The Healing Properties of Houseplants

Girl sitting in a room surrounded by houseplants and a labrador dog
Foto de Smrithi Rao en Unsplash

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to stay at home, many turned to the soothing act of growing and nurturing plants, and this “plant parenting” trend continued long after. Plants can be seen as a symbol of hope and resilience. There's something truly special about watching your plants grow and flourish, knowing that even during difficult times, life goes on.

While millennials have popularized the idea of plant parenthood, our Latine community has always had a green thumb. Our parents and abuelos have always had lush gardens or indoor plants that they care for. It’s no coincidence that while many have used plants as a way to cope lately, our parents and abuelos have been doing the same for generations.

The correlation between caring for plants and improvement in mental health has been proven, and this leads us to believe that our community has been onto something for years. While many immigrants have moved from rural and green spaces to more urban and compact cities in the United States, their practices of caring for plants remained the same. We have known our families to have indoor plants that fill our living spaces, and those with yards tend to start growing trees that will bear fruit.

Plants have an undeniable calming effect and have been shown to reduce stress levels. Just being around plants can lower blood pressure and help us feel less anxious. Indoor plants can also boost our mood, making us feel more relaxed and happy. In fact, studies have shown that greenery can even reduce symptoms of depression.

By removing harmful toxins from the air, plants can also lead to better respiratory health, which in turn can improve our overall wellbeing. And if you're looking to increase productivity and creativity, adding plants to your workspace could do the trick. By improving concentration and focus, plants have been shown to boost productivity and help us think more creatively.

So, in honor of our community and to encourage the improvement of mental health, we put together a list of plants that many of us grew up seeing at home. Who knows, maybe you’ll feel inspired to get one of your own.

Pothos Plant

A collection of cuttings from a Devil's Ivy or Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) variety. There are three small jars of water, each containing several clippings with a number of leaves that have begun to shoot out new roots. They sit on a timber table, with the afternoon sun shining on them through a nearby window. A coffee table book, a vase and a lemon are also on the table, with a Pantone artwork in the background.

Photo by Jacob Spaccavento on Unsplash

One of the easiest plants to care for is a Pothos plant. It is also known for being one of the best plants to improve indoor air quality, it can be styled in many ways, including on tables, bookshelves, or hung to show off its vines. It’s no wonder it makes an appearance in nearly every Latino household.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Plant in a spitoon planter

Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

Many know Aloe Vera as a medicinal plant. It is a low-key plant that grows best in dry conditions and well-lit spaces. The nostalgia of Aloe Vera plants will have you remembering the ways in which your mom used it to treat sunburns and even face masks.


Lush fern on the windowsill in the old room.

Photo by Victoria Strukovskaya on Unsplash

Quickly recognized for their divided leaves, these plants do well in shaded areas, making them the perfect indoor plant as long as you keep them in cool and open area spaces.


Cute little terracotta cactus pots in evening sun

Photo by LUM3N on Unsplash

Best known for how easy it is to care for them and their long life, cacti are perfect for any home. They’re aesthetically pleasing and require very little maintenance!

Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Photo by Teona Swift:

This plant always makes the easy-to-care-for lists. It doesn’t need much water, in fact, during the winter months, and if there is decent humidity, it only needs to be watered once or twice during the entire season.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily

Photo by Karolina Grabowska:

This plant hails from Central and South America and Southeastern Asia, making it a no-brainer that it ends up in so many Latino households. The white flowers add a little pop to the green, and with its ability to survive in little to moderate light and very little water, it’s perfect for new plant parents.

a four image collage featuring queer actresses MJ Rodriguez, Aubrey Plaza, Tessa Thompson and Sara Ramirez

Amid the ongoing push towards equality and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, the influence of public figures who identify as part of this community is undeniably crucial. They contribute to this narrative significantly, their impact transcending their professional boundaries to create safe spaces and ignite discussions that shatter stereotypes and nurture inclusivity. Today, we shine a spotlight on four prominent Latina trailblazers who are making their mark:

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson, an Afro-Panamanian actress, has earned widespread recognition for her performances in films like "Creed" and "Thor: Ragnarok". Thompson is open about her bisexuality and uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ representation in the entertainment industry. Her role in "Thor: Ragnarok" is considered a landmark as Valkyrie is one of the first explicitly queer characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the explicitness of Valkyrie's bisexuality was contested in the cinematic release, Thompson has confirmed and embraced this aspect of the character. Thompson continues to champion diversity in media, raising the bar for representation in Hollywood.

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza, of Puerto Rican and Irish descent, is widely known for her role as April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation". Plaza publicly came out as bisexual in 2016, and she has since been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. By openly discussing her bisexuality, she has helped increase visibility and eliminate the stigma associated with non-heterosexual orientations. Additionally, her portrayal of queer characters, like in the film "Happiest Season", provides much-needed representation and adds to the authenticity of LGBTQ+ characters in media.

Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez, a Mexican-American actress, singer, and activist, is best known for her role as Dr. Callie Torres on "Grey's Anatomy". Ramirez, who identifies as non-binary and bisexual, has been a tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Their portrayal of Dr. Torres, one of the longest-running queer characters on television, has significantly influenced the way bisexuality is understood and depicted in popular media. Off-screen, Ramirez is heavily involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy, serving on the board of organizations like True Colors United, which works to combat homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth.

MJ Rodriguez

MJ Rodriguez, of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, has made history as a trailblazer for transgender individuals, particularly in the world of television. Rodriguez's groundbreaking role as Blanca Evangelista on "Pose" earned her critical acclaim and marked a significant milestone for trans representation on screen. Rodriguez is open about her identity as a trans woman, leveraging her platform to call attention to issues affecting the transgender community. Her achievements, both as an actress and activist, provide a beacon of hope and inspiration for transgender individuals worldwide.

Through their activism and their work in the media, these prominent figures are not only changing the conversation around LGBTQ+ rights and representation but also shaping a more inclusive and accepting future. In honoring their contributions, we also acknowledge the progress still needed and the ongoing efforts of countless others in the fight for equality and acceptance.