Summer Rayne Oakes, a bestselling author and environmental activist, has a pretty enviable green thumb. She keeps over 1,100 plants in her 1,200-square-foot apartment (that’s around one plant per square foot!), tending to each one with individualized care. Oakes fosters relationships with every species that lives in her “green womb” of a home, as she lovingly calls it.
On this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, I sat down with Oakes to discuss the best ways to care for houseplants, as well as what newbies should look out for before committing to a plant pal.
While surrounding yourself with plants has been associated with physical benefits like stress reduction (yes, really!), Oakes argues that there are less-acknowledged mental benefits of caring for greenery as well. Tending to plants can get you out of your own head for a little, and she says that the process of cultivating and nurturing your surroundings can be soothing.
In fact, taking care of houseplants is a lot like tending to your relationships with other people, Oakes says. It can be stressful at times, frustrating at others—but always rewarding. Here’s Oakes’ cheeky take on why purchasing a houseplant can actually feel pretty similar to going on a date. Could horticulture become the new dating culture?