Most Americans Think This Plant Describes How They Are In Relationships

by Emma McGowan

I love plants. I grew up in a house that felt like a jungle and with a mom who made sure every square inch of our yard was covered with garden. Seriously — even the half a foot between the driveway and house has perennials sprouting up. Plants have always played an important part in my life, but I never really thought about what plant would best describe my relationship style — until now.

Zico, the coconut water company, funded a survey that included 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults and 200 more in 12 major cities. The survey was called “At the Core” and it asked a lot of questions about how people felt about their current place in life. One of those questions was which plant people thought best matched their romance personality. Were they prickly, like a cactus? Clingy, like a vine? Or low-maintenance, like a fern?

Considering those three options, it’s probably not surprising that 57 percent of the people surveyed said that their romance personality best matched a fern — i.e. “self-sufficient and low maintenance.” The next most popular plant was cactus, with 26 percent saying that they were “prickly on the outside but sweet on the inside,” and vine — “protective but clingy” — brought up the rear with 17 percent.

But I have a bone to pick with these results. While I’m sure that most people like to believe that they’re low-maintenance and self sufficient in relationships, my years writing about dating and sex suggest that’s probably not true. I think more revealing would be a survey asking people what their partners’ plant personalities are. I’d also like to add a few more categories to the list, based on author Carol Klein’s categorization of the personalities of plants. Where does your romantic personality fall on the list?



Klein places peonies in the “shooting stars” category because they’re “here today and gone tomorrow.” When we’re talking about the flower, that means they bloom and die quickly. But if we’re talking about relationships, I’d say the serial monogamist and the player are both peonies.



Fritillaries are “seductive sophisticates” in Klein’s categorization. They “draw our attention and hold it with minimum fuss.” When it comes to relationship personalities, the fritillary is that one person who seems to always draw exceptional people to their side. They always have a partner — and that partner is as awesome as they are.



Klein says dahlias are “drama queens” — and anyone whose ever loved one knows that’s the truth. They “demand undivided attention” and “our eyes are drawn relentlessly” to them. In relationships, they’re the divas who ask to be worshipped by their partner, in every aspect.



Ferns are low-maintenance, need little watering, and are largely self sufficient. (Also boring, IMO, but that’s just one dahlia’s opinion.)



Cactus are prickly on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. The only question is — can you get through their shell and reach that soft part?



Vines cover everything they come across. In relationships, that translates to someone who is protective — but also clingy.

So which plant best describe you? And can it grow side-by-side with your partner? (Just please, don’t default to “fern.”)