Plants are nature’s notification to give yourself more space in this world.

Design by Andie Hodgson

I’m not a mom to a countless number of plants yet, but I’m on my way to that title.

Initially, when I began to adorn a small corner of my house with tiny, leafy plants and a few succulents, it was solely for the purpose of accessorizing and livening up my house.

However, after dedicating time to nurturing my plants on an almost daily basis, I began to realize that they’re more than just a means to reach my household aesthetic goal.

After all, I had to look out for them as I would myself.

Much like every other being, plants require a certain amount of attention in order to thrive. At times when I wasn’t doing my best, the brown, shriveled ends of my plants’ leaves reflected my pain and vice versa.

Psychological benefits of plants

Besides instantly boosting a home’s aesthetic, studies show that being surrounded by greenery can help with cleaning the surrounding air, creating a sense of well-being, and enhancing your life.

When I realized the correlation between plants and self-care, I researched my current plants (as well as others I plan to add to my home).

Turns out, my gains aren’t arbitrary. Plants can reflect our lives in more ways than one and help us acclimate during difficult times.

But not all plants bring joy, especially high-maintenance ones. Some also speak to us in hard times more than others.

I rounded up a list of plants and dug into their personalities. Find out which ones are calling out to you based on their benefits, as well as efforts and attention you want to give.

1. For a reminder to break toxic ties, try aloe vera

Aloe vera is probably my favorite house plant simply because it has so many benefits and is easy to care for. If you’re the type to give a lot (emotionally, monetarily, or physically) to others, you and aloe vera may make the perfect pairing.

While you can cut off the leaves to herbally treat and improve skin wounds (burns, cuts, scars, and inflammation), aloe vera is also a powerful plant that can purify the air around you. It’s not the same as an air filter, but it can help with detoxing your air of harmful chemicals.

Aloe vera and you: During the repotting process, you may have to trim away any dead pieces that are no longer contributing to its growth.

Doing this can serve as reminder of your own growth: as you approach different life stages, you sometimes have to let go of who or what may be stopping you from thriving.

And as you continue to learn more about yourself and experience new things in life, it might be necessary to replant yourself. Make choices that help you continue to grow into the person you want to be.

2. For a reminder to relax and stay calm, try lavender

This plant is very easy on the eyes, smells delightful, and is the source of one of the most popular essential oils. For those who forget to unwind or take a few seconds for themselves, especially at the end of the day, lavender (and its powerful scent) is for you.

Although it’s not considered to be a traditional houseplant, lavender offers a ton of benefits that’ll make just about everyone want to keep some version of it around.

The floral smell is effective at decreasing anxiety and providing a calm atmosphere.

Topically, it’s also great to add to your beauty routine due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Lavender and you: Close your eyes and take in a few deep breaths whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or when you want to get a good night’s rest. As you inhale the relaxing scent, it’ll help calm you down.

During the warmer spring months, move your lavender plant outside as it helps the plant to catch some fresh rays of sunshine. While you’re at it, take in a few moments outside to get your own dose of vitamin D as well.

Side effects of lavender essential oil

Always dilute lavender oil before applying directly to your skin. Research shows that it may be a hormone disruptor.

3. For a reminder to maintain a work-life balance, try peace lilies

Here’s another natural purifier to add to the list: peace lilies. This gorgeous plant improves the flow of energy in the home as it neutralizes harmful indoor chemicals. It’s also believed to help people flourish mentally, physically, and spiritually.

If you’re into astrology, you’ll appreciate that peace lilies have a delicate and gentle appearance but are extremely strong and deep-rooted, akin to the energy exuded by people born under the Cancer zodiac sign.

Peace lilies and you: Peace lilies symbolize peace, tranquility, prosperity, purification, and solitude. Because peace lilies have such powerful symbolism, speak positive affirmations to your plants. Only say what you, yourself, would want to hear.

4. For a reminder to survive and thrive during hard times, try a snake plant

Known to provide a strong protective energy in your space, snake plants are extremely durable and require very little attention in order to grow.

For easy-going folk who need a reminder of how resilient they are when times get tough, snake plants are here for you. Snake plants are easy-going and the ideal plant to keep in observation. Meaning: they require little attention and still thrive under a little pressure — just like a Libra!

This plant is unique because it has the ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, meaning that if you live in an area with no air flow, having quite a few snake plants around you may help sanitize the oxygen in your space!

Snake plants and you: Snake plants serve as a reminder that even when you may feel alone or experiencing a difficult time, you can still choose to grow through and survive even the hardest situations.

When you see this plant, find a quiet spot in your home to sit down next to it, close your eyes, breathe in the cool, clean air it provides, and find your peace.

5. For a reminder to stay present, try a eucalyptus

This popular plant is known not only for its distinct, pleasant aroma, but also for its ability to help treat asthma, colds, and congestion.

Eucalyptus and you: For those who need a reminder to appreciate the present and what the day will bring, the eucalyptus is the ideal plant. Take a few moments to inhale its healing and powerful scent. Doing this brings you back into the present moment.

Remember that this present moment is all you have. Don’t think about what happened yesterday as you can’t change that, and don’t concern yourself with tomorrow’s to-do list because all you have is this very moment. Enjoy.

Besides instantly boosting a home’s artistic appearance, studies show that being surrounded by such greenery can help clean the surrounding air, create a sense of well-being, and enhance your life.

When I struggled mentally and found it hard to take care of myself, my plants suffered because I wasn’t caring for them either. However, when they’re happy and green, it usually means I’m more attentive to myself and taking care of my physical and emotional needs.

When I am able to witness the way my plant’s leaves naturally unfurl to receive the sunlight, I get an instant boost of happiness. It reminds me to do what I find fulfilling, instead of solely focusing on my obligations. It’s a reminder to always keep going and keep growing.


Shawna Davis is a wellness journalist and the founder and creator of the wellness lifestyle blog, Froing and Flowing. Beyond the blog, she is a certified yoga instructor, wife, dog mama, and natural hair enthusiast who’s passionate about health, wellness, and natural beauty. You can follow her on Instagram.