IKEA Uses Houseplants To Prove A Point

Published On May 14, 2018 | By Carrie Buchanan | Carrie Buchanan

IKEA created a very unique social experiment to test the effects of bullying.  Not on people.  But on plants.

Two identical houseplants were placed in a case in and given the same amount of water, fertilizer and sunlight for 30 days. The only difference was one plant was bullied.  The other was complimented and spoken to with kindness.

For 30 days students were told to bully one of the plants and compliment the other one.

One plant was played hurtful messages such as “You’re not even green,” and “You look rotten.”

The other plant was made to listen to positive comments like “Seeing you blossom makes me happy.”

The plant that received compliments remained healthy over the course of the month.

The other seemed to be struggle and had dull, droopy brown leaves.

What do you think?  This is about more than whether or not plants have feelings.  As a parent I see it a lot. I see it on social media.  I see what kids are saying and doing and it breaks my heart.  It frustrates me that kids are so quick to hurt others in a post or “story”.  It makes me sad that there is so little care about others.  Not everyone. Not all the time.  But I see it – a lot.

I would love to see a world where everyone talked to each other with kindness. I would love to see a world where we were quick to compliment and slow to judge.

I’m not sure how we get there. Maybe start with ourselves. How many times a day do you say something negative to yourself, about yourself?

What if you started to show yourself kindness first?  Took time to compliment one person every day.  I believe if you took time to find a way to compliment everyone around you – amazing things would happen.

And from now on, I am only speaking to my plants with kindness.

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About The Author


Loves music, loves gardening and scrapbooking -- mostly thinking about scrapbooking because there never seems to be enough time. Mother of three, 80's girl.