Don’t@Me: Plants are overrated

There, I said it

My plants might not survive, but I know I will. Graphic Nanor Froundjian

The thing is, I really like plants. I love them even, but they’re just not worth it. Being a plant mom is not for me. No matter how hard I try to make it work, it just doesn’t grow on me, but then again, neither do my plants.

After hunting for the best apartment one can find in Montreal—which is one of the hardest and most stressful things I have ever had the displeasure of doing—considering cost, placement, and competition, I moved out this summer. Settling in meant starting the next hunt: finding an insane amount of plants to decorate the space.

Talk to anybody about the aesthetics of moving out, the first thing that will inevitably come out of their mouth is how to grow a forest in your living room in 10 easy steps. To that I say good for them, but the reality of it all is a bit more complex.

The first step in becoming mother nature’s daughter-in-law is of course buying plants. If you’ve never gone plant shopping before, you will pretty soon realize that plants are very expensive. Now, you could just steal them from your local park or take them from the balcony of your downstairs neighbour—but that’s frowned upon.

And so, like any rational person, you make your way down to your local Home Depot or IKEA, only to find that an average fern costs a whopping $20. I will admit that IKEA prices are a bit more lenient, but after seeing a $10 plant, your cart will definitely fill up faster than expected. Next thing you know, you just purchased $150 worth of greenery.

Buying plants is fun, but you have to remember this is not your Animal Crossing village. As they grow, your plants will need to be transferred from one pot to another, need new soil every once in a while, and a bit of plant fertilizer. Those are expenses not anyone can afford, and that’s without talking about the mental energy it takes to nurture them.

As I said, I dearly love plants and will find myself at the botanical garden any day of the week. I currently have not watered my plants in over a week—and that’s being generous.

I don’t do it on purpose—it’s not like I want my plants to die but I just forget, or have something else to do. Calculating my expenses for the week, while juggling any unexpected situations that come my way, like bringing my cat to the vet, puts watering my plants at the very bottom of my to-do list.

That week I saw $200 leave my savings account. To my plants, I spared no thought.

Taking care of plants can be a great way to take your mind off of stressful things but for a forgetful person like me, it just adds to the stress. My plant will not cuddle with me but if I don’t give it enough attention, it’ll die. It’ll be my fault if its existence ends and that’s never fun.

So, if you visit an apartment that has no plants or has many but are obviously fake—be honest, we all kind of judge others for having fake plants—remember, be kind. Plants are hard to maintain and sometimes, the aesthetic of it all just isn’t worth it.