Just selfies of adults and their plants. That’s it, that’s the story

A collage of people showing their plants
(Photo illustration by Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

One of the best things we get to do as journalists is ask you, our readers, to send us things. We ask for serious things — like what questions you have about the vaccine. We ask for heartwarming things — like whether you’ve fallen in love during the pandemic. With all of our reader callouts, we get a lot of quality submissions. But never have we been so delighted as when we asked you to send us selfies of you with your plants and tell why you love them.

Scroll through this beautiful sea of faces and plants and try not to smile. Almost impossible.

On our @latimesplants Instagram account we’ve created a community for plant lovers. All of these photos came from our followers. If this is the mood you want for 2021, follow along with us on IG. We have fun.


Rubber trees

Reader Yamileth Hernandez with her rubber tree
“The process of taking care and watching my plants thrive! Lots of trial and error but so therapeutic to care for all my plants.”
Yamileth Hernandez, Koreatown
(Yamileth Hernandez)

Julie Eunha Kim with her rubber tree
“I started my plant collection in 2020 because I missed being able to go outside (due to COVID). Now I get to enjoy nature inside my apartment, with 40-something plants that remind me of the basic tenets when life gets too hectic: Get some sun, drink water and be grateful for growth.”
Julie Eunha Kim, Alhambra
(Julie Eunha Kim)

Reader Jethro Leynes with plants
“Plants never judge … unless you forget to water them. From an interior design perspective, plants can add a nice organic touch to a room. In the case of my photos, I like how it nicely frames my mirror. But in general, I love my plants because they give me the opportunity to nurture something — to take care of something that I’m growing alongside with.”
Jethro Leynes, Pasadena
(Jethro Leynes)

Reader Stefany Pesta with a rubber tree
“This burgundy rubber tree was a wedding anniversary gift, and my husband and I hope to plant it in a backyard one day. Plants bring much-needed peace to my chaotic energy. Caring for plants means having no ‘end goal’ that you work towards. They change, grow and evolve with you. I love buying baby plants in small pots and watching them grow over time, rather than always buying large established plants. There’s nothing more rewarding than that! Plants have also been a way to connect with my family. It’s a multigenerational hobby. My grandma has been a plant enthusiast for decades and functions as my plant care coach. I’ll FaceTime with her to give her a tour of my indoor apartment garden and introduce my new plants!”
Stefany Pesta, Glendale
(Stefany Pesta)

A listing for a fiddle-leaf fig on Instagram causes houseplant fans to wonder, “What’s your secret?”

Jan. 6, 2021


Reader Kayla Rozales with plants
“Gather ‘round, it’s watering day! A few years back, I made one promise with my grandma while she was gone on summer vacation & that was to water her plants. Since then, my love for plants grew (literally!). Not only do they beautifully fill a space to instantly make you look like an interior designer, but being able to grow with them & watch them thrive over the years has been a rewarding feeling.”
Kayla Rozales, Los Angeles
(Kayla Rozales)


Reader Jesse Arias with his succulents
“2020 brought me closer to my love of plants and the amazing community of plant lovers.”
Jesse Arias, Long Beach
(Jesse Arias)

Reader Isabella Gonzalez with her succulents
“I’m enjoying my patio with my South African jade plant (Crassula ovata). I love my cactuses and succulents because they’re very tolerant of my forgetting to water them. This plant (now three plants from cuttings) was a gift from my husband when we started dating in 2013 and has survived many moves and life changes during my 20s. I’m 30 now.”
Isabella Gonzalez, Los Angeles
(Isabella Gonzalez)

Reader Michelle Tran with a snake plant
“One step closer to turning my university apartment into an indoor jungle! I love the sense of peace that I get from taking care of plants. When I’m stressed out, I like to take a second to focus on my plants and appreciate their growth, resilience and beauty. They truly help ground me in this stressful climate.”
Michelle Tran, Los Angeles
(Michelle Tran)


Jenny Luu with her monsteras
“Family portrait with Phoenix the furball and 5 monsteras! My plants have taught me to be present, reminding me to slow down as I lose myself in their natural beauty and life cycles. I hope it’s a mutual love!”
Jenny Luu, Los Angeles
(Jenny Luu)


Reader Amanda Lim with plants
“There is a special kind of joy in watching something grow and thrive under your care. I started my plant collection when I was struggling with a deep depression. During a season when I was barely taking care of myself, my plants gave me purpose and a reason to get out of bed. Every new leaf felt like a personal accomplishment. It also connected me to a close-knit houseplant community on Instagram, where people all around the world shared their best care tips and their own stories on how plants improved their mental health.”
Amanda Lim, East L.A.
(Amanda Lim)

Known as “Mallory With the Flowers’’ on Instagram, Mallory Browne has virtually documented her journey as a self-taught florist.

Dec. 28, 2020

Reader Tess McDaniel with plants
“What I love about my plants is that they’re like pets, home decor and collector’s items all in one. Plus, when they’re happy, it makes me happy too!”
Tess McDaniel, Westwood
(Tess McDaniel)

Reader Cynthia Navarrete with plants
“Just living my best life possible! Plants are just like people. So many varieties, they all need a different amount of attention. Some more than others. They are all beautiful to me in their own unique way. They’ve taught me to have more patience and brought a sense of calm back into my life.”
Cynthia Navarrete, Glendale
(Cynthia Navarrete)

Reader Irene Pineda with a monstera
“We can all benefit from having at least one monstera. I love my plants because they remind me of my grandmother. Caring for them has been therapeutic after her passing. Plants continue to help me heal and grow.”
Irene Pineda, Pomona
(Irene Pineda)


Reader Dana Stumbo with her plants
“Surrounded by my calathea, ZZ plant, monstera and dracaena. I love how plants give my home an instant pop of color. They are also a great lesson in patience and perseverance: There’s something almost therapeutic about seeing a new leaf growing on a plant you own!”
Dana Stumbo, Pasadena
(Dana Stumbo)


Reader Jennifer Chen with a prayer plant
“This is my favorite plant because she looks like she has leaves painted on her actual leaves. I love my plants because I feel there is a whimsical aspect to them, a bit of magic that we all need during these tough times.”
Jennifer Chen, Brea
(Jennifer Chen)

Reader Cindy Hernandez with a plant
“I love my plants because I like taking care of them, watching them grow and being creative with arrangements.” - Cindy Hernandez, Bellflower
(Cindy Hernandez)

Reader Danny Lopez with his plants and dog
“Surrounded by good company, good plants, how can I complain when life is good? Since I was a little kid, my mom raised me to respect plants and flowers because they were creations of Mother Earth. I love my plants because having them surround my house brings me peace. Watching them grow and caring for them fills my heart with serenity.”
Danny Lopez, Los Angeles
(Danny Lopez)

Fiddle-leaf figs

Reader Arturo D. Chavez with his plants
“Surviving the pandemic by staying home and growing my plant collection.”
Arturo D. Chavez, Los Angeles
(Arturo D. Chavez)


Readers Aaron Mendoza and Kristin Mendoza with their plants
“Our plants allow us to bring everything we love about the outdoors into the home with us!”
Aaron Mendoza and Kristin Mendoza, Los Angeles
(Aaron Mendoza and Kristin Mendoza)

Reader Stephanie Truong with her plants
“Plants have played an important role in my life indoors. I love plants because they can instantly transform a space into a home.”
Stephanie Truong, San Francisco
(Stephanie Truong)

Readers Alexandria Herr and Danielle Hoague with plants
“We are both PhD students, so our plants give us something green and living to take breaks from our readings to care for. When one of us is away, they are also our checkpoint as we exchange pictures of new leaves for our daily state of the plants address. We are slowly aiming to transform our apartment into a greenhouse. Our star plant is Jerry, a dying fiddle-leaf fig.”
Alexandria Herr and Danielle Hoague, Pico-Robertson
(Alexandria Herr and Danielle Hoague)

Reader Johnny Johnson walking with a plant
“I pick up plants for my girlfriend. I love her, so if they make her happy, then they make me happy.”
Johnny Johnson, Los Angeles
(Johnny Johnson)

Reader Andy Doan with a fiddle-leaf fig
“Face your day like I faced this fiddle leaf. I love how my plants add color, texture and varying levels of height in my decor!”
Andy Doan, Playa Vista
(Andy Doan)


Other plants

Reader Dolly Ave with plants
“My plants bring life to my space. They’re beautiful and keep me sane while working in a room for hours.”
Dolly Ave, Los Angeles
(Dolly Ave)

Reader Denise Brown with plants
“I dream of expeditions to tropical rainforests. Until my dreams come true, my plants help me create a personal indoor jungle. Being surrounded with so many plants feels like having my own portal to the tropical rainforests of the world.”
Denise Brown, Los Angeles
(Denise Brown)

Reader Courtney Cleaver with a plant
“The joy of growing! Tending to my orchids and Pachira aquatica during the pandemic has kept me sane. I have two orchids that have bloomed beautifully twice in the past year. They love the sunlight in my apartment. Watching an orchid bud into a flower brings me such joy. I hope to attend the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show this year or next when it is safe to congregate.”
Courtney Cleaver, Brentwood
(Courtney Cleaver)

Reader Bree Dozmati holds her plant
“This is Benji. I name my plants because they each mean something different to me when I adopt them. I love that my plantitas are always teaching me. Some are very particular about what they need, others prefer little to no attention — much like humans! Now during quarantine, they keep me connected to nature even though I’m indoors most of the time, and that has been an unexpected comfort.”
Bree Dozmati, San Gabriel
(Bree Dozmati)

Reader Skye Gonzalez with her Pilea peperomioides
“So proud of my mama Pilea peperomioides and her pups! I love that plants taught me how to nurture and care for others and myself. Being around plants has improved my health and well-being.”
Skye Gonzalez, Koreatown
(Skye Gonzalez)


Reader Ruth Groves with plants
“Every day is sunny when I’m with you! Not only are they gorgeous, but they bring me so much Zen and purpose during such tough times. Something I have that I can share with others. My Zen es tu Zen.”
Ruth Groves, Fresno
(Ruth Groves)

Reader Brittany Jones with plants
“I love my indoor and garden plants because they remind me that both plants and people need light, water and space to thrive. They really helped me remember that last year!”
Brittany Jones, Ventura
(Brittany Jones)

Reader Dee Liang with plants
“Plants are so magical in that they are the most humble teachers of life’s lessons and have the ability to instill peace and bring us close to nature’s beauty.”
Dee Liang, Denver
(Dee Liang)

Reader Emma Louise with her plants
“Plant care is self-care! I love my plants because they bring life to my room and any room in my house. It’s rewarding watching your care and love for a living thing grow into something so strong and beautiful.”
Emma Louise, Sherman Oaks
(Emma Louise)

Reader Alexis Lucio with her plants
“My plantitas remind me of the value of slowing down, patience and beauty in stillness. I’ve enjoyed watching them grow, and being able to connect with the plant community has been a silver lining during COVID times.”
Alexis Lucio, Redondo Beach
(Alexis Lucio)


Reader Nicolette Medina with plants
“My flower and herb window boxes are a budding extension of @mylittlepasadenakitchen ... inspiring me to open the kitchen door, turn up the tunes and document my culinary creations. I had never planted a window box before the pandemic hit. I was producing local television news from my kitchen island and decided in April that I wanted to see and take care of something beautiful on my tiny balcony.”
Nicolette Medina, Pasadena
(Nicolette Medina)

Reader Christina Nicolaides with a plant
“Hugging my only plant that hasn’t died on me ... because it thrives on neglect!”
Christina Nicolaides, Ontario
(Christina Nicolaides)

Reader Jessica Sandoval with a plant
“My plants, indoor and outdoor, are the only things that feel somewhat stable and/or consistent right now in quar-times. The daily ritual of inspecting leaves, light and water levels distracts me from the absolute chaos ensuing in the “real” world, if only for an hour a day. I cherish that time of quiet and, despite the cliche, peace.”
Jessica Sandoval, Altadena
(Jessica Sandoval)

Reader Mary Tacadena with her plant
“I love my plants because they helped me get through 2020. I’ve also made new connections within the plant community.”
Mary Tacadena, Beaumont
(Mary Tacadena)

Reader Christine Thang with her plants
“With more time being spent indoors, I find my houseplants therapeutic both in caring for them and in connecting with my friends who have plants too.”
Christine Thang, Los Angeles
(Christine Thang)


Plants with pets

Reader Jenna Heffernan's dog in superbloom flowers
“Roz the rescue dog reveling in the superbloom! Enjoying plants (indoors or outdoors) has proven to be a source of great calm to me, particularly during these trying COVID times.” Jenna Heffernan, Angelino Heights
(Jenna Heffernan)

A reader's dog with plants
“Our doggie, Zoey, hanging out with my plant babies. 2020 was a difficult year to say the least, and I found such comfort gardening both indoor plants and outdoor plants.”
Adriana Lopez, Norwalk
(Adriana Lopez)

Mark Sanders pictured with his plants and "swamp pup," Wendy
“I run a little nursery with a few hundred plants. When I open the greenhouse door in the mornings — particularly chilly mornings — I get hit with a warm, humid, vegetal-scented blast of plant air. It’s a good blast. I live for the blast, actually.”
Mark Sanders, New Orleans
(Mark Sanders)