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What your house plant says about you

This is important

Self-discovery is often a forgotten part of the Oxford experience – we work so hard and do so much in our eight weeks that we can forget to try and learn about ourselves.

But fear not, this handy guide will teach you all you need to know about yourself, using the well-known personality indicator that is houseplants.

Cheese plant

Beloved of our parent’s generation, the cheese plant is the wavy garm of houseplants – nothing says "I go to nights at Cellar and paid a lot for my vintage clothes", quite like owning a cheese plant.

This alien-looking monster will dominate any space it’s in, and, unlike most tropical plants, won’t die on you after a few weeks because you forget about it, probably because you won’t forget about it, because it’s huge.

If you have this plant chances are you’ll spend a lot of time dusting leaves and wondering how much floorspace will be left in your room in a few months time. If this is you, then you probably care quite a lot about how your room looks, and the plant is no doubt surrounded by some nice posters you got at galleries.

Dead cacti

This is a poor effort – if this is you, then you should be ashamed. Cacti can naturally survive in places like the Gobi Desert, the Australian outback, and the Atacama Desert, yet, because of your negligence, your cacti could not survive an Oxford student room.

The neglect of your poor cacti could mean you just have such an active and fulfilled life that you don’t have time for plant care. Alternatively, it could mean you’re completely useless. Even before your cacti died, the mere choice of this plant showed a degree of corner-cutting – you wanted a token houseplant for that perceived aesthetic without really committing to the ‘plant’ bit, and, let’s face it, cacti really aren’t that nice.

Living cacti

This is only marginally better than having dead cacti, and in a lot of cases it’s not clear which is which – is your six pack of mini cacti from Ikea just a bit sad looking, or has it been dead for months? Who knows.

What distinguishes you from the dead cacti owner is that you have at least a small instinct for care, this reflects well on your character. Unlike the dead cacti owner, you can now consider things like careers in medicine or primary school teaching, maybe even parenthood.

Herb plants

Owning herb plants shows a taste for practicality that is lacking in the aesthete owners of other plants – maybe you don’t even want a plant: you just want fresh mint for your mojito.

More practical still, many herb owners partake in termly plant buying – getting that splash of green every term from Tesco for a very reasonable £1.25. Unfortunately for the stingy supermarket plant-buyer, supermarket plants have a habit of dying over the term, accurately reflecting your own dying enthusiasm and energy as you move into weeks seven and eight.

Spider plant

Owners of spider plants were probably not really sure what they wanted, and went for the first plant on the shelf – why else would anyone choose this unhealthy-looking abomination? The spider plant owner is therefore probably quite indecisive. If this is you, I hope it functions as something of a gateway plant to other species that actually look good.

Aloe Vera

This aggressive collection of spikes looks like a prop from a 1980s a horror film. It is in fact so ugly that I can’t fathom why anyone might buy one, so unfortunately, if you’re the owner of this plant, I can’t tell you anything about yourself.

The same goes for the vast array of plants that look like aloe vera, but aren’t. This of course is in sharp contrast with my other penetrating and revealing analyses offered for other plant owners.


I'm a sucker for succulents #succulents #cacti #squishy #green #plants

A post shared by Jessica Ella (@jessicafrancesella) on Mar 22, 2018 at 9:33am PDT

These plants show self-conscious taste. If you’re a succulent owner you probably also attend zine launches and have a gallery tote bag, you may even own a record player and modest collection of obscure but expensive records.

While it is easy to keep succulents alive, it is hard to keep them healthy, so if you’re a healthy succulent owner then you’re probably quite competent. Unlike the feckless cacti owners, I would lend the succulent owner money, safe in the knowledge I would get paid back, even if I get paid in copies of Cuntry Living.