Plant sales have skyrocketed since the threat of coronavirus forced us to shelter in place. Another hot trend? Astrology. It makes sense given the uncertain times we are experiencing. Plants are something we can control, after all, and astrology looks to the future at a time when the future is impossible to predict.
We choose our houseplants based on a variety of criteria —sun exposure, maintenance and personal esthetics. Why not the stars? We started by mulling over common traits attributed to each astrological sign and matched that up with some of our favourite superstars in the houseplant world.
Whether you are an astrology disbeliever or someone who blames every technological malfunction on Mercury in retrograde, we’ve got some suggestions for the best houseplant for your zodiac sign. Unless otherwise noted, you can find these plants at your neighbourhood nursery or home improvement store.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Black raven ZZ plant
You always do things in your own unique way, Aquarius, and prefer things that are unusual and hard to find. You want a plant that no one else has right now, such as the black raven ZZ plant. Florida grower Costa Farms has the exclusive rights to produce and sell the popular plant, and hopes to ship it to California by the end of the year. When it is finally available, this elusive plant is the one for you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Nerve plant
You are an artistic and sensitive sign that can get lost in your dreams. A plant that is otherworldly, or has a slightly hallucinogenic property, appeals to you, Pisces. You are known as a “psychic sponge” because you pick up on others’ energy. We would recommend the finicky Fittonia albivenis, or nerve plant, to appease your empathetic nature.
Aries (March 21-April 19): Chinese evergreen
You’re impulsive and intuitive, and like to jump into things. You like new and trendy things and, as a fire sign, are drawn to the colour red. Something like the Chinese evergreen red Aglaonema, a relatively new variety with bright red and pink leaves, is perfect for your independent Aries disposition.
Taurus (April 20-May 20): Fiddle-leaf fig
You’re one of the most fertile signs in the zodiac; when you touch the earth, something grows. You need a plant that is stable, reliable and beautiful yet not ostentatious. Taurus, we recommend the fiddle-leaf fig, or Ficus lyrata, a woody tree with large, distinctive green leaves.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): Rose-painted calathea
You are all about dualities, Gemini, and favour plants with two stems or leaves with different colours. You are curious and can be easily distracted, so you need a low-maintenance plant. The tropical Calathea roseopicta, or rose-painted calathea, with pink-and-white variegated leaves on top and deep purple tones underneath, is the attention-getter you need.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): Hens and chicks
As a Cancer, you value family and like to create community wherever you go. Choosing just one houseplant would be difficult for you. Hens and chicks, or Sempervivum tectorum —where the mother plant is attached to the babies (or chicks) by an underground runner —might just be the perfect plant for you.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Begonia rex
You like things that are bright, dramatic and grab everyone’s attention. You need a houseplant that doesn’t require a lot of care because, let’s face it, Leo, you are more interested in taking care of yourself. The colourful and prestigious Begonia rex, prized for its extremely decorative foliage, fits the bill.
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Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Bonsai money tree
Your obsession for details means you are drawn to plants that have tendrils and branches going off in different directions. An intricate bonsai money tree, or Pachira aquatica, which requires pruning and trimming, will satisfy your perfectionist Virgo inclinations.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Peace lily
As an air sign, you need a plant that is not terribly fussy, is symmetrical and doesn’t need a lot of attention. Libra is the sign of peace, which means you are drawn to plants that represent harmony, such as the peace lily, a no-fuss spathiphyllum that flowers in the spring.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Purple shamrock
You are a sensitive sign concerned with power, death and rebirth. You need something lush and cyclical that looks like it has died and yet bounces right back. Oxalis triangularis, commonly called “purple shamrock,” is a fun plant for your mysterious Scorpio spirit as its leaves fold up at night and reopen in the morning.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Croton ‘Petra’
As a traveller and lover of foreign places, Sagittarius, you require a houseplant that does not require a lot of care while you are off exploring the world. A bold red croton ‘Petra,’ or Codiaeum variegatum ‘Petra,’ is a colourful, even garish plant, that will appeal to you as a fire sign. Pair it with other crotons in bold pots for a stunning display of colour.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Dragon tree
As a Capricorn, you are organized and need a plant with structure. A climbing plant that grows all over the place won’t suit you. You favour plants that show structure, so you will love Dracaena marginata, or dragon tree, a houseplant that features woody trunks topped with long, thin striped leaves.