Houseplants have recently soared in popularity, as many of us work from home and want a healthy and pleasant environment. Social media is filled with houseplant lovers sharing tips for successfully growing and caring for greenery. Potted plants liven up our indoor spaces, reduce stress, and are fun to grow. Sometimes, your plants can also reveal traits about you and your personality.
Researchers believe most of us fall somewhere on the scale of five “Big Personality Traits.” These include agreeableness, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Cinch Home Services surveyed more than 1,000 plant parents who also took a Big Five Personality test to determine if these qualities aligned with particular houseplants. Cinch then developed a Plant Personality Quiz based on the results, so you can see how your own houseplant choices align with your personality.
Which Houseplants Match Your Personality Best?
Ricardo Rodriguez, a strategist for Cinch, explains that the survey showed particular plants seemed to match up with different personality traits. For more neurotic people, for example, plant care might take a back seat to self-care, “which is completely understandable,” he says. So if this sounds like you, low-maintenance greenery such as succulents and snake plants are probably your BFFs.
However, more challenging plants, such as fiddle leaf figs, can also align with neuroticism. Your fig tree can give you away if you “won’t tolerate anything less than the best,” says Rodriguez. “Fiddles are notorious for being difficult to care for. They need very precise amounts of sunlight and water to stay healthy.”
The same fiddle leaf fig that indicates neuroticism can also suggest you’re extroverted. Extroverts often enjoy plants that need a lot of care and grow them as “a way to fulfill their needs to stay active and busy,” Rodriguez says. Extroverts also like to grow dragon trees. “This is a plant that has personality, and its appearance stands out in a crowd, like those with high extroversion. Dragon trees can survive many conditions but thrive with bright light and consistent watering.”
Agreeable people gravitate toward English ivy, pothos, and aloe vera. Rodriguez says these people generally like to help others, so perhaps that explains the appeal of aloe vera, which is medicinally useful. Agreeableness is also about being considerate and generous. “If you’ve ever owned a pothos,” he notes, “then you’ll know this is a very considerate plant, as it can do well in low light and doesn’t need to be watered frequently.”
Aloe vera is also a favorite for conscientious people, who “tend to strive for excellence, yet remain cautious about their choices,” says Rodriguez. “Choosing a low-maintenance plant [such as aloes] could help them feel successful,” says Rodriguez. The survey found that conscientious people usually stay the course and don’t just stop taking care of their plants.
Plants that grow and adapt to any setting, such as cacti, succulents, and spider plants, are linked to openness, says Rodriguez. “Spider plants are known for their ability to handle stress, grow in a wide range of environments, and still thrive. Similarly, succulents and cacti don’t require much to be happy either, as they need very little water to survive.”
Take the Plant Personality Quiz
Growing plants that suit your personality can make you happier (even if they give away a few secrets about you). This short quiz will determine which varieties are best-matched to your personality.
Indicate how much you agree or disagree with each statement below using these five options: Agree, Strongly Agree, Neutral, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree.
- I see myself as someone who is reserved.
- I see myself as someone who is generally trusting.
- I see myself as someone who tends to be lazy.
- I see myself as someone who is relaxed and handles stress well.
- I see myself as someone who has few artistic interests.
- I see myself as someone who is outgoing and sociable.
- I see myself as someone who tends to find fault in others.
- I see myself as someone who does a thorough job.
- I see myself as someone who gets nervous easily.
- I see myself as someone who has an active imagination.
Give yourself the following points based on how you answered each question.
Strongly Disagree: 1 point
Disagree: 2 points
Neutral: 3 points
agree: 4 points
Strongly Agree: 5 points
Scoring Your Plant Personality
Each question aligns with a specific personality trait shown below, and the top score per question is five points. The “R” beside a number means the reverse of the quality. For example, if you scored high on question #1, you’re low in extroversion.
- Extraversion: 1R and 6
- Agreeableness: 2 and 7R
- Conscientiousness: 3R and 8
- Neuroticism: 4R and 9
- Openness: 5R and 10
With your top personality traits in mind, look for the plants below that appear to match up best. Do you already own any of them? If not, you may want to make that your next plant purchase.
Extraversion: Dragon tree, fiddle leaf fig, English ivy
Agreeableness: English ivy, golden pothos, Aloe vera
Conscientiousness: English ivy, succulent, Aloe vera
Neuroticism: Fiddle leaf fig, snake plant, succulent
Openness: Succulent, cactus, spider plant