Dating is full of patterns and trends, from the methods we use to meet people to the activities we do on dates (personally, I think being stuck in an escape room with someone you’ve just met is a terrible idea). One common pattern in dating is to look for a potential beau that we might share similar interests with. For some, it might be hiking; others might muse over books and cuisine. But there’s a growing number of people searching for their future SO, BAE, or FWB with a very specific interest in mind: plants.
This could be attributed to the explosion in popularity for plants over the past 10 years – particularly houseplants (but this is very much expanding into garden plants, tropical plants, alpines and more). More recently, many people grew their plant collections over the pandemic and, because of this, it became far more likely to see a plant or two creeping into the background of a photo on Tinder profiles. It became a topic to ignite conversation: “Oh, you like orchids? Have you seen this variety?”… and the back-and-forth would roll on from there.
In fact a US study recently found that 35% of single people see plant ownership as a turn-on. But why? What is it about owning plants that can make someone more attractive? Here are my thoughts:
What’s so attractive about plant ownership?
As I mentioned earlier, finding someone who shares an interest with you is often a good starting point for dating. If you’re interested in plants, and as is your date, you can chat all evening long about how your David Austin roses are holding up in the hot weather, or whether your alocasia has dropped a leaf.
Not only that, but learning from your date, or vice versa, is a sure way to develop your relationship. Perhaps they have a propagation method that will save you time. Whatever it is, knowledge can be sexy, and if they know their plants, that’s super hot!
Indication of responsibility management
We often talk about responsibilities in terms of holding down a job or caring for children. However, in an uncertain job market, and in a climate where many people are having children later or not at all, plant care could be a small indicator as to whether a potential suitor can take responsibilities seriously.
If their home or garden is full of dead plants because they haven’t cared for them properly, are they really going to care about other things, such as remembering to meet you for your date, or how you like your cup of tea? Take this with a pinch of salt, of course – there could have been a tragedy in the family, or perhaps all their plants belonged to their ex and they’re killing them on purpose (possibly a bit psychotic, though). A load of dead plants does not necessarily make a bad person, but it could give you some insight into how they view responsibility.
Ability to care and nurture
Do they talk to their monstera while they’re feeding it, as if it’s their baby? Then they may be a bit lonely, but at least they’re not afraid to care for and nurture their plants. And if that’s the case, then they’re probably more likely to nurture and put effort into building a relationship.
Some plants can be finicky, with special requirements that stretch beyond giving them a glug of water every few days. So, if their fiddle leaf fig is thriving, it could be a good indicator that they’re the caring type. However, cacti and succulents might also count for something…
Pride in their home
One reason why people deck out their homes and gardens with plants is the aesthetic. Plants tend to bring visual appeal to a space, and so a house with a good amount of healthy, lush plants tends to seem more attractive than one devoid of greenery or flowers
So what does this say about a person? Some people believe that if you take pride in how your home appears, this is a good measure for how much effort you may put into a relationship. And if you enjoy being surrounded by plants in your own home, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy it at your date’s house too!
Passion and enthusiasm
I think we can all agree that it’s attractive when someone has a passion – something that they can be enthused about and work on, that maybe isn’t your everyday hobby, such as watching TV.
Hearing someone talk passionately about plants is maybe what ignites the spark in your relationship. Especially if you can join in the conversation and fuel their fire!
Plant dating: How to find your plant sweetheart
The above traits all sound like things most people would look for in a partner – but where do you find these gems in the toilet bowl of the dating world? Those who use dating apps can discover matches by their interest – both Tinder and Bumble allow you to find users based on common interests, and have reported that gardening are top interests added by users. Even the words ‘plant mum’, ‘plant dad’ and ‘plant parent’ are popular phrases used in bios on dating platforms!
Then, there’s social media – especially Instagram, which you could say facilitated the houseplant craze of recent years. Accounts such as @boyswithplants and the hashtag #girlswithplants have become established communities where male or female-presenting people can share their enthusiasm for plants, as well as a sort of arena where singletons can browse for potential opportunities to slide into someone’s DMs.
So how successful has it been so far? Have many people found a match through a plant-related hashtag or account on social media? Tell me about your plant dating matches in the comment section below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.