ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Photo contributed by Jo Kibble / (From left) Dan Rostin, Chloe Watts and Kiera Petty pose with plants inside Market Street plant store Botanica.

Indoor gardening — playfully dubbed "plant parenting" by some — is in full bloom. The human desire to nurture living things is rooted deep in our DNA, and, frankly, it seems to be satisfied by tending people, pets or even plants.

Getting into the gardening trend isn't that difficult. You can start with a $4.99 snake plant from the Barn Nursery, as marketing and sales manager Cole Webster suggests, or you can opt for something more high-maintenance and expensive, like a Bird of Paradise plant, which requires more care.

For Cath Truelove, owner of Market Street's Bees on a Bicycle garden center, being a plant parent is the "attraction [to] something soft[and] grounding." It's about "taking on responsibility in loving, bite-sized portions."

some text
Photo contributed by Cath Truelove /The inside of Market Street's Bees on a Bicycle garden center brims with life.

And as the New York Times noted in a 2018 story on the trend, being a plant parent is "much less work than parenting actual children or tending to pets, plus you get the benefit of adding vibrancy to your home and the pride that comes with each new bloom."

The manageable commitment is appealing, as is the challenge of keeping plants alive, plant-lovers say.

"I feel like everyone collects something," says Chloe Watts, manager of Chattanooga's Botanica, a plant store on Market Street. "But it's more of a challenge to be collecting something that you have to keep alive, too. You get to learn. Each plant grows differently, and you have to learn its specific care."

Chattanoogan Nicole Griffin says she started collecting plants roughly two and a half years ago. She says she loves feeling like her space is a jungle. She has a wide window in her apartment for displaying everything from aloe vera to Alocasia "Dragon Scale" to her string-of-turtles plant, which has leaves that resemble tiny turtle shells.

some text
Photo contributed by Jo Kibble / Nicole Griffin began collecting plants over two years ago and says she loves the feel they give her apartment.

Griffin says she will sometimes bring friends over and take them on what she calls "the plant tour." And like many plant parents, Griffin likes to post about her plants on Instagram, which has become a hub for the plant-parent community.

Known as "plantfluencers," the online community shares care tips, information on plant pests, key plant accessories like humidifiers and more.

Amanda Bonnington, who has more than 150 plants in her home — including a whole room dedicated to tropical plants — says she learned most of what she knows about plants via Instagram.

some text
Photo contributed by Amanda Bonnington / Amanda Bonnington has one room in her home dedicated specifically to her tropical plants.

Truelove says both social media and the pandemic have created a greater cultural awareness surrounding plants and nature. While some simply enjoy having something pretty to look at, according to Scientific American, plants have been known to boost creativity and lower negative emotions, making them an effective tool for self-care.

Indeed, Botanica's Watts says she found herself struggling emotionally throughout the pandemic — until she picked up her houseplant hobby and started working with plants for her job. Her mood quickly lifted.

"Just being outside or insideworking with plants or being around plantsit affects your brain," Watts says. "There's just something about it."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT