Anna Fiorino

Spring is here, summer is well on its way, and naturally, feeling inspired by the sun and the light and the warmth … I had to pay a visit to the downtown plant nursery, The Living Room. 

Because it's me, Gen Z, the houseplant generation!

Look, the industry is booming. So much so that there have been several moments where I have overheard a conversation and been genuinely unsure as to whether it was about a child or plants. These conversations took place in stores where plants happened to be available for purchase, hence the confusion...

“He’s been acting up lately. Throwing tantrums and turning a weird color.” In my mind, this is either a toddler with the flu or a nutrient-deficient succulent that has been, for whatever reason, ascribed a gender. 

“We just found a sitter for the summer.” Could really go either way. 

“Stem rot, maybe?” My first instinct is: plant. But could also be a metaphor for a child with no moral center?

“We just set up the nursery!” I wonder if this nursery has cribs or planters. 

“She’s 13 months.” Parenthood, am I right?

I understand the appeal. Plants are child substitutes, the only difference being they don’t talk back; you don’t have to set up any college funds; and if they die, you don’t go to jail. 

It was a normal Sunday afternoon when I, like so many others before me, got sucked into the abyss that is plants, pots, and soil care; stickers that say “Plant Mom"; and cute vintage glass plant misters that, for some reason, I need three of or else I’ll die (or they’ll die).

If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s this: Houseplants take up a lot of my time, all of my space, and a good chunk of my money. Parenthood will have to wait.

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