For the uninitiated, becoming a plant parent can feel like an undertaking of cosmic proportions. Not sure which specimens are for you? Let the planets dictate your picks.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the University of Delaware’s Botanic Gardens, the UD Magazine has put together the following guide in hopes that you might find a horticulture hookup written in the stars….
Aries (March 21 – April 19): Patience is a virtue… just not one you possess. So consider the mother-of-thousands plant your floral fantasy. Otherwise known as the devil’s backbone, it sprouts cool, miniature versions of itself quickly — and we do mean quickly — after planting.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Self-sufficient and hardy, the sugar maple is a tree after your own resilient heart. Plus, you can tap the sap of this delicious deciduous for maple syrup. We can’t promise the sticky stuff will tame your killer sweet tooth, but it will vastly improve that Sunday brunch you’ve been daydreaming about at the office — no judgment.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20): You never take yourself too seriously — and neither does the cockscomb, whose blooms resemble the disembodied nose of a muppet. Need further proof of compatibility? The plant's not so hot when wet and, well, we’ve seen that backstroke of yours.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22): Taking care of other people is your nature, so you’ll find a kindred botanic spirit in St. John’s wort — this herbaceous shrub also boasts healing properties. The early Christians who named the plant even believed it capable of warding off evil — or at least irritable bellies.
Leo (July 23 – August 22): Commanding attention is your bag, so the elephant ears plant — with head-turning leaves that span two feet—will engender respect. Just don’t be alarmed if you spot this ornamental crybaby producing tear-like droplets — not unlike yourself, the plant’s been known to “weep” when overwhelmed, er, overwatered.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22): No matter what your Great Aunt Belinda says, you’re not fussy or difficult — you just like things done a certain way. So you’ll empathize with the many demands of a temperamental gardenia. Being a workaholic who never takes the easy route, you’ll rise to the (fragrant, elegant, evergreen) occasion.
Libra: (September 23 – October 22) Alabama snow wreath, a colony-forming perennial in the rose family, has your name all over it. This feathery shrub is attractive even when untidy. It’s able to stand out or blend into a landscape, depending on the season. It is often dense before maturity (but who isn’t?).
Scorpio: (October 23 – November 21) Your idea of a winning Friday night is sorting a spice rack or alphabetizing cereal boxes in the pantry. Since it is structure and order that turn you on most, consider investing in an evergreen spiral aloe. The perfect, tidy symmetry of this pretty, fleshy succulent is the stuff of (well-organized) dreams.
Sagittarius: (November 22 – December 21) When motivation isn’t your forte, opt for the cactus-like snake plant, which withstands even total neglect. Bonus: This popular specimen is especially adept at purifying the air in your home… and we know it’s been a hot minute since your last dusting.
Capricorn: (December 22 – January 19) That tough outer shell isn’t fooling anyone. You’re a big softie on the inside, just like the prickly pear cactus. Pro tip: Some varieties carry a liquid inside thorny, paddle-like leaves that can be used just like aloe vera.
Aquarius: (January 20 – February 18) Nonconformist. Troublemaker. Rebel with a million causes. You wear those names with pride and can appreciate the maverick spirit (and fragrant scent) of the variegated solomon’s seal, which refuses to stay put and behave.
Pisces: (February 19 – March 20) The heart-shaped flowers of the aptly named bleeding hearts plant will speak to your sultry, romantic side. But be warned: As with all relationships, your love affair with this spring-blooming perennial can turn toxic – those pretty pink clusters are poisonous if swallowed.