Don't Stop Be Leafing

Feburary 22, 2021
by Karly

Let’s talk about two of my favorite things: houseplants and the enneagram. What do these two have in common? Let’s find out together.

I have spent many hours reading and listening to podcasts on the enneagram, before it was cool. Years ago, someone had shared the quiz with me, and I was intrigued right away. I have always found it so fascinating why humans act the way we do. This is why I love the airport so much, trying to analyze every stranger’s life. People watching is the best in airports. There is always that one guy who is a little drunk running to catch his flight, the loud phone talker waiting next to you in your gate, the teenager that hates their life and won’t get off their phone and of course the cute little toddlers that are screaming spitting and dancing all over the place. They are always the most fun to watch. Anyway, as I read about the enneagram, I felt so known. I understood for the first time that I’m not totally crazy, there are more people that think like me than I thought. The more I came to understand my giftings and emotions, the more I came to discern how to utilize my strengths and grow in my weaknesses. If you haven’t taken the free quiz yourself, do so now! Here is the link:

I have been a lover of plants for nearly five years now. I currently care for thirty three plant babies. Some I have tended to for years while others have come and gone, trial and error. My first plant was an Alocasia Sarian, also known as the Elephant Ear plant. It was given to me as a housewarming gift. As an enneagram two, I often struggle with people-pleasing. I was on a mission to keep it alive so that it could greet my friend the next time she came over. This is when my houseplant obsession began.

With my bohemian style, I definitely love plants in every room of the home. I personally don’t think you can have too many. Have I named all of my plants weird names, why yes, yes I have. I have done that though because it helps remind me that they are truly alive and not just an object to fill a room. They need to be cared for.

As I was starting to write this blog post solely on caring for indoor plants, I couldn’t help but wonder if our enneagram number could tie into which plant we could care for more naturally. As I researched more, I genuinely believe I am on to something. So let me just start off by reiterating that I am not a plant or enneagram expert, yet I have spent hours studying both. I hope that what you take in from this blog post is, a deeper understanding of yourself and a deeper love for plants. I want to help you feel confident purchasing a living plant instead of feeling stuck buying artificial ones. Hey, if you are in a season where you can barely keep your kid’s names apart, there is no shame in artificial. They are still cute and add a pop of “life” into your home. But if you are someone who is just fearful they will kill a living plant because of one bad experience or not feeling knowledgeable of which one to buy- keep reading on!

Enneagram One- The Reformer
purposeful. perfectionist.
calathea plant
Calathea Plant
They need careful watch and routine watering in order to thrive well. You must use filtered water to feed this little guy. This plant needs just the right amount of water, too much or too little will cause disease. However, they do really well in low light conditions and they have a beautiful pattern to their leaf. They are sensitive plants that are often not purchased for their level of care. You could say they are the under dogs of indoor plants, yet so many of us miss out on their beauty and potential! If you enjoy routine to your week, this plant is for you as it needs your routine caretaking.
Enneagram Two- The Helper
generous. people-pleasing.
aloe plant
Aloe Vera
This plant is not only fun to look at, but it also helps people! It helps heal burns, helps your digestive health and also helps clear acne. Aloe Vera thrives being in the sun for two to three hours a day. Water this plant every two weeks and watch it grow!
Enneagram Three- The Achiever
driven. image-conscious.
snake plant
Snake Plants
These plants are known for their unique stripes. There are over 70 different types of Snake Plants. They are relatively easy to care for. Put them in indirect sunlight and don’t water them too much! You achievers are out in the world doing mighty fine work, so caring for indoor plants is often not on the forefront of your mind. Snake Plants will help you feel accomplished and rest assured as it keeps flourishing on it’s own, helping you pretend it’s you that’s doing the hard work ;) You, my friends have other things to go achieve in this world!
Enneagram Four- The Individualist
expressive. temperamental.
zig zag cactus
Zig-Zag Cactus
This plant is unique. It’s scientific name is Selenicereus Anthonyanus, but it’s much easier to say Zig-Zag Cactus. It’s leaves are such a fun wild shape, making each its own. When you're lucky, this cactus may even bloom stunning flowers. This plant is pretty low maintenance. It will thrive in a spot with indirect light. Be careful not to overwater- it is a cactus overall. This cutie is sure to warm up a room with it’s edgy vibe.
Enneagram Five- The Investigator
innovative. isolated.
staghorn fern
Staghorn Fern
This plant has an out of this world appearance. It is quite unusual and is a hidden gem. It’s listed as one of the most mysterious plants due to the wild shape of its leaves. They often appear to look like animal antlers. They can be hung on walls as a living piece of arm. This fern prefers bright rooms but indirect sunlight. This plant only needs to be watered once a week, which makes it pretty low maintenance. This plant likes to remain a mystery to most but it’s perfect for the investigator.
Enneagram Six- The Loyalist
responsible. suspicious.
Pothos Ivy
This plant will not let you down! It is air purifying which is an added plus! This lovely plant will grow and grow and grow, enough for you to cut a stem off and keep growing! This plant can last for years to come. This is a fairly low maintenance plant to tend to. Caring for these plants will help build your trust and confidence that they won’t let you down.
Enneagram Seven- The Enthusiast
spontaneous. scattered.
lipstick plant
The Lipstick Plant
This plant is named for its shiny foliage and beautiful flowers. It is so fun to watch it bloom! This plant looks darling in a hanging basket. They enjoy partial shade, so you can hang it in most places. Their bloom seasons are spring, summer and fall- they sure know how to keep the party going! This plant is bold and confident with it’s radiant colors. This plant is all kinds of fun and fearless!
Enneagram Eight- The Challenger
self-confident. confrontational.
pitcher plant
Nepenthes, ‘The Pitcher Plant’
Have you ever had to declare war with fruit flies in your home? This plant makes a great ally! The pitcher is a swelling of the mid-vein in the leaf. The insects are attracted to it for its nectar secretion. The inner walls of the pitcher are very slippery, which helps those dumb fruit flies fall in and voila, so long suckers! This plant knows what it wants and is brave. This plant seeks justice and helps make the home more at ease. This is also probably why it likes to be in the bright light.
Enneagram Nine- The Peacemaker
reassuring. complacent.
peace lily
The Peace Lily
Of course! This is a beautiful low maintenance plant. You can’t help but smile when you see this plant. It is stunning to look at and it also helps clear the toxins in the air. They flourish in shade and lower temperatures, super easy to care for. They require very little of you, yet the reward is great. They are humble yet charming plants, you can’t help but appreciate them!

It’s fascinating to me what it takes for different houseplants to flourish. Yes they all need sunlight, soil and water to grow, however they each have unique needs and have to be cared for individually. The enneagram has taught me the same thing about people. We all need love and our basic needs met, yet I’ve learned that each person is wired uniquely and needs intentional care for relationships to thrive.

For more on the enneagram check out:

For more help with houseplants check out: