Seeking: Plant Friends

This piece is an ode to plant friends and potential friends who could become PBFs

Do you have plant friends? I love my plant best friends (or PBFs); They’re where I get my cuttings, divisions, and heirloom seeds. In fact, one year, a friend of mine cross-pollinated her hot peppers with bell peppers and shared her seeds with me, and the next year I had the most delightfully spicy bell peppers!

I have a massive amount of chives that started from one small division, and I’ve shared a ton of bulb-based plants with my friends, after they’ve divided over the course of years. People don’t realize how easy it is to divide a plant, and, honestly, how healthy it is for the plant to give it some space. Peonies, poppies, yarrow, aster, coreopsis, monarda, and sedum flowers are all simple to split up.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is have a “plant potluck” where all of my plant friends gather with their seeds, cuttings, and divisions to share. It sounds messy, but also delightful, and hey, whatever doesn’t go can either go in my garden or the compost!

Today’s piece “How to Know a Plant Best Friend” gave me a good chuckle. Of the list of qualifications my favorite one is:

“You ask each other, “How are your plants?” instead of “How are you?”

For the full list and a good laugh, keep reading below.

Plant Friends, Unite!

This story comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that inject gardening humor into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope it does for you as well. Enjoy!

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How to Know a Plant Best Friend

Liz Rasley of Wylie, TX

Here’s how to know if a friend is worthy of the highly lauded title of PBF: Plant Best Friend.

  1. You trade seed catalogs like CIA operatives, making sure neither of your spouses sees the evidence—uh, catalogs.
  2. Plants Anonymous doesn’t exist—but if it did …
  3. You both enjoy digging soil out from under your fingernails while talking worm casings.
  4. This friend is the only one you’d trust your plants with should you ever have to leave.
  5. You text each other pictures of your newest seedlings and coo and congratulate each other over each new sprout.
  6. Your conversations revolve around soil pH, squash bugs, the chance of rain, and—always and forever—weeds.
  7. Your spouses’ and friends’ eyes glaze over when you mention anything related to “your plant stuff.” Your Plant Best Friend does not do this but understands you on the chlorophyll level.
  8. You both have the same opinions about Spa Days: Gardening Days are much, much better.
  9. You ask each other, “How are your plants?” instead of “How are you?”
  10. You are both shocked—shocked!—if someone says they do not love gardening.

Liz Rasley of Wylie, TX, published originally in 2021, in GreenPrints Issue #127. Illustrated by Marilynne Roach

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What do you talk about with your plant friends? Does this remind you of a similar story you’d like to share? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear it. 


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