Which Plant Is Right for Your State of Mental Distress? [Community]

There’s a number of benefits to adding plants to your living and/or work space. In addition to purifying the air and making your home and work area look fresher, plants are also therapeutic. Literally! Why up your dosage of Lexapro when you can get a plant to distract you from your all-consuming psychological turmoil? See below for which one matches your emotional needs best.

Anxiety: Succulent. Many plant owners, if not most, have at least one or more succulents among their throng of growth. This popular plant is the perfect compliment to your endless buffet of unbridled emotions and thoughts. Because anxiety comes in all different shapes and forms, so do succulents: just look at how many different types of aloe you can get! You’ve got aloe vera, short-leaved aloe, Tiger Tooth aloe, Christmas Carol aloe, Hawthornia-leaved aloe, Doran Black aloe, Gold Tooth aloe, just to name a few. Is this decision giving you too much anxiety? That’s okay. Aloe plants aren’t going anywhere — just like your anxiety! 

Fear: Spider plant. Closely related to anxiety, but more complicated: fears can be broad and general, like fear of heights, or more acute, like fear of being put into a social situation where you’re forced to pronounce Pete Buttigieg’s last name. (Fret not, these plants have nothing to do with spiders, so they’re totally safe for the arachnophobic.) Because fear runs the gamut of emotions, the best botanical match is a spider plant by virtue of their ability to grow just about anywhere. They thrive just as well in a windowless office as they do in a sunroom. They’re also popular for their air-purifying ability, so go ahead and put one in every room. You can never have too many — plants or fears! — and some spider plants occasionally produce small, white flowers.

Obsessive thinking: Climbing vine. Requiring minimal care and ambient light, climbing vines basically take care of themselves. Care centers around pruning, which is best done in the spring before the onset of new growth. Most of these grow fast, sending vines out of control, not unlike the thoughts that sprout the minute you try to fall asleep, wondering about things like the heat death of the universe, or what would happen if your appendix spontaneously bursts, an already inconvenient situation, in an even more inconvenient place, like a hot air balloon ride. Anything can happen, truly!!! Anytime! You never know what’s going to happen and you have literally no control over it! Water moderately. 

Self-doubt: Arrowhead plant. This evergreen won’t do a thing to assuage the crippling self-doubt that you contend with on a daily basis, but at least buying this plant will distract you from the fact that Forbes just did a profile on a twenty-two-year-old up-and-coming comedian while you’re twenty-seven and still on a family plan.

Stress: Juniper bonsai. Evoke serenity with this evergreen coniferous tree. Due to the flexibility of the branches, this bonsai is easy to train and shape. Spare your hair: relegate the trichotillomania you’ve developed as a result of your stress to your juniper bonsai! You can cut and shape and mold your bonsai to your desire. This is a great opportunity for the artistically inclined. This is also a great way to distract yourself while you think of another way to write “just following up!” before following up for the eighth time on an unpaid invoice from last June. Does the person you’ve been emailing even work there anymore? Who knows. But at least you can trim your bonsai into a seahorse wearing a beret!

Depression: Fern. These don’t require a lot of effort, which is perfect for you because you can barely manage to eat a meal that isn’t a bag of Smartfood white cheddar popcorn right now. Go ahead and stick this right in your bathroom — they fare well without light —  or right above your kitchen sink; it doesn’t matter because literally nothing matters! Water whenever. 

Dating: Plastic fern. You have enough on your plate.

The twenty-four-hour news cycle: Just go to Home Depot and get into Child’s Pose in the plant nursery, and remain there until you’re asked to leave.