Who doesn’t like a lively living room, bedroom, and balcony? Be it our home, office or personal cabin, the interiors are just a reflection of us. Some want it to be vibrant, some want it to be subtle and some want it to be thematic, but if you are an anthophilist, with no further doubts you will love the sight of plants be it in your home or your office.
But, from where did the idea of houseplants creep in? Did any of us think of the history behind it? Not really right? This blog gives you a bit of knowledge on how the concept of indoor plants came into existence.
In the Past
The concept of indoor plants was first brought together around 600 B.C by king Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. History explains to us that he ordered the gardens for his adorable wife, Queen Amytis as she was fond of greeneries and the sight of plants around her reminded her of her birthplace.
Later on in the 400-500 B.C. timeframe, wealthy Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks started nurturing ornamentals and fruiting plants. They were well known for growing houseplants in their vast estates.
Potted plants were also used by earlier civilizations including Ancient Egypt, India, and China, although predominantly in courtyards and outside areas.
Unique practises of dwarfing trees for ornamental purposes were found in the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese civilizations and were popularly known as Bonsai. These miniature trees were made to resemble fully-grown trees in nature and to mimic natural landscapes, which were frequently combined with beautiful rocks and even water elements.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, plants were produced for practical purposes (mainly for food and medicine) rather than for attraction or beauty, and indoor plants were predominantly found in monasteries.
In the Victorian era and industrialization, ferns were quite popular because of their lush, dense foliage, and they were frequently used in jardinieres, which are pillar-shaped containers.
Reflection of Status
Back in those days, indoor plants were basically grown for decorative and ornamental purposes. Such plants portrayed the class and wealth of people and they were meant for the rich and affluent class only.
The citrus tree was considered to be the tree of status; and to protect these specimens from the biting cold of the winter, greenhouses and orangeries were grown. Greenhouses were places in which a collection of evergreen and tender plants were grown.
The inventory list of 1682 consisted of orange trees, lemon trees, and tubs with myrtles
An Olden Days’ Room-Freshener
The indoor plants were known for their flowery scent in the early 17th century, and were grown for masking musty odours. The plants were also considered a mood-enhancer owing to their colourful flowers and intoxicating fragrances.
Potted houseplants first appeared in the latter half of the 1920s. Southern California was home to the first nursery to provide the market with potted houseplants.
The orchid became popular in the 1990s since it was the most radical plant species, which combined femininity with its renowned sculptural forms.
Early in the 2000s, houseplants saw a comeback in popularity. They have since remained steadfast elements of home decor trends for the past 20 years, with water-wise variety taking centre stage. Succulents, cacti, and hardy plants like sansevierias and snake plants continue to rule the landscape owing to climate change.
Today, this wide variety of coveting plants are no longer considered a symbol of status, but are grown in personal regions to add an aesthetic look to their space, for health benefits, and as an oxygen purifier.