• Louis Parker

Do you name your houseplants?

Updated: May 10, 2021

By Louis Parker

Photo by Louis Parker

The annual National Gardening Survey found that Gen Z and Millenials are buying more house plants than ever with sales doubling over the past three years. But why are Gen Z and Millennials so attracted to houseplants?

Studies have shown that growing houseplants in your home has psychological benefits such as: an improved mood, reduced stress levels, increased worker productivity (adding plants to office environments in particular), increased speed of reaction in a computer task and improved attention span (in some scientific studies, but not all).

Perhaps it is partly due to the fact that Instagram seems to be filled with aesthetic potted house plants photos in beautiful apartments? Or with Gen Z’s being proven to struggle the most with mental health problems, could this could be a factor?


GIF: Giphy

An article by Houseplant Resource Centre says that as a generation that has been hit by competitive job markets and rising housing prices, Millennials and Gen Zers are waiting longer to start families or choosing to not have children at all. They say that as humans we have an innate need to nurture something and house plants might scratch that itch for some.

Joe Wright, 21, is the owner of over 50 houseplants which he keeps in his home in Derby. He says that like many, his collection of house plants started with one, and quickly grew into a hobby.

“I got my first houseplant in my second year of university when I moved into my first uni house,” says Wright, “my reasoning at the time was that I’d have something to look after that relied on my input to flourish and from there we just started getting more and more and they became less of a project and more like a member of the house.

A small collection of Wright's house plant collections

“We have some plants which are great for cleaning and producing clean air like the snake plants, or our Aloe Vera’s which we use to soothe burns and cuts. My girlfriend even puts Aloe Vera gel in her smoothies.”

But clearly not all Gen Z’s fit the stereotype. Beatriz Lopez, 21, is a Gen Z who hates house plants and ‘doesn’t get the fad’.

“It makes no sense to have plants in the house. A plant is basically a baby or a pet but you don’t get any of the benefits of having a baby or a pet - you have to dust it,” She says in a semi-jokingly tone, “you have to feed it, you have to water it, and what do you get in return? Absolutely nothing. You get something that smells, that has insects in it, that dies easily.”

Beatriz talks about why she doesn't like house plants...

But Wright disagrees, “I feel healthier and happier around my houseplants and in my opinion, any room with four walls feels less like a cage and more like a home.”

Do you name your houseplants?

A report by Southern Living says that you SHOULD name your house plant because it is healthy to connect with our ‘nurturing’ side.

“Each has a unique name to them as that gives them more personality,” Says Wright, “my favourite is the first bonsai tree I bought that started dying pretty much instantly so I called it Richard,” Wright laughs, “so I can call it dick.”

'Dick' Wright's problematic Bonsai tree

What do you think? Are you a ‘plant parent’, do you name your house plants? Or do you agree with Beatriz? Let us know below!