50 Times When Plant Lovers Couldn’t Resist Sharing Their Houseplants To This Online Community
More and more people are deciding to not have kids or to have them later in life and there is actually a meme going around the internet saying that pets are the new kids. That would make plants the new pets. They don’t put so much responsibility on one’s shoulders like a dog or a child would, but at the same time, it can bring as much joy to see them grow, flower and change before the owner’s eyes.
Growing plants is a big thing, especially during the pandemic and there are many communities on the internet where owners just show off their achievements or share caring tips. One of the biggest communities dedicated to home plants on Reddit is called r/houseplants and now it has just over 900k members. Bored Panda collected the most impressive photos of plants people shared here for you to enjoy.
More info: Reddit
This Was Supposed To Be A Plant Progress Post Showing Off My Oxalis But Henk Stole The Show
The community is “focused on the discussion, care, and well-being of houseplants!” It was created 10 years ago on June 17, 2011 and is going as strong as ever. It is only meant for plants that are grown indoors and it is separate from garden plants, which also can be really impressive, but you won’t find them here.
A part of the subreddit’s success may be due to the fact that people really got into growing plants during the pandemic. Many plant stores reported that their sales increased multiple times and they felt bigger demand exactly when countries started announcing that they were basically shutting down.
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People then got a lot more time on their hands as some of them didn’t need to make the commute; they also couldn’t really go out as everything was closed, so they started searching for hobbies or fun activities. We saw the banana bread craze and how everyone was tie-dyeing their clothes. Buying plants and turning people’s houses into a jungle was also one of the trends.
Firstly, as mentioned earlier, people stayed at home almost all the time, so they chose plants to make their surroundings more cozy and lively. Plant owners also have something they need to take care of and they feel a sense of achievement seeing the growing and blooming processes. For others who already liked plants, it was a perfect opportunity to further their hobby and even start their own plant businesses.
I Found A Photo Of Her Flowering! 75 Y/O Christmas Cactus
Bored Panda reached out to the moderators of the subreddit and had a little chat with them. The one who created the community was tmixlogs who is a dad of 3 and by day works as a Systems / Operations Engineer.
We asked him how he came up with the idea of creating this subreddit and he said that "This was over 10 years ago at this point. I had a plant which was itself older than 10 years at the time and, feeling proud of myself for keeping it alive, I created r/houseplants and posted a picture of it. [Here it is]. Unfortunately, I don't have this plant anymore (it didn't survive a re-potting a few years later)."
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The subreddit creator and other moderators are all amazed at how big the community has grown. Moderator jonwilliamsl whose real name is Jon and he is a librarian in his 20s said, “I’m totally amazed that it’s approaching a million members—it’s more than doubled since I found it. I have occasionally mentioned to people that I’m involved in it, and it no longer surprises me when people tell me they’re subbed.”
Another moderator, ThrasherAquatics who introduced herself as Maggie, a 25-year-old small business owner joined the subreddit when it had about 300k members. She admitted that she has a lot of plants herself and that they actually help with her mental health. Regarding the growth of the community she said, “At first it was slow and steady, but after the large increase of people looking into the hobby during the pandemic, the growth has been very fast! I'm still amazed that it has become such a large sub, and I'm very proud to be a part of it though I've been a bit hands off as of late.”
The founder of the subreddit had even more insight into it. He told us that when he created it, he forgot about it quickly until u/audiobiography contacted him about wanting to be a moderator and to make some changes to make the subreddit more appealing. Over time the community grew, there was a need for more moderators too.
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Loving plants is actually often associated with the millennial generation. Psychologists theorize that taking care of plants is their way of satisfying their need to nurture as not everyone has the capabilities to have and raise children or even pets.
Plants are still living beings and even though they require much less attention and time or financial investment, they still can provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Growing plants can actually be a method of self-care as it often is relaxing and soothing.
When trying to describe the root of the success of the community, the founder tmixlogs has a pretty similar guess, “As for what to attribute the sub's growth to, I suspect that caring for houseplants has become somewhat of a therapeutic pandemic activity and I've seen that sentiment on the sub quite often. If you look at our subscriber stats though, growth seems to have really picked up pre-pandemic in early 2019, so I think it was a trending topic / hobby even before Covid-19.
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As the whole subreddit is focused on plants, Bored Panda wanted to know do the homes of the redditors remind of a jungle. The founder tmixlogs said that his wife is more interested in plants recently than he is and they have about 16 plants in their home. Jon revealed that he had to downsize his plant collection and now has about “75, most of which are in group succulent plantings or terrariums.” Maggie reaches the record here and admits to having around 300 plants.
Tmixlogs wanted to “go on record and state definitively that IT IS NOT POSSIBLE to have too many plants in your home.” Jon is of the opinion that “too many" plants is when caring for them causes you more stress than pleasure-no matter how many plants that is.” And Maggie, who has the most plants of all of them, is convinced that “there's a point where there are too many plants” and she thinks she is reaching it.
Update On My Variegated Dragon Scale Alocasia 🐉🌱 After 2 Green Leaves She Blessed Me With A Fully White/Cream Leaf!
My Peperomia Letting Me Know She Appreciated The Love I Gave Her
Another moderator that wanted to join the conversation is altitudinousone. He is a 50 year old ex social worker / ex tech business owner / movie geek / guitar playing Dad of 3. He confessed that he doesn’t have much of a green thumb but he enjoys the community. He moderates a few subreddits but this one has a special place in his heart.
He explains why: “We hardly ever have to deal with trolls, fights, or insults, because these guys - the subs members - just get along. Apparently they are just here to support one another in their shared love of house plants (who would have thunk?). This community is like a breath of fresh air by comparison to anything else I am involved in modding. It's culture really is exceptional for a sub of its size. My current working theory is house plant enthusiasts on Reddit are mostly aliens from a far more civilised culture than ours. The team members are also super nice. Like super, super nice. Like fall-over-backward-to-help people. Also aliens.”
My Uncle’s 35 Year Old Desert Candle Cactus (Euphorbia Acrurensis)
I Planted This Last Year And It’s Getting Long! A Jug, Spilling A String Of Pearls
I Inherited This Oxalis After My Plant Loving Grandfather Passed. It Was In Such Rough Shape That All Growth Had To Be Removed. Now It’s Huge And Flowering 💜
To end off, we wanted to know what were the moderators’ favorite posts and what makes them the happiest to see. Maggie and Tmixlogs agreed that it was the ‘family photos’ that makes the community feel more personal. And Jon “adores what might be described as “glow-up” photos—people celebrating their success with one plant over the course of the previous few years.”
What were your favorite posts? Let us know by upvoting them and share your own experiences of owning plants!