June 16, 2021

The tragic story of a woman who watered a fake plant for two years

A hobby that never goes out of fashion is gardening. In some shape or form, people have loved gardening for thousands of years. As people live busy lives and have fewer and fewer gardens, many people are turning to indoor plants that require little maintenance. Some people choose succulents or cacti or other plants that are good at retaining water. Today there are many online forums and groups that help people with top tips on how to keep their plants alive. When one woman joined for tips on keeping her succulent alive, she didn’t realize that down the line she would find out her plant wasn’t even real.

Caelie Wilkes bought a succulent as many others do. She then took to the internet for the top tips on how to keep it alive. She followed the advice and watered it the perfect amount of time with the perfect quantity of water. She ensured that it got the right amount of sunlight and had pride of place in her home. She even sang to the succulent that she grew to love, as one person in a forum had said they respond very well to it. The one tip that she was never given though, was to make sure your succulent is a real plant.

After two years of caring for the succulent, Caelie Wilkes was becoming increasingly attached. She had managed to keep it in pristine condition for two years and felt she was doing an incredible job. The color of the leaves never deteriorated once and she would swear that over the two year period it had grown a little bit, not much, but a little bit. She was so proud of her work that when anyone tried to water the plant she would stop them immediately. No one knew the exact amount required that she had perfected over the last two years.

One day when Wilkes was walking through a garden store she came across the perfect pot that would fit her little succulent perfectly. She bought it immediately and was delighted that she could now remove her little succulent from its original plastic pot and put it in something that it could be proud of. While removing the pot from the original packaging she was more than a little confused when she found that the pot was full of not soil, but styrofoam. The succulent had some small stones beneath it that were glued to styrofoam, but other than that, nothing. 

After a moment or two, it dawned on her. The plant she had dedicated two years of her life to, the plant that she had become so defensive in caring about, the plant that held pride of place in her home, was a fake. She was devastated. Wilkes took to the online forums and shared her story with equal parts of shame and surprise.

The online community was kind to Wilkes though. They didn’t mock her inability to recognize a true succulent from a cheap rip off. Actually, many people came forward with similar stories. One person told how their mother had died and father continued to water her plants in her absence. No one had the heart to tell him that they were not actually real, it took him a year to find out. While everyone mocked him about it, he didn’t mind because he was sure his late wife was laughing at him as well.

If you ever find that one of your beloved plants is a fake, don’t be ashamed, it happens to the best of us. However, if you are surprised at how well your plants are surviving with your poor levels of care and attention, perhaps you should check what is nourishing it. If it is styrofoam, we have some bad news for you.