near you that specialize in plants native to your area.
Why buy native plants? Since the plants from your area have already evolved and adapted to thrive in that particular biome, they tend to be low maintenance. If you live somewhere with specific environmental concerns, like droughts in Southern California and the Great Plains, you probably won’t need to use as much water on native plants than on moisture-reliant tropical plants.
By buying locally, you’re doing both yourself and Mother Earth a favor.
Price: Depends nursery to nursery, but this directory can help locate a garden center near you.
Now hurry up and get ‘gramming. There’s a world of greenery waiting for you!
WATCH: This underground New York City farm grows rare edible plants for high-end restaurants — What’s in the Basement?
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