The great thing about the world is that we're all so different. We get to have our own unique likes, dislikes, points of view. You get the idea. This isn't something I take the time to reflect on very often — how incredible it is that someone or something I hate could be someone else's absolute favorite — but a plant called the Pilea peperomioides has forced this fact into my consciousness. Here's the deal with it: A couple years ago, this plant was ultra-rare, only really known about by hardcore plant enthusiasts. Thanks to social media, demand for it grew, and now, according to Vox, you can get one at The Sill, Home Depot, and even Walmart. Small ones are reportedly available at Trader Joe's for like nine bucks.
While Jezebel writer Frida Garza vehemently dislikes the plant, and Vox's Ellen Airhart diplomatically chooses not to express an opinion one way or the other, I'm finding it hard to contain my enthusiasm for this thing. It's just so cool looking! I never want to stop staring at it. Like a person who has found their One True Love, I can honestly say I've never felt this way about a plant before.
The thing is, though I write often about plants, I don't actually own any, aside from a very small succulent sent to me by a PR company. I realize now that this isn't because I'm lazy, or because I barely know how to care of myself, much less another living being (okay, it's a little bit about that), but because I've never before found a plant that calls to me like this one does.
The Pilea peperomioides is weird. It's avant-garde. It reminds me that art isn't just something that humans create, but something can occur naturally too, and that whatever is responsible for this planet has a sense of humor. Also, in China, where it's originally from, it's known as a money plant, which while I realize is likely because of its coin-shaped leaves, also feels like a good omen. Other sobriquets include pancake plant, UFO plant, and mirror grass. I challenge you to find me another plant with cooler, more evocative nicknames! I will even wait until you do! But you won't, because one does not exist.
While I understand the argument that the concept of plant trends is inherently exhausting, I'm elated to have discovered this strange, almost museum-worthy creature. And if it took Instagram virality to achieve that, well then so be it. Okay, BRB, time to go fill my desk space with Pilea plants! (Apologies in advance to any Pilea-hating coworkers I may unwittingly have.)