There are many reasons why people name their houseplants. For some, it's a way to distinguish one from another; for others, it's a form of endearment. I only have one named plant. Her name is Bianca the Spider Plant. I had no particular reason behind the naming. I potted the plant in a whimsical face planter I found at Target, and it was the first name that popped into my head. There's no right or wrong way to name your plants. These proud plant parents share with us the names of their plants and the stories behind the naming.
Rachel Mayo, photographer and sustainable living enthusiast of Grow in the Light, doesn't always name her plants because her collection continues to grow, and she can't possibly remember all of their non-botanical names. However, she does have a trio of pothos she calls Gladys, Aretha, and Diana. "They're DIVAS," says Mayo, "not in a difficult way, but in an "I like to show off" kind of way."
"I like to give my plants intentional names like grace, happiness, mercy, and cash," says Tiana Florence, owner of Botanical Safari, a boutique plant shop located in Atlanta. However, her favorite is a Monstera Deliciosa named Love.
Maria Failla, founder of the Bloom and Grow Radio podcast, has over 80 plants in her collection. Although she loves all of them, she does have a soft spot for one in particular. "The favorite plant baby of our household is Figaro, our Fiddle Leaf Fig tree," says Failla, "Figaro is an homage to the fact that both my fiance and I have degrees in opera and love Mozart (who wrote The Marriage of Figaro)."
Plant influencer Katie Anne didn't choose the name for her Begonia brevisimosa. "I adopted this from a seller that described it as having "Sideshow Bob" vibes," says Anne, "So naturally I kept the name because it is so fitting." The natural pink variegation in the foliage is reminiscent of Simpsons' villain's infamous and self-proclaimed genius, known as Robert Underdunk Terwilliger Jr Ph.D., aka Sideshow Bob.
Tina Huffman, landscape designer and home and garden blogger at Greenhouse Studio, has an enormous Fiddle Leaf Fig she likes to call affectionately, "Mrs. Fig." The plant is named after the Dursley family's squib (a wizard-born non-magical person) neighbor in Harry Potter. Although Arabella Figg is a batty, petite older woman with a ton of cats, Huffman's Mrs. Fig is an impressive plant specimen that nearly reaches her ceiling!
"My ferns are my Prehistoric Babies because they have been around since the beginning of time," says living wall artist Gennaro Brooks-Church. Ferns are one of the oldest groups of plants on Earth, dating back to around 383 to 393 million years ago!
Another Harry Potter fan and Atlanta-based plant parent, Rhonda Sarmento, paid homepage to House Slytherin when she picked a name for one of her favorite snake plants. "I named one of my snake plants Draco," says Sarmento, "Draco was part of Slytherin House, and the founder of Slytherin could talk to snakes!"
Maria Potehina, blogger at Succulents Pal, isn't generally into Lucky Bamboo. However, when a friend asked her to adopt an almost dead one, she decided to give it a go. "I took it, trying to help it grow," says Potehina. She decided to name the plant after her friend that gave her the plant in the first place. "The last name of my friend is translated from his native language is horror," muses Potehina, "Therefore, I now call the plant Horrible Bamboo."