Often native to tropical climates in Asia and South America, house plants are stunningly beautiful collector's items that grow.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I've gone from owning three or four plants to somewhere around 40, and that number is only growing. Some say that the crazy plant lady is the new cat lady, meaning you're an obsessive shut-in and one is never enough.

From various types of pothos plants, succulents and monsteras to the less "everywhere" ones: alocasias, calatheas and tradescantias. Houseplant hobbyists and professionals take all of this very seriously. The rare cebu blue pothos, with its iridescent blue shimmer in the right light, can go for $25 or more for a single cutting, and upwards of $100 for a well-established plant. The monstera albo, a variegated version of the monstera deliciosa, or "swiss cheese plant," has beautiful splashes of bright white among the green, and a small one would never go for less than $200.

Often native to tropical climates in Asia and South America, house plants are stunningly beautiful collector's items that grow. It's like having baseball cards that multiply – just cut a bit off one plant and start growing another. That cutting can become a swap or a gift or a money-maker, depending on whether you want to expand your own collection, make a friend happy or start a small side hustle.

Happily, I've started doing all of the above. My bedroom is now covered in green, purple and other tropical plant colors, too, and while that's great in an aesthetically satisfying sense, it also gives me an immense sense of fulfillment. The care and growth of various house plants is an art form – you have to feel out what to pot it in, when to water it and how much light it needs. There's a little bit of research involved, a little bit of attention.

Even just choosing where to put a houseplant is a little act of feng shui. Where are you going to enjoy looking at it, but where will it be happy? I find that I am constantly conjuring up ways to fit more plants on my windowsills and in that one sweet spot with bright indirect light.

We are spending more time in our homes than ever before, so why not cultivate a little jungle to clear up your mental health and purify your air? Whether you start out with an easy beginner plant like a golden pothos, or you go full throttle and buy a plant shelf and grow lights, it's only going to brighten up your life.

Anyway, I recommend it. However, I will warn you – plant people can be a bit crazy, and the house plant world can end up being a deep dive you didn't realize existed. Nowadays, I spend half of my extra spending money on plants, and half my extra time caring for them. 

You don't need to make any crazy plant commitments, but I'll admit it, I have. And it's great. So, for anyone looking for trades or starting out, I have a new hobby for you.