Turn your coronavirus blues green: How plants can improve your mental health and light up your IG feed

  • We've got your guide on where to buy plants in Hong Kong and online and great Instagram accounts to follow for growing tips.
  • Being around nature can improve your mood, increase your self-esteem and generally make you happier.
Karly Cox |

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Take a look at our guide for growing houseplants, including where to find them and the prettiest ones for the 'Gram.

You know that plants and trees are good for the planet – photosynthesis, the chemical process that creates food for them, uses up carbon dioxide and produces oxygen. That’s pretty handy for humans, as we need oxygen to exist, and we breathe out carbon dioxide.

Having plants in your home may also remove some potentially harmful chemical compounds from the atmosphere.

The Monstera, aka Swiss cheese plant, is a very popular and elegant-looking plant.

You might also know that just looking at plants can be good for your mental health. Studies show that surrounding yourself with plant life or other forms of nature can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression, improve your memory and focus, increase your self-esteem, and generally make you happier.

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They’re also a cheap and easy way to change up your interior design!

With much of the world in some form of lockdown, there’s also been a massive spike in social media accounts focusing on sharing photos of some incredibly restful plant babies.

We’ve put together some basics to help you start that plant life. If you’ve got plant babies to show off, tag #YPplantsofIG and share!

Where to buy 

Prince Edward has a whole street devoted to plant life; mostly flowers, yes, but most of the shops have some plants on offer, or can point you to one that does. If that feels overwhelming, most neighbourhoods have at least one plant and flower shop.

And while we’d encourage you to support small, independent businesses, if all else fails, Ikea, some Japan Home Stores, and big supermarkets usually sell a small selection of house plants.

You can also find reasonably priced options online at the following sites:

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Natural green succulents and cacti are easy to care for and add a splash of colour.

Plants you can eat

If you’d also like to grow some practical plants – ie ones you can eat – but don’t have a balcony or garden, try regrowing some vegetable roots!

Cut the bottom 3-5cm off your chosen produce, then put in a glass, fill with water, and leave on a windowsill. In most cases, you’ll see new shoots or leaves appear within a few days – spring onions can start growing overnight! To use, just trim the new growth, but leave the roots in. Change the water every couple of days.

This works well on veg including spring onions, pak choi, lettuce, leeks, celery, and lemongrass.