Whether you have the space outdoors or it's merely a few plants blossoming in your kitchen, gardening is good for your mind, body, and soul. Also, Mother Nature will give you +10 bonus points for it. But where do you start? If you want to exercise your green thumb but you're having a hard time picking a species, 19 women on reddit shared their favorite plant, so you too can jazz up your home with a little greenery.
Succulents seem to be the plant of choice as of late, but there's so much out there to try. And here's the great news: aside from adding a little pizzazz to your abode, gardening can make you feel good, too. Research shared in Preventive Measure Reports says that gardening can help reduce depression and anxiety, and improve life satisfaction, quality of life, and even your sense of community.
Another study published in The Medical Journal of Australia found that daily gardening can lower the risk of dementia by as much as 36 percent.
Plus, if you get the chance to do it outside, the extra vitamin D might give you a real boost.
Ready to start playing in the dirt? Here are 19 plants to get you going.
1. Cherry Tomatoes
Heck to the yes! Slice them in half and toss 'em into your salad? Oh baby. Or maybe you're feeling feisty and you eat them with some fresh basil and mozzarella for a little caprese action. I'm going to need a moment here.
You're going to sound v. fancy when you have a guest over and they ask, "What is that amazing fragrance?" And you're all, "Oh, that's just my rosemary plant that I planted with my own two hands all by myself. NBD."
3. Aloe Vera
Strange rash? Put some aloe vera on it. Bad sunburn? Put some aloe vera on it. An ex significant other that Facebook keeps suggesting you become friends with? Put some aloe vera on it.
Fine, I'll be the one to say what we're all thinking: these are going to photograph beautifully for your Instagram page.
Gardenia.com says that they might be tricky to grow, but it's totes worth the effort once you get a gander of those creamy white petals, the deep green leaves, and the aroma... Lord almighty, the aroma.
Sure, you might stick a wedge of it in your ice water, but Texas A&M University Health Science Center says there's a whole lot more to lemon than that. Its vitamin C makes it a powerful antioxidant, which can benefit your skin and immune system. Bonus!
Heartburn be damned! We're going to add extra jalapeños into our salsa and we're going to enjoy every bite of it. Don't @ me.
8. Angel's Trumpet
They're bell-shaped and beautiful, and according to Curiosity, they can also put you in the hospital. Eating them can make you hallucinate and even "induce a dangerous, zombie-like state." No snacking — you've been warned.
It's great in pasta and with your chicken, and there's even more than that. The University of Michigan says that its leaves and seeds have been used in medicine, particularly in India and Southeast Asia. For instance, basil might help relieve constipation and gas. Fun!
It smells like heaven and unicorns, and according to information published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it can promote relaxation; treat burns, bug bites, infections, and spasms; stabilize mood; and even be effective in treating various neurological disorders. Also, it's pretty.
Charlotte York once claimed in Sex and the City that carnations are "filler flowers," but Teleflora says their history dates back more than 2,000 years, and its various colors symbolize love, luck, admiration, and affection.
13. Pink Princess Philodendron
The Old Farmer's Almanac writes that sunflowers are super tough, easy to grow, and heat- and drought-resistant. While some can grow to be more than 16 feet high, there are smaller breeds available today. Nothing screams summer like sunflowers.
Maybe you've heard of daffodils? The Flower Expert says "Narcissus" comes from the Greek "narke," which means numbness or stupor. This might be a reference to the plant's narcotic fragrance or perhaps the poisonous nature of the bulbs.
16. Illawarra Flame Tree
The San Diego Zoo says they're native to rainforests in Australia, although they can grow in more mild climates, too. The tree quite literally looks like it's on fire, but, you know, in a good way.
Its leaves are bright purple, pink, red, and green, and I do believe they'll add a beautiful pop of color to your living room. Plus, Burpee refers to them as "easy-going," which is promising news to this writer, who tends to kill all plants and maybe a goldfish here and there. (It was an accident.)
18. Scotch Bonnets
It's a type of pepper — according to PepperScale, one of the spicier ones. In fact, it can be anywhere from 12 to 140 times hotter than jalapeños, the sound of which already makes my stomach hurt.
Crocuses have a big fan club because they're some of the first flowers to pop through the snow, says The Old Farmer's Almanac. They come back every year with minimal care, and they can be pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, or blue.