Pack your growbags: why a hotel for houseplants is a surprisingly great idea

Millennials have a special bond with plants, so a new facility has been set up where they’ll be looked after when their owners are on holiday

Recently, I killed a cactus. It was not mourned. Presumably, a cactus that manages to die has a death wish. Cacti – and I just, belatedly, checked – need a dribble of water every couple of weeks and some vague access to light. Their native environment is “burning to death in the centre of an arid desert”. A cactus that manages to die in a peaceful, nurturing home somewhere in Clapton, east London is, frankly, not trying hard enough. We clang open the kitchen bin. We tip the cactus in whole with its soil. We buy another one from Ikea next time we’re there. The cycle begins anew. We hope the next one wants to live.

Plants and millennials go hand in hand. I have a couple of theories about why: one, we are all addled on a combination of antidepressants, pollutants, sulphates and gig economy workaholism, and frankly we need the peaceable energy and clean O2 that plants provide; two, the aesthetic allure a background plant brings to an Instagram selfie simply cannot be overstated; and three, vile landlords won’t allow us to have pets, and nobody but Prince Harry can afford to have actual real children, and the only way to really let out those evolutionary dead-end feelings is to look after a cheese plant. My housemate very carefully dusts the leaves of his, while gently murmuring and singing. One day, a thousand economies from now, he will make a handsome, loving father to an actual child with feet.

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