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Words By: Natalie Bunimovitz
As a teenager, I always wanted to have plants in my room. I bought succulents and terrariums and placed them delicately on my bedside table where I could see them when I woke up and where they could receive lots of sunlight from my east-facing windows. Each plant received a name upon adoption. There was Tim the Terrarium, Sally the Succulent, and so on. I cared for each cactus with all the love available in my 14-year-old body. My first instinct when I see someone else’s house plants is to ask for their names, and upon hearing that they don't have names, I insist that their parents name them on the spot, even if just to humor me. Assigning names is a practice in being silly and accepting the role of plant-mom or plant-dad.
Assigning names personifies the plant and gives you further motivation to care for them. It transforms leaves and stems into a smile and personality, and the plants take on a new role as your children, not so unlike a dog, but without the added responsibility of being a pet owner.
Naming plants fosters a connection between individual and plant, encouraging further responsibility for the plant’s success and wellbeing. Additionally, naming helps with memory, decreasing the chance of neglect. Lastly, naming plants is a good organizational tool, especially when caring for several plants at the same time. It creates a better distinction between plants and helps keep track of each individual’s success.
I truly hope your plants don’t suffer the same fate mine did (death by overwatering), I do hope you follow my lead in naming your leafy friends.