The Secret Personality Types of Plants

Leeza’s avatar

(Yes, You Read That Right)

There’s likely to be a half-dead plant sitting somewhere in your home.

It may be a little over- or underwatered. Exposed to too little sunlight or too much. Or, it could just be an ornery plant that has decided that it doesn’t like people – especially you. But that’s impossible, isn’t it? Plants aren’t sentient; there’s no way they have the ability to like or dislike someone. Right?

Well, as impossible as it seems, recent findings have shown that each member of the kingdom Plantae exhibits subtle behavior patterns. What’s even more amazing is that we now have the tools available to measure these behaviors.

And that’s exactly what we at 16Personalities did. We took plants from all around the world – monsteras, snake plants, palms, and more – and carefully analyzed where each fell on the personality spectrum.

The results were astounding. We found that certain plants directly correspond to a personality type. They are as follows:

Analyst Personality Types

Architect (INTJ)Welwitschia. The welwitschia is the only surviving member of its family (the rest having died out with the dinosaurs) and is seemingly alive out of spite. Welwitschia is not only bizarre-looking, but it also survives perfectly fine with practically no water.

Though this plant thrives in isolation – some living up to 2,000 years – it is notoriously difficult to cultivate and care for. Honestly, it’d rather be left alone.

This plant will likely outlast us in the apocalypse.

Logician (INTP)Quack grass. Quack grass is a weed, and to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

Quack grass, native to Europe and western Asia, is now common on every continent because it keeps tricking those who try to destroy it. Even when you cut it, it still spreads by cloning itself with its shredded pieces. This makes the plant almost impossible to get rid of.

It actually laughs at you as it makes itself cozy in every climate and type of soil imaginable.

Commander (ENTJ)Kudzu. Kudzu vines climb over large trees and shrubs, growing so quickly that they kill the other life-forms through pure domination. It’s been known to drown vehicles, small buildings, and even people if they stay still for too long. You don’t care for kudzu so much as try to stop it, and, if we’re being honest, that’s not going to happen.

Soon, we will all belong to the kudzu.

Debater (ENTP)Venus flytrap. This carnivorous plant is well-known for tricking its prey using sweet nectar. But what’s less known is that the Venus flytrap is an absolute diva of a plant.

Experienced folks will understand that these colorful little beasts need a lot of attention and have a long list of requirements you need to meet. The snap of this plant’s trap can intimidate newcomers, but once you get to know it (and learn how to properly serve it), it’s mostly harmless.

Diplomat Personality Types

Advocate (INFJ)Aloe vera. Despite its understated appearance, aloe vera is one of the superheroes of the plant world. This plant is widely known to relieve burns and maladies of all varieties. Lesser-known uses are heartburn relief, keeping produce fresh, lowering blood sugar, and helping with skin scars, and it is even being researched for potential uses to prevent certain cancers. And, even if it didn’t stand a chance of fixing any of these issues, it would keep trying.

Say aloe to your plant twin, Advocates.

Mediator (INFP)Mimosa pudica, “the sensitive plant.” This small, brightly flowering plant closes its leaves if it’s shaken or touched but always reopens once it deems it safe. However, don’t let this shy plant fool you. Beneath its soft leaves is a sharp spine that can hurt its enemies (but only if really, really necessary).

These plants, despite their sensitivity, are very easy to grow. All they need is a sunny place on the windowsill to be happy. What they really care about, though, is making you happy.

Protagonist (ENFJ)Olive tree. The olive tree exudes personality. It’s a gnarly sort of plant, often dancing in the wind. Although its branches are symbols of peace and goodwill, this plant is anything but a pushover.

One of the most impressive things about an olive tree is its stamina. You can cut it to the ground, leaving only a dead stump. Still, new branches emerge – and before you know it, the plant is again producing fruit. Can’t stop, won’t stop the olive tree.

Campaigner (ENFP) Lucky bamboo. Traditionally, this plant brings good fortune, but beyond that, lucky bamboo is highly adaptable and can thrive in just about any environment. Not only that, but you can shape it into beautiful swirls, circles, hearts, and more – if you know the right techniques.

Be careful, though. If you manipulate it too much, it’s likely to backfire, as lucky bamboo will go its own way, growing in a direction that’s completely opposite from what you intended.

Sentinel Personality Types

Logistician (ISTJ)Bonsai. Bonsai trees are old, but tiny, carrying an unparalleled amount of knowledge in their sturdy trunks. To continue living, they must maintain a meticulous environment and be cared for by very particular handlers.

Beyond the tree itself, the practice of cultivating a bonsai has been used throughout human history to teach patience, introspection, and discipline. And bonsai wouldn’t have it any other way.

Defender (ISFJ)Peace lilies. Peace lilies are hardy and forgiving, and they work double time to make your environment pleasing by cleaning the air. Accustomed to thriving off of dappled sunlight from the forest floor, these plants don’t mind life outside of the spotlight.

Caretakers aren’t likely to see many issues with this plant – it just needs a little sunlight and some water every day, and it’s good to go. Bonus tip: if you say please and thank you to it, it might just do your laundry for you.

Executive (ESTJ)Pando. The Pando colony, also known as the Pando aspen clone, also known as the Trembling Giant, is the world’s largest organism by mass. This organism, made of genetically identical clones of quaking aspen trees, is 80,000 years old and is thought to be among the oldest systems of trees in the world. Located in the state of Utah, Pando has a thing or two to teach the feebler plants of the world. After all, it has survived fires and droughts, outcompeted other groves for dominance, and been home to generations upon generations of wildlife and humans alike.

If Pando had a motto, it would probably be, “Suck it up, buttercup.” (No offense intended to buttercups.)

Consul (ESFJ)Golden pothos. Golden pothos is a mainstay in any home. It’s beautiful, classic, and known for its ease of care, tolerance, and durability. Its heart-shaped leaves are more than something nice to look at – they also help purify the air around them. The golden pothos is also finely attuned to its surroundings and loves to vine (up or down) to see what else is going on in its space.

Golden pothos would love to be invited into your home. Plus, it has impeccable manners, so you can almost certainly count on it to bring a hostess gift.

Explorer Personality Types

Virtuoso (ISTP)Tillandsia xerographica. An air plant, Tillandsia xerographica is a stunning plant that does well in any environment – in cups, on its own on a table, or hanging in the air. Alongside its adaptability, this plant is surprisingly hardy. It doesn’t need soil or much water to survive. All it needs is its own company, good open air, and an occasional misting every now and then.

So, it’s not just that this plant doesn’t need you – it doesn’t need anyone, thank you very much.

Adventurer (ISFP)Miniature roses. Since miniature roses come in so many different forms, it can be difficult to identify one if you see it. However, the key thing that all its different varieties have in common is their small, delicate flowers.

These grow beautifully when left to their own devices and can even bloom for a bit while inside a home, but you’ll need to put them back outside for them to be free and healthy. Give them just a bit of fresh air and freedom, and they’ll reward you with their subtly beautiful blossoms.

Entrepreneur (ESTP)Peacock plant. This plant is also known as the cathedral windows plant because of its boldness and size. Caring for this plant isn’t exactly foolproof – you need proper humidity levels, the right amount of soil moisture, and high thread-count sheets.

Fortunately, those who learn how to handle the peacock plant will easily have one of the most beautiful and charismatic home companions around.

Entertainer (ESFP)Bird-of-paradise flower. Bright and exotic, birds-of-paradise demand to be looked at. These plants grow tall and wild, often dwarfing any other surrounding plants with their dramatic appearance. Birds-of-paradise can’t help stealing the show – they just do. Scientists say that birds-of-paradise developed their torn, bird-like leaves so that strong winds could pass through without harming them. Rather than fighting, these plants purposefully evolved to go with the flow.

Caring for this plant isn’t especially complicated: when in doubt, we recommend misting it with nice perfume, taking it out to a five-star restaurant, and letting it pick your outfit. (Seriously, its sense of style is probably better than yours.)


There you have it! It really is amazing how much personality your houseplant has.

However, we have a confession. We’re sorry to say that plants don’t really have personality types. But we talk to them, yell at them for wilting, praise them for growing as if they do. In our opinion, they might as well have personalities.

Happy April Fools’!

Further Reading

Survival of the Kitted: Zombie Apocalypse Gear by Personality Type

Introducing 16Pet-sonalities!

Springtime in the Garden of the Soul

Take our 16Personalities “Gardening” Survey