You’ve tried it all. You’ve stuck to the watering schedule, dedicated the only sunny spot in your apartment to your plant baby, and consulted all your friends in a desperate bid to keep this latest one from withering away—all to no avail. Maybe caring for fiddle-leaf figs is just not in your nature. Perhaps another type of plant is actually a better fit. To find out, look to your Myers-Briggs personality type. You can tell a lot about yourself from it, including the best paint color for you, so could it also be the root (pun intended) of your not-so-green thumb?
We chatted with Danae Horst, founder and plant expert at Folia Collective, about all things plant personalities and she had a recommendation for every single one. If you’re considering adding some greenery to your space, you might want to read this first.
Go classic with a snake plant (aka a Sansevieria), whose orderly and structured shape should appeal to your tradition-valuing type. “The low-maintenance nature of Sansevierias usually means this is a plant that will be with you for a long time—perfect for loyal ISTJs,” says Horst.
“A fiddle-leaf fig needs someone conscientious enough to ensure they have the right conditions before bringing one home and does best with an even routine that buffers it from frequent change,” explains the expert. Responsible ISFJs, it’s your time to shine.
You look for meaning and connection in everything you do, which is why the friendship plant (otherwise known as the “Chinese money plant” or Pilea peperomioides) is the way to go. “A long-time tradition with a Pilea is to share the ‘babies’ the plant easily produces,” says Horst. “In fact, it’s said that you shouldn’t buy one but receive it from a friend or loved one instead.”
Independent and driven, INTJs will notice some parallels with the wild and vigorously growing Monstera. “When cared for well and set up with something to climb, Monsteras will reward committed INTJs with an impressive plant,” says Horst.
Pick a fern (any fern!) and revel in the routine of the frequent watering this plant demands. “ISTPs’ observant and flexible disposition will also prove helpful with the sometimes-finicky fern, as they will adapt their care to meet its needs,” says Horst.
“The responsive ‘sensitive plant’ (also known as Mimosa pudica), which closes up its foliage when touched, will benefit from truly sensitive ISFPs,” explains Horst. So embrace your nurturing side (it’s in there, we promise) and give this plant its space.
You’re the one in your friend group most likely to get arrested for trespassing; that is to say, you’re idealistic and naturally curious. Horst recommends the unusual, slow-blooming orchid cactus (from the Epiphyllum species) to appeal to that inquisitiveness.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but you might be best suited for a carnivorous variety, like a Venus flytrap, pitcher plant, or sundew. “Part-plant, part–science experiment, these bug-eating plants will intrigue the skeptical INTP,” explains Horst. “They have been known to take people from buying one plant into developing a full-blown hobby, perfect for INTPs who may prefer studying to socializing.”
“Though not quite as easy to care for as often touted, some air plants can go for long stretches of time between waterings—which spontaneous ESTPs can find helpful when presented with the opportunity for adventure,” says Horst. Go ahead and book that last-minute flight to Chile; your Tillandsia will be just fine.
Outgoing, friendly, and generally optimistic, ESFPs will love the similarly easygoing Spider Plant. “With its ability to almost constantly self-propagate,” says Horst, “it can easily be shared with those around you, helping to add life to everyone’s home.”
“Sporting leaves with high-contrast colors, Fittonia albivenis looks like something out of a dream and is sure to capture the imagination of an ENFP,” explains the expert. Also called “nerve plants,” these babies need almost daily watering. Luckily, a personality type as enthusiastic as an ENFP should have no problem showering it with attention.
Go for any member of the Calathea species. “It might be tricky to care for, but a Calathea is anything but boring,” says Horst. “Sure to keep an alert ENTP on their toes, it requires quick reactions to dramatic changes in conditions.” Put your resourceful ways to good use and dedicate your efforts to raising your new green child.
Practical and matter-of-fact, ESTJs need a species that can handle being on its own. That’s why the ZZ plant should be on your desk: Both its form and care are reassuringly straightforward.
Your ideal greenery isn’t green at all—it’s purple. Specifically, the African violet, which is easy to propagate and give away to pals, matching your harmonious, warm personality. “It’s estimated there are over 16,000 hybrids of African violet, and with the largest plant club in the world devoted to them, this plant seems to bring out loyalty and a cooperative spirit in people, much like an ESFJ,” says Horst.
“The ubiquitous peace lily is quick to let you know when it wants something, which the empathetic ENFJ may find useful after spending much of their day honing in on the harder-to-discern needs of others,” says Horst. Bonus for your social nature: Most people have some experience with the variety, so it’s a natural conversation-starter.
Decisive and able to assume leadership in a snap, ENTJs are all about long-term goal setting. One of those can be keeping your wax plant (part of the Hoya species) alive. “Hoyas reward those who can stay with them for the long haul with some of the most interesting blooms seen in houseplants,” says Horst.
Have you met your match?
See more personality-driven decor ideas:
What Paint Color to Choose Based on Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type
We Can Predict What’s On Your Nightstand
What If You Let Your Zodiac Sign Do All the Decorating?