‘Pet plant’ is the newly-coined word, made by the combination of the two words ‘pet’ which means companion animal and ‘plant’ which means vegetation. On the other hand, ‘pet plant’ refers to a plant that is kept like a pet. The main reason is that people get emotional support and comfort when they grow plants. When people take care of companion animals, they have a big sense of responsibility and do many thing for them. As a result, people, who are growing pet plants instead, are on the increase. Pet plants are simply less burdensome than companion animals. People treasure their pet plants just like those who take care of puppies or kittens, regarding them as though they are one of the family. Although growing plants has been steadily increasing in popularity, recently the popularity of pet plants increased rapidly. Why has it become so popular that the newly-coined word ‘pet plant’ has appeared? Plus, what are the positive effects of having pet plants?
[Reasons for the Rapid Increase in the Popularity of Pet Plants]
To find out why pet plants have become popular, CBT reporters met Kim Sun-gon, who runs the YouTube channel named Flower Reading Man - Kkotnam, and the flower shop named Yuwol Flower Studio in Seoul. He said “First, interest in interior design has increased as more time has been spent at home due to COVID-19. As a result, plants and flowers needed for interior design, have naturally become popular. Planterior (plant + interior), which is a special interior for plants and pots, is also spreading rapidly. In addition, as the number of people living alone increases, small plants for the interior of small houses are also gaining popularity. The second reason is related to ‘generational dynamics.’ I think it is because the current generation has a lot of worries about ‘me’ and ‘the future.’ The older generation lived with the goal of just graduating from a good university, and getting a good job at a large company. However, this generation is living a completely different life. People’s desire to enjoy their life, not just their work life, has grown, so interest in the ‘plants’ needed in life has increased. Lastly, people are becoming alert to the damage caused by environmental pollution, reckless development of humans and neglect of nature, so interest in ‘growing plants’ seem to be increasing. For these reasons, I think there is a lot of interest in pet plants. Many people ask me various questions through email and social media.” Pet plants are gaining popularity due to a wide variety of factors.
[Positive Effects of Pet Plants]
Taking care of pet plants have many advantages. Kim Sun-gon said, “As I emphasize on my YouTube channel, I challenge you to grow plants just once. Whether it is a flower or a plant, if you grow one even once, your life will be different. First of all, if you look at plants and flowers with interest, you can be psychologically stable. As I said, having a ‘pet plant’ makes loneliness disappear for those who live alone, and it can be a consolation for those who have any pain. Also, growing plants make your thoughts wide and colorful. There were also many people who live thinking only about reality, and they started thinking much broader about things such as nature and the environment while growing pet plants.”
Yoo Byeong-kwan (Major of Horticultural Science, 19) said, “I am growing plants for group activities with my classmates, and this plant has become a pet plant and a friend to me. I am really proud when I see the plant grow. The successful growth of the plant in my care is sometimes mysterious. When I walk to water the plant, I feel like I am going to see my friend. Moreover, walking to water it seems to have the effect of exercising. I think it is a friend who helps me in many ways.” Therefore, pet plants give emotional comfort to the people who grow them. Although they are just plants, they can be like friends who are always around.
Sim Yeong-jo (School of Electronics Engineering, 15), who makes a smart pot that takes care of the health of plants for his graduation work, said, “The way life grows sometimes makes us wonder. Even if it is just a potted plant on a window frame. I have come to develop the smart pot in the hope that people who are tired of their daily lives can grow pet plants and experience good feelings.”
Pet plants can also be air purifiers because they absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. There are countless types of indoor air pollutants. In order to clean the indoor air, it is necessary to ventilate it frequently. However, sometimes it is difficult to ventilate due to bad weather, or it can be tiresome to ventilate every day. Pet plants purify the indoor air and make the indoor atmosphere fresh. Recently, as fine dust has emerged as an environmental pollution problem, plants that are effective in removing fine dust are also in the spotlight.
[Some Recommend Pet Plants That Are Good to Grow Indoors]
‘Flower Reading Man’ Kim Sun-gon recommended the following plants for Chungbuk National University students who live in dormitories or live alone: asparagus, ribbon plant, grape hyacinth, scotch broom, etc. In addition, the CBT reporters found plants that have good vitality and can be easily grown by those who grow plants for the first time.
In addition, the species that are good to grow indoors as pet plants include tillandsia, golden pothos, sansevieria, syngonium, etc. People can grow plants that suit their taste, such as plants with specific purification effects or flowering plants. There are countless kinds to choose from.
Recently, the number of people who feel depressed due to COVID-19 has decreased due to the lifting of the outdoor mask mandate. However, there are many people who are still depressed for other reasons such as employment, work, interpersonal relationships, etc. Pet plants can be your friends. Also, looking at the pet plant will be healing, and it will make people feel proud with the growth of the plant. People are living such busy lives that they cannot cope with all the stress. How about taking time out to relax with pet plants?