Dan’s Definitive History of Houseplants

Dan in Welltended
Jul 7, 2017 · 4 min read

Ever wonder how the idea of indoor plant ownership became rooted in our culture?

Curious, I performed a few pointed Google searches and found that the origins of houseplants date back to early human history! Houseplants were once status symbols of wealth and luxury meant to impress; only recently have they become more accessible for all people. For today’s Friday Unwind, I’m sharing my very brief, highly annotated history of houseplants!

Neolithic Origins

Hanging with Babylon

A 19th century drawing of the Babylonian hanging gardens. Illustration by Dutch artist Martin Heemskerck.

Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans

An Egyptian Pharaoh and his queen clearly arguing over houseplant varieties. (Photo in Public Domain)
Romans clearly overcome with joy are traditionally flailing about their new houseplant. (Photo in Public Domain)

Miniature Potted Plants

Renaissance Resurgence

Famously, wealthy individuals created orangeries, which were early greenhouses that allowed the growth of citrus during winter months. After Christopher Columbus and his explorations, wealthy individuals wanting to showcase exotic plants from across the oceans found that the humidity of the orangeries suited their plants well.

Renaissance still life by Hans Memling

Victorian Growth

A heated Victorian debate on their favorite houseplants. Credit: Public Domain

Modern Era

No longer a status symbol only for wealth, the houseplant has now become a symbol of beauty, wellness, and clean living. At Welltended, we believe everyone should have houseplants, and we’re working to remove the hassle and stress of acquiring and caring for your home and office plants.

Do you have more information about how we came to love having plants in our homes and offices? Email dan@welltended.com with more info, we’d love to refine this overview of the history of houseplants.


Plants for Welltended spaces | Make home your happy place


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Plant expert @welltended.com


Plants for Welltended spaces | Make home your happy place