This post was originally published on Michigan Chronicle

Do you smell that?  

It is the purified air house plants can provide to their environment. Planting and gardening have become a major hit for millennials. Amongst its largely growing demographic, Black women are reclaiming their roots and finding peace in soil.  

Black women add a unique sense of wonder to whatever they touch and this includes nature’s most sacred gift, plants. By adding greenery to a space, it not only adds to the aesthetic of the room, but can also help you breathe a little easier. 

Co-founders Aaron Dawson and Bianca Burns launched Plant Economy as an online shop with specialty products especially for plant lovers. Launched in July 2020, the e-commerce store features all items handcrafted in Detroit. Through its brand Plant Economy encourages growth, expressing gratitude and promoting and spreading positivity.  

“Plant Economy’s original collections featured a variety of planters from two inches to six inches, as well as accessories and apparel, all designed to encourage growth, show gratitude and promote positivity. As we plant more seeds in the world, our community highlights and connects Black plant lovers, shop owners, artists, florists, botanists, designers and creators with the goal of advancing wellness and economic prosperity,” says Burns.  

Plants can be beneficial to those with certain breathing issues by acting as a natural air purifier. Plants, being sources of energy themselves, can also provide energy for planters. Helping to establish a routine, plants add life to a room while helping provide an outlet for stress.  

“Plants enhance any space by offering a cleansed atmosphere, a pop of color and ongoing healing simply through routine care. Pothos plants, for example, purify air of toxins, like carbon monoxide, through photosynthesis. With a little TLC, they grow an abundance of bright, beautiful foliage in or out of soil – a reminder that like plants, we can bloom anywhere we are planted,” says Burns.  

While careers in botany, or the study of plants, is made up of just under three percent of African Americans, that three percent are listed as the highest paid demographic. Black women are paving the way in this career field.  

Companies like Plant Economy are invested in guiding new plant lovers through their first green experience and connect all aspects of planting.  

The healing mechanisms in planting and gardening extend back to the ancestry of African people. Enriched in the makeup of Black culture, the Earth has always played a major role in the lives of African Americans. With the uptick of Black women joining the ranks, taking care of their green babies has become rewarding and a community experience.  

“In addition to boosting the aesthetic of any room, plants continuously offer us more than the average eye can see. Spending time nurturing plants, repotting them, and even shopping for them is therapeutic, [a] self-care practice. Watching each new leaf sprout is extremely rewarding, especially after a long day of work, and serves as a way to ground yourself in gratitude,” says Bianca Burns, co-founder of Plant Economy.  

For those interested in getting into the plant game, Plant Economy offers planter sets and suggests some easy start plants.  

“Plant Economy’s co-founder, Aaron Dawson, and I always suggest two plants for first time plant parents: Snake (Sansevieria) plants and ZZ (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) plants. Not only do they fit perfectly in our signature 6” planters, but they are forgiving, low maintenance plants, requiring minimal light and overall care,” says Burns. “For extended plant life, all plant parents should practice spending quality time with their plants. Set aside time to love on your plants and do some research to reassure you are providing the care your greenery deserves. A quick Google search can help identify how a plant will thrive in any space, as well as appropriate watering schedules, sun to shade ratios and soil mixtures needed to ensure your plants grow with you.”  

The post How Plants Are Helping Black Women Heal  appeared first on The Michigan Chronicle.