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- 3 in 10 Americans have intimate relationships with their plants
3 in 10 Americans have intimate relationships with their plants
A recent survey found that nearly 50% of Americans talk to their plants and trees. Most of us know people who refer to themselves as ‘plant mom’s’ or ‘plant dad’s,’ but are these titles more than just cute or humorous for some? Have people formed intimate relationships with the plants and trees they own?
To get a deeper understanding of the relationships Americans have with their greenery, in October, Trees.com surveyed 1,200 Americans who own at least one tree or plant.
Our findings were quite surprising and revealed that for many, their plants/trees play a very meaningful role in their lives.
- 69% have a favorite tree or plant
- 29% have a ‘very close’ or ‘close’ relationship with a plant/tree
- 28% think of at least one plant/tree as family; 27% as a friend
- 12% consider at least one of their plants/trees to be a romantic partner
- 23% say they are ‘in love with’ a plant/tree
- 7% say they have a sexual relationship with a plant/tree
- 13% say having plants/trees around decreases loneliness
1 in 10 have ‘very close’ relationship with their plant
Nearly 3 in 10 Americans say they have at least a close relationship with a plant or tree. Ten percent of respondents say they have a ‘very close’ relationship to a plant or tree, and an additional 19% say they ‘close.’
In comparison, when it comes to having more traditional close relationships in their lives, 74% say they are ‘very close’ or ‘close’ to a family member, 69% a friend, 62% a romantic partner, and 61% a pet.
When respondents were asked about how they define the relationships they have with their plants
- 56% say they consider themselves to be a caretaker of at least one plant/tree
- 28% say they consider at least one plant/tree family
- 27% say they consider at least one plant/tree a friend
- 12% say they consider at least one plant/tree a romantic partner
Only 10% selected they didn’t have any of the above types of relationships with their plants or trees.
1 in 4 are ‘in love with’ a plant/tree
While it’s hard to define exactly what it means to be ‘in love,’ many plant owners clearly have strong feelings for their greenery.
When asked how true they find the statement, “I’m in love with at least one of my plants/trees,” 12% say ‘very true’ and 11% say ‘true.’
Nineteen percent had no opinion, while 9% say it’s ‘somewhat untrue’ and 48% ‘very untrue.’
1 in 5 identify as ‘EcoSexuals’
When asked if they identify as someone who indulges in sexual relationships with Mother Nature or an ‘EcoSexual,’ 18% of respondents said they do.
Many say they have shown their plants physical affection, and some more than others.
- 39% have hugged at least one of their plants/trees
- 25% have kissed at least one of their plants/trees
- 7% say they have a sexual relationship with at least one of their plants/trees
1 in 8 say having plants/trees decreases loneliness
We asked respondents how having plants/trees in and around the home makes them feel.
Respondents most commonly say plants make them feel calm (59%), in touch with nature (56%), and happy (53%).
Notably given some of our other findings, 13% say having greenery in and around their home makes them feel less lonely and 4% say they are aroused.
1 in 10 would find their plant/tree dying ‘devastating’
As is apparent, many people are close to their plants. So it follows that the death of one of their beloved plants/trees would be upsetting.
Notably, 11% of respondents said it would be ‘devastating’ if one of their plants/trees died, and an additional 25% said it would be ‘very sad.’ Additionally, 40% said it would be ‘sad,’ while 14% ‘not very sad’ and 9% ‘not sad at all.’
All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by Trees.com and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,200 Americans who own at least one plant or tree were surveyed. Appropriate respondents were found via a screening question.
This survey was conducted on October 12, 2022. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities. For full survey data, please email [email protected].
1. Do you have a favorite indoor or outdoor plant or tree?
a) Yes, I have a favorite
b) No, I don’t pick favorites!
2. Which best describes your favorite plant or tree?
a) Indoor plant
b) Indoor tree
c) Outdoor plant
d) Outdoor tree
3. How would you define your relationship with your favorite plant/tree?
a) Consider it family
b) Consider it a romantic partner
c) Consider it a friend
d) Consider myself it’s caretaker
4. Which of the following relationships do you have with at least one of your plants? [Multi-select]
a) Family relationship
b) Romantic relationship
e) None of the above
5. Are the following statements true or false?
a) I have hugged at least one of my plants/trees. (True / False)
b) I have kissed at least one of my plants/trees. (True / False)
c) I have a sexual relationship with at least one of my plants/trees. (True / False)
6. Would you describe yourself as having the sexual identity EcoSexual? We define an EcoSexual as someone who indulges in sexual relationships with Mother Nature.
7. How does having plants/trees in or around your home make you feel? [Multi-select]
a) Less lonely
c) In touch with nature
8.How true is the following statement: “I’m in love with at least one of my plants/trees.”
a) Very true
b) Somewhat true
c) No opinion
d) Somewhat untrue
e) Very untrue
9. How sad would it be for any of your plants/trees to die?
b) Very sad
c) Somewhat sad
d) Not very sad
e) Not sad at all
10. How close would you describe your relationship to your plants/trees?
a) Very close
b) Somewhat close
d) Not very close
e) Not close at all
11. Consider the relationships in your life. How close is your closest relationship with:
a) One of my plants/trees: (Do not have in my life / not close at all / not very close / neutral / close / very close)
b) Family member (human): (Do not have in my life / not close at all / not very close / neutral / close / very close)
c) Romantic partner (human): (Do not have in my life / not close at all / not very close / neutral / close / very close)
d) A pet (non-human animal): (Do not have in my life / not close at all / not very close / neutral / close / very close)
e) A friend (human): (Do not have in my life / not close at all / not very close / neutral / close / very close)