Did someone say plants?

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Be real with yourself: are you the ‘plant friend’?

College students and their obsession with plants

There is a seemingly unexplainable and widespread phenomenon that no one seems to be talking about. When some people hit their twenties they get really, and I mean really, into plants. 

Either you know who your plant friend is, or you are the plant friend, and in that case, hello my kinfolk.

So what is it about plants that have us all so obsessed? Are we really so vain that we’re drawn to the foliage as an adage to our social media pages? Or is there a deeper connection that draws us towards our leafy friends?

Hard as it may be to believe, for many of us, plants are a way to deal with growing concerns over the state of the environment. Raging fires on the West Coast destroying unbelievable amounts of wildlife? Here’s a little pothos to ease the grief.

Neville Ellis, an environmental psychology researcher, discussed how plants can be an anticipatory move on behalf of the environment. “People may grieve for losses in the natural world that have not yet occurred but are thought to occur in the future.”

By filling our rooms, apartments and homes with plants, we are unconsciously trying to fill our lives with nature, fearing the loss of it in the future. In a Gallup poll, 70% of adults under 34 worried about global warming, as compared to 29% for those over 55. 

The upward trend in plant buying from our generation is directly tied to our increased concerns over the environment. A reverence for all things green can easily lead to gathering your own little collection of nature. We may not be able to protect the environment from climate change, but we can try to protect ourselves from overwatering our house plants. 

Plant collecting is also a valid tool for self-care. There are days when I haven’t showered, my to-do list is 40 items long and I wake up at noon, but I’ll be damned if all my plants aren’t existing under the perfect light and water conditions. 

To all my plant-obsessed people out there, it’s not just us. The National Gardening Association reported that U.S. sales of indoor plants have soared almost 50% since 2016, with those under 40 making up the biggest buying block.

In droves, Americans are taking care of themselves in the form of dirt-caked hands and mister bottles. 

And you know what, maybe some people are just buying plants because they look pretty, so what? We are the generation that will eat ramen noodles for a month straight but spend $200 in one go on crystals and shoes. We don’t have much, but what we do have typically makes us pretty happy. 

Life is better with a dracaena in the corner and a gnat trying to get into your tea. Plant people, we’re not perfect, we’re trying to save the environment and our own mental health through non-sentient greenery, but hey, at least we are trying.

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