As humans, we are in constant and intimate exchange with nature. On a biological level, plants emit oxygen which helps us breathe and in return we exhale carbon dioxide which nourishes them. Being in communion with the natural world reminds us of our connection to all that is and helps put our problems into perspective. Various studies have shown that prolonged time in nature can help regulate emotions, increase focus, improve problem-solving abilities, enhance creativity, and foster a sense of gratitude.
Unfortunately, not all of us have reasonable access to green spaces. Many of us are stuck in concrete jungles where parks are few and far between. Often these are public places and we might not feel comfortable letting our guard down to connect with nature more deeply.
One way to engage with plant energy is to invite it into your home. Whether you buy bouquets or commit to raising a plant baby of your own, choosing the right greenery can completely shift the vibe in your home sanctuary. It can even be a way to connect with your roots by selecting plants that are native to your ancestors’ homelands. Taking care of plants helps us tune into our own nurturing abilities and raises questions of how we tend to our own needs. As we learn how our plants grow through the seasons, our intuition grows stronger and we may even find ourselves in stronger communication with the natural and unseen worlds.
In celebration of Earth Day, here are our favorite botanicals to help you foster a deeper bond with nature:
This tropical plant improves air quality and is non-toxic for cats and dogs. While they can be a little finicky in their upkeep, they thrive in high humidity and their soil should be kept moist at all times.
This pet-friendly palm thrives in full sun or bright light, and improves air quality by removing pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. It can grow between four and twelve feet high, which sets it apart as one of the most effective plants for filtering indoor air.
Native to tropical and Southern Africa, the spider plant is low maintenance and highly adaptable, a great choice for someone who is just beginning their journey as a plant parent. It’s pet-friendly and improves air quality in your home by removing pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene.
This low-maintenance succulent is native to Mexico and Central America. Blue echeveria ranges in shade from greens to blues to reds with a mesmerizing spiral flower shape. It’s safe for pets and thrives with lots of light and not much water.
Some rubber plant varieties are toxic for pets, so double check that you’re purchasing the right one if you’ve got critters to worry about. The American rubber plant is pet-friendly and thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. It’s great for improving air quality, with large leaves that absorb contaminants and can reduce mold and bacteria in a room by as much as 50 or 60 percent.
Native to the tropical jungles of Brazil, this pretty plant has delicate Christmas-colored leaves that fold together in the prayer position – hence the name. It is non-toxic for dogs and cats and grows well in bright, indirect sunlight.
This palm is native to Madagascar and easy to care for as long as it is not neglected. It is pet-friendly and can grow about 2 meters high and live for up to ten years.
If you’re looking for a flowering plant, the Barberton daisy is a great option as it flowers all year long. Native to South Africa, this flower is non-toxic for pets and grows best under direct sunlight, with moist soil and mild temperatures.
Native to Mexico and Central America, the friendship plant is non-toxic for pets, thrives in warm, humid conditions with lots of bright filtered light. It’s a plant that propagates very easily from cuttings, allowing you to give the gift of plant energy to your loved ones.
Basil is one of the few herbs that is non-toxic for pets. It’s an herb that holds significance in cultures around the world and it could be fun to look up how your culture views the plant (for example, to Italians basil represents love while the ancient Greeks associated it with hate). Not only will basil add flavor to your food, but it’s versatile and generally low maintenance herb.
Feature Image by D2