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To Name or Not to Name? The Millennial Plant Parent Crisis

You spot the perfect plant to bring home. You pick it up and head to the check out. All the way home you think of the best spot to put it. Where will Rosie, the miniature rosebush, be set to grow?

On social media and in online plant communities, there is the growing trend of being a plant mom, dad or parent.

Just like the fur babies (pets) that seemly replace or subvert the desire to have children, plant parents are taking ownership and “playing house” with their new plants. A plant parent is responsible to take care and provide for their plants. Plant parents must check on their plants to look for illness, water them, feed them fertilizers and overall help them grow. Plants are a more affordable option in comparison to having a child, and this has been an attractive feature to millennials. We have helicopter plant parents, non-strict plant parents and, sadly, those who are prone to complete negligence.  

Woman pushing a potted plant in a blue baby stroller.

As plant parents get a new plant, they sometimes like to name them. We get basic human-like names such as Carl the cactus, or maybe something different like Vixen the monstera. Plant parents are proud of their succulents, cacti and greenery, so it makes sense that they would want to give them an endearing name.

However, I find I end up propagating most of my plants. I currently have a small room within a shared townhouse, so unless the plant dies I will need to split it up as it gets too big. I don’t like the idea of ripping little Sally the succulent apart.

What do I name the new pieces? Sally 2.0? No, thank you!

I’d much rather simply accept the beauty my plants have and move on. I’d prefer to think of myself as a loving caretaker who welcomes living things as they come, go and change without the need for labels.

Light pink and green pastel overgrowing plant GIF by Stefanie Shank
Plants grow and grow until they no longer fit in their small home.

I have friends who are adamant about naming their plants. Does that make them a better plant owner? I don’t think so, but it could change their relationship with it. It may give someone who is not as interested in plants and just jumping on the indoor plant trend a more meaningful connection with their plant. It could spark the initiative to take care of a plant regularly. However, if your plant dies, there may be more negativity surrounding the loss than in the case if it was not named.

For those who do want to name their plants, Mashable has posted a list of 99 name suggestions.

My favourites from the list include:
  • Snake Gyllenhaal (for a snake plant)
  • The name of the person who sold the plant to you at The Home Depot
  • Pearl
  • Majesty
  • Lil Plant

I collect and buy plants because I like the way they look in my living space. I don’t have the intention of making them my plant babies. I have the motivation to take care of them because I want them to look good and I appreciate the challenge of keeping them alive, which again ensures they look nice as part of my home décor.

I’d like to know; do you name your plants? If so, what are their names? If you’re looking to expand your plant family, you can find my favourite garden centres here.

Do you think people should name their plants? Let me know below.

Remember that whether you choose to name or not to name, a vibrant living space is the best thing of all.

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