Many people like talking to their plants, believing it aids their growth, with Prince Charles2 possibly the most high-profile nature natterer. With the UK continuing to experience an outright houseplant obsession, flatshare site SpareRoom has today launched the first ever bedtime stories for plants – specifically designed for ‘plant parents’ to read aloud to their ‘plant babies’ to encourage botanical development.
According to a study from the Royal Horticultural Society3, speaking to plants could positively affect their growth. What’s more, at night plants use the energy they stored up during the day through photosynthesis and the darkness can also trigger plants to fruit, set seed of flower4. This all suggests that the twilight hours are an important time for plant development.
With this in mind, and with the knowledge that one in five (21%) flatsharers already chat to their plants, SpareRoom set about creating the first ever piece of literature for the leafy, making it easier than ever for people to give their plants a daily dose of vocal encouragement.
Bedtime Stories for Plants, written by children’s author Alice Hemming and illustrated by Livi Gosling, includes a collection of three short stories5 entitled ‘The Three Ferns’, ‘Longing’ and ‘What Goes Around’. The stories are designed to be read aloud to plants and can be downloaded for free from SpareRoom as an eBook (here) or audiobook (here).
In recent years houseplants have experienced a huge surge in popularity, with over 2.4million posts tagged #houseplant on Instagram. Houseplants have become especially favoured among millennial flatsharers, with 76% now owning them. According to those flatsharers surveyed by SpareRoom, a third (34%) say they take on plant parenthood so that they have something to nurture, love and take care of, while 15% actually have names for all their plants. What’s more, over a quarter (27%) care for their plants so deeply they wouldn’t trust even their housemates to look after them properly while they’re away.
It’s not just houseplants that could benefit from having the bedtime stories read aloud to them. Communicating with nature could also improve the reader’s mental health, with some people finding that regular reading sessions with plants can help fight anxiety6.
Matt Hutchinson, Director of SpareRoom adds: “Owning a property seems like a distant dream for many young renters but living somewhere that feels like home shouldn’t be. With so few tenancies allowing pets or letting tenants redecorate, we’re seeing more and more people are turning to houseplants as the ideal way to personalise their space.
It makes perfect sense. Plants can totally change the feel of even the most functional space, plus they’re relatively affordable and, unlike bulky furniture or colour schemes, you can take them with you when you move.”
Plant expert and gardening blogger Angela Slater comments: “Talking to your plants is not only beneficial to their health but also your own mental well-being. If you’re stuck for something to say and think that you’re going to feel a bit of an idiot, then these stories are just the thing to get you started.”
The Bedtime Stories for Plants book can be downloaded by proud plant parents here. For those wanting to reap the benefits without having to chat themselves, SpareRoom has also created an audiobook version of the bedtime stories which can be played to plants here.