Look up hashtags like #plantparenthood and #plantsofinstagram, and you’ll see millions of images full of greenery: indoor jungles with bright white and light wood interiors letting giant leaves take center stage. They’re gorgeous, of course. Yet, each time I see another plant-filled room pop up on my feed, all I see is dust, dirt, and dead leaves.
Yes, I’m here to admit: I’m over the plant parent trend.
It started a few years back when millennials, fresh off their avocado toast, started collecting succulents. These small, rubbery plants, with their “easy to grow” branding, eventually gave way to monsteras, and, before we knew it, it seemed as if propagating plants had become as pervasive as painted arches and designer candles.
Each time I see another plant-filled room pop up on my feed, all I see is dust, dirt, and dead leaves.
So, despite their lush appeal, why do I maintain a bah-humbug attitude towards indoor vegetation? Let’s go through a few of the reasons.
Air Purification is a Marketing Ploy
I’m sure you’ve heard it before: plants help purify the air. They filter the toxins and dangerous chemicals out of the air and turn out refreshing, life-giving oxygen. Except...they don’t. Or, at least not at a level that makes a difference for humans. Scientists broke the news to us a few years ago–but don’t tell all the plant stores selling purifying plants.
They Can Play Host to Bugs
I know bugs can get inside regardless, but I don’t want to give them a dirt-filled place to hide in my home. From the mealybug infestation I dealt with on a jade plant’s roots to the aphid invasion that caused a friend to get rid of an entire indoor tree, I have the heebie-jeebies just writing this. Perhaps you’ve got a stronger stomach than me, but I can’t look at a collection of plants knowing there could be creepy crawlers lurking.
Dust, Dust, and More Dust
I don’t know many people that enjoy dusting, but, I know you’re out there. So, why would I give myself more items to brush off on a regular basis–particularly when they’re sitting in dust-producing dirt? For someone who looks for efficiency, a conservatory of plants in my living room is simply too high-maintenance.
Potential Damage to Furniture and Flooring
Water is often the enemy of furniture and flooring, particularly wood floors, and plants need water. Put those together and it can be a recipe for disaster.
The lighting for plants is so hard to get right. There is exactly one plant in my home, and it’s a terrarium of succulents that have been with us through several years and a move. Despite its diminutive size, this 6”x6” glass octagon requires so much care. Sometimes, it’s finicky and prefers the sun. Sometimes, it needs a little break and a drink. Who has the time for this?
Toxicity Risk for Pets
If you have pets, you have to be careful in which plants you choose to bring into your home, and, even if the plant isn’t technically toxic, that doesn’t mean a curious pet won’t eat it. I say this from experience with a cat who becomes laser-focused the minute anything green comes through our door.
Allergens in Your Home
Pollen inside is not different than pollen outside. So, if you’re allergic to pollen, plant parenthood is likely going to lead to itchy eyes and a runny nose. Who needs that?
Lastly, the Need for a Plant Sitter
Last, but not least, human parenthood means you have to hire a babysitter. Pet parenthood means you have to hire a pet sitter. And, plant parenthood means you have to hire—yes, a plant sitter. That’s simply a commitment that’s a step too far for me.
But, all this being said, if you love your plants, don’t let me spoil your fun. I’ll just keep my plant parenthood confined happily to my outdoor garden where the rain waters my flowers, the pollen stays outside, and I never need to hire someone to stop by and tend to my indoor greenhouse.