During the past year of coronavirus-induced quarantine, we’ve all had to find a hobby. Learning calligraphy? Playing lawn golf? Building furniture for squirrels? Hey, whatever kept you going through the long, tedious days.
And then there were those (like me) who brought the outdoors indoors, in the form of potted plants. Big ones, little ones, even itty-bitty ones.
And after 365-plus days of vegetation co-habitation, many Americans are now full-on obsessed with their plants.
I get it. I have plants ranging from a 15-year-old money tree to the seven new cactuses I acquired during the pandemic—for a total of 26 green friends, more plants than I can responsibly care for, try as I might.
Plant nerds have a term for those among us with an obsessive number of plants: “hoarder culturists.” Are you a hoarder culturist, or at risk of becoming one? Here are the top signs you’re plant-obsessed.
1. You live (and sleep) in a jungle
Talk about #greengoals. Instead of sleeping under the stars, you sleep under the roots.
If you need a machete to carve a path from one room to another, it’s a sign you should truly cut back on your plant habit.
2. You shower with your plants
Rub-a-dub-dub, you like your plants near your tub. And there’s good reason for having plants in your bathroom: It makes watering said plants a snap, and vegetation of many species (such as ferns) will bask in the added humidity.
Still, if most of your water usage starts flowing toward watering your plants rather than to your personal hygiene, you might have a problem. (And no, reasoning that no one can see you or smell you other than your “green friends,” due to quarantine, is not a valid reason to skip showers).
3. You freak out when you see a brown (or yellow) leaf
Taking care of oftentimes persnickety plants is just as wonderfully distracting as it is decidedly therapeutic.
You can nerd out over a new leaf growing, and you can freak out when you see said leaf turn brown or yellow. If only there were a plant ER to rush your ailing plants to.
4. You refer to yourself as a ‘plant mom’ (or dad) and to your plants as your ‘babies’
Begone, cliché of the crazy cat lady. Enter a bright new era of plant moms and dads.
Plant parents celebrate their plant babies as heartily as other parents celebrate their child’s soccer win. And that’s not that crazy, is it? (OK, fine. There is a #crazyplantladyisthenewcrazycatlady hashtag out there.)
5. You give your plants names
Some plants are easy to name. A philodendron can easily become Phyllis D. Endon.
But the oh-so-popular rubber tree plant? Time to break out the book of baby names and start compiling a Top 10 list. Bob just won’t cut it.
6. You have a plant wall
Who needs paperback books and random knickknacks on shelving when you can have plants, glorious plants? The chlorophyll alone in this home must be simply intoxicating.
7. You talk to your plants and think of them as your ‘friends’
You: Hello, my green beauty. How’s your morning?
You: I get it, you haven’t eaten yet. Wait here while I fetch you some delicious mist.
Plant: (Smiles imperceptibly.)
8. You post plant throwback pics
Old prom photos? You and your childhood friends? That dated hairstyle? All pale when you can post a throwback snapshot of you with a giant pothos from your 1980s childhood.
9. You take plant family portraits
Trying to take a good family photo is one of the most frustrating tasks in the universe. No one will stand still, and cousin Leon always blinks.
So long, unruly mob of siblings and cousins. Hello, plant family. Everyone say: “Acidic soil!”
10. You get a plant tattoo
As someone with more than one macramé plant hanger and a philodendron (which is acting up), I feel that this tattoo hits the spot.
What’s better than a plant that never needs water, looks good in direct and indirect sun, and that you can take with you on vacation?
11. Your house looks like, well, a houseplant
You know you’re in deep when you not only decorate with plants, but you base your entire color scheme on plant life. Who said it isn’t easy being green? Clearly, not a plant person.
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