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Millennials find caring for plants daunting, survey finds

Chelsea Ritschel

Plants may be far less responsibility than a pet, but that doesn’t mean millennials feel they are up for the challenge.

According to a new survey, nearly half of millennials don’t own house plants because they don’t know how to take care of them - or experience anxiety when they do try to keep a plant alive.

The survey of 2,000 people aged 25 to 39 also found that 67 per cent of respondents have attempted to care for a plant only to find that it is more of a challenge than they bargained for.

For 20 per cent of millennial respondents, the thought of keeping a plant alive is so daunting that they would rather sit through a root canal than deal with the pressure, with 22 per cent explaining that their apprehension stems from accidentally killing a plant in the past.

Trying to figure out how much sunlight a plant needs was found to be the biggest anxiety-causing factor, followed by confusion over water needs, whether the plant should live outside or inside, and how to prune.

Concern over the need to find a plant-sitter for when they are out of town was also named among the top five worries “plant-parents” face.

According to three in 10 respondents, one of the hardest lessons that comes with being a good plant parent is how easy it can be to accidentally kill the plant - with the average plant parent found to have killed seven plants they’ve brought into their home.

Despite their fears, the study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Article, found that seven in 10 millennials consider themselves plant parents, with 41 per cent of those surveyed revealing they plan to add to their plant collection in the coming year.

For nearly half of millennials, the main reason for having plants came down to home decor aesthetic, while 48 per cent said their plants improved air quality, and 45 per cent explaining that plants make them feel peaceful and calm.

Keeping a plant alive is also a good test of responsibility, according to three in four respondents, who said that the challenge can determine whether you are responsible enough to own a pet.

Interestingly, four in five polled said that taking care of their plants led them to start taking better care of themselves.

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