Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 5 August 2020

TikTok: Why this Gen Z app might be able to teach us a thing or two about houseplants

The micro-video app isn't just full of dance routines and people lip-syncing - there's also a pure corner dedicated to all things green

Three of TikTok's horticultural influencers: from left, @edenish, @thisisrheed and @rushmehome. TikTok
Three of TikTok's horticultural influencers: from left, @edenish, @thisisrheed and @rushmehome. TikTok

I am 31 years old and I have TikTok. I'm well aware I'm about a decade older than the social media platform's target audience, but scrolling through the attention-span-shrinking micro-video app has taken over a place that used to be reserved purely for Instagram.

Is this personal growth or regression? I am not sure.

I haven't signed up for an account, and have never made a video. Nor do I plan to patch together any Megan Thee Stallion tributes in the near future, but I can happily lose more time than I would care to admit scrolling though videos.

I originally downloaded TikTok to follow a girl in Northern Ireland I had heard about, who has been raising 37,930 (her number, I haven't counted) frogs, all the way from spawn to tadpoles to froglets. It's a journey that currently stands at a tally of 106 days.

Without the app, I couldn't see the full back catalogue of Tadpole Girl's content – I wish I was joking by writing that, I am not.

@.baby.frogs

250k new followers in just 2 days🥺 guys, I love you more than anything🐸❤️ #frogspawn #tadpoles #frog #project #frogs #savethefrogs #nature #wildlife

♬ Chill - Hairy Beats

However, I have since discovered that TikTok is more than just perfectly in-sync dance routines, viral recipes and comedy skits. Indeed, there is a pure and beautiful corner of the app dedicated to houseplants.

You read correctly. Many of us, myself included, have become a little more attached to anything green that we share our homes with since March. And it seems we are not alone, judging by the amount of hypnotic, horticultural content on the app.

Be it care tutorials, people just showing the world their favourites plants or relatable videos about buying more, it's all there to be enjoyed.

The recurring Don't Be Suspicious meme is a personal favourite:

I know that I currently sound like Amy Poehler's "cool mom" character from Mean Girls (a reference that ages me out of TikTok's demographic), and for many, I will be preaching to the choir on the app's appeal. But are you all really telling me that you knew there was endless plant content out there to be found? And if you are, why did no one tell me?

Searching #plantmom, #plantdad and #plantlovers are great places to start. Based on the numbers, I am not alone in craving this content. The #plant hashtag has had a staggering 473 million views, while #plantlovers has had more than 4.7 million, and there are hundreds of hashtags and users to scroll through.

You will find users such as @thisisrheed who shows off his many lovely plants, and also gives top tips on caring for them:

@thisisrheed

⅓ of my collection. Say Hi let's see your collection #plants #plantlover #plantdaddy #plantlife #xyzcba #duets

♬ Wii Music - markianb

There are also users such as @art.of.plants who make videos about propagation, repotting and the best plants for certain purposes.

If you find yourself with a spare few minutes this weekend, treat yourself to a scroll.

You'll find a group of Gen-Zers who can teach you a thing or two about caring for your greens.

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Read more:

Why plants are the green gift that keeps on giving

How to grow your own vegetables: Why now is the time to get into windowsill gardening

Inside information: how to choose your succulents

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Updated: July 9, 2020 09:40 PM

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