A Harry Potter Guide to Houseplants

Find the most magical plant for the most magical you.


mandragora
Photo: / 34th Street

Mandrake

Personality: You’re a Hufflepuff: hot, tall, bothered. You’re fun to be around (you swear!), but due to your eccentricities, you've driven away every roommate ever assigned to you. You’re addicted to Butterbeer, extra large scarves and playing coy.

Care: Mandrakes are difficult plants to maintain. They require frequent re–potting. Be careful, though, as their screams can knock you unconscious if you fail to wear ear protection.


Gillyweed

Personality: A Slytherin, you come from an old powerful family of wizards. Your whole family expects you to enter the Ministry of Magic, and you’ve been going along that track without much resistance. You talk over other people and stand too close during conversations. You take morning runs around the grounds of Hogwarts and enjoy long hiking excursions. You can’t keep a secret.

Care: Keep Gillyweed submerged in water. It will only survive if you replace its water at least once every week. Gillyweed, when ingested orally, allows you to grow gills and breathe underwater.


Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)

Personality: You stay up late in your Ravenclaw dormitory singing to yourself and testing out potions you find in your textbooks. You’re considered by many to be cerebral and a little frightening, but when someone gets close to you, they see your soft and incredibly caring nature. You’ve never heard of Harry Potter (some people say you seem a little oblivious).

Care: Deadly Nightshade is a wild perennial shrub and one of the most toxic plants in the Eastern hemisphere. It’s not too finicky, but because it’s a wild shrub, you must trim it regularly and make sure it does not become root–bound.


Dirigible Plum Tree

Personality: You take time to really look at a sunset when the sky turns golden and own a Time–Turner that you only use to go back to watch the sunset over and over. You hum to yourself and choose to carry your books instead of using a backpack. You love raspberry candy and exploring the secret passageways of Hogwarts. You’re a Gryffindor.

Care: Dirigible plums are small, orange fruit that float like balloon and grow on squat, woody shrubs. They are hardy plants but do not do well indoors. They do best when grown in full sun, in an orchard–like fashion.


Whomping Willow

Personality: You constantly find hobbies that you take up with a passion. Over the years, these have included Quidditch, bonsai, archery and pottery. Your attention seems to constantly be divided among many different things at any given moment—a quality that disturbs your professors (even though you’ve always done very well in school). You’re a Slytherin and work hard to break your house's negative reputation. You fall asleep in the stacks of the library every other night, and you like to make friends with the figures in the paintings hanging the halls around school.

Care: The Whomping Willow is a hypersensitive tree that, surprisingly, can be made into a bonsai and kept as a houseplant. This is extremely difficult—pruning a moving tree is not small task. It can be done, though, and the result is a beautiful, swaying miniature tree (with an attitude).


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