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Kaitlin Hermanson
Junior Kaitlin Hermanson doesn’t just enjoy plants in their natural, outside environment; she brings them all right where she can seem them continuously  - her room.

And “all” means all 17 of them.

“I just got a new one the other day, (which) makes 17,” Hermanson said. “I actually started out keeping names for all my plants because they’re all sentimental, but then I got too many, and it got too hard.”

For Hermanson’s dad, 17 is plenty, maybe even too many.

“I have to start sneaking them into my house now because my dad says I can’t get anymore,” Hermanson said.

Hermanson’s love for plants stems from an early age.

“Well actually when I was little at our old house, my mom and I had a garden in the backyard,” Hermanson said. “We would always go out there in the hot summer and just spend the day and hang out. I didn’t think it was something I enjoyed at the time cause when I was little. I didn't like getting dirty, and worms and spiders scared me. But it was something that was a big part of life when I was little, and it just came back.”

Hermanson’s mom passed away when she was 14, and Hermanson said she believes this is one of the reasons she has kept up this hobby, as a tribute to her mom and a way to stay close to her. But while she and her mother shared this special bond, her father did not want any part in it.  

“It’s actually kind of funny because my mom and I were really into gardening, but we moved into our new house, and (my dad) didn’t want a garden (in the yard) because he didn’t think it was aesthetically pleasing,” Hermanson said. “But he’d be totally fine filling the house with plastic plants, which is why I like real plants because he doesn’t like them.”

She also attributes this long-growing hobby to her eating habits.

“I’m not a picky eater. I ate vegetables because I grew vegetables so that was really awesome,” Hermanson said.

For Hermanson, picking her favorite plant is like a mother picking her favorite child.

“It reminds me of when you go into adopt a dog and you just want all of them, but you have to pick and leave the rest behind,” Hermanson said. “This is hard because I actually have a lot of (favorites). My favorite is the string of pearls. It looks like a vine with peas. It just looks really cool and different than you’re average plant. It's so cute.”

String of pearls comes from the same variety of plants as most of Hermanson’s do, the succulent variety. Her other plants come from the cacti family.

“(Both types) are low maintenance, and you can pretty much just water them once a week, and they're good,” Hermanson said.

Succulents also have the added advantage that one can just pluck a leaf off the stem and then plant it in soil the next day and grow a whole new plant.

“Sometimes when I go to Home Depot, I take a leaf off the plant and then bring it home if I'm not sure about it yet,” Hermanson said. “That is probably the most rebellious thing I do on the regular.”

Hermanson’s love comes from the fact that plants can do what she is no longer physically able to do - grow.

“It is just so fun to watch them grow,” Hermanson said. “I’m done growing. Like, I haven't grown since sixth grade, so even though I can’t get any taller, my plants can.”

Kaitlin Hermanson, Staff Writer

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