I'm writing a thing where I have to describe and write about the video game Plants vs. Zombies. A bit of an explanation about this game: players must plant plants on their front lawn to defend their house from zombie invaders. The game is focused on the strategy of where the plants should be planted to be most effective. So, in this context, the use of the verb to plant really refers to "choosing a location to place a plant in the lawn".

This game fits in the "tower defence" style of games, but is the first of that kind to feature plants. Other games of this category ask the player to build a tower, or defensive structure, in order to repel invaders. In these cases, the gameplay activity can be abstractly described as "the player must build towers in order to repel invaders", as I described above. However, in Plants vs. Zombies, the words build and towers in the previous sentence would both be replaced with the word plant(s), leading to a repetition of the same word twice in a row. This both looks awkward and sounds awkward, and is something I'd like to avoid.

One alternative that I find myself using is the phrase place a plant (or variations thereof, as in the sentence above). This phrase strikes me as clumsy, and it feels and sounds awkward to me.

I have looked at a thesaurus suggested by a user in the comments. I'll list out some potential variations that don't really work for me:

  • Bury and cover do not really describe the activity taking place. Nor do implant, pitch, pot, scatter, seed, seed down, set out, start, stock, or transplant. ie. Most of the suggested synonyms.
  • Raise is promising, but I dislike it as it implies some effort on the part of the gardener, and in the game the player has to put for no effort whatsoever to plant a plant.
  • Finally, grow has the most potential. Like raise, it implies (to me, at least) some effort on the part of the gardener. However, I prefer it to raise just because it sounds like there is less effort involved with grow than with raise. Maybe I'm wrong.
  • I assume you've looked at things like thesaurus.com/browse/planting before asking. If so you should say so, and why they're not suitable.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 15:41
  • From your research, are you insisting on replacing the verb? Or would switching the noun to "vegetation" or "shrub" work? Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 4:46
  • I'd like to switch the verb...in the context of this game, "plant" is used like a proper noun.
    – Zaxvo
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 11:51

5 Answers 5


Since you're talking about a strategy-based video game, there's no harm in you using appropriate terminology.

You can:
* "deploy a plant"
* "add a plant to a plot" (or whatever the terminology is for the defensive area)
* "place some defensive plants"

Continuing with the gardening theme:
* "Sow a garden"
* "cultivate some defences with a few plants"
* "fight power with flower"

Sorry about the last pun there, couldn't really help myself.

  • 1
    Ooh I like these! "cultivate defences" is a good way to stick to the horticultural theme. And "deploy" works rather well, thank you! I'll leave this answer for a couple of hours but if no one answers, I'll accept your answer.
    – Zaxvo
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 13:42
  • 1
    You're welcome. You can also have (for free) - "Planting a defensive border", "Pepper the area with plants", "vegetate to masticate", "sow the seeds of destruction"....
    – user195888
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 14:34

You might perhaps want to use a more specific word for your plant, like "I'm going to plant a cactus" or "I'm going to plant some roses." If you're uncertain about the type of plant you will plant, you could say "I'm going to grow a plant," etc.

  • You wouldn't usually refer to a garden plant as a plant, per se, unless you were talking about plants in general, as opposed, let's say, to animals, or rocks. You might say you were planting some shrubs, some bushes, a few trees, grass seed, ground cover, evergreens, a hedge, etc. Referring to "plants" makes most people think of house plants, which you would pot, not plant. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 16:57
  • Just throwing out examples.
    – ToTheMax
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 16:58
  • 1
    Just pointing out that you don't have to be as specific as rose or cactus. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 16:58

You may plant a vegetable, "vegetable" being used in the sense of any member of the vegetable kingdom.

For example, When to Plant Vegetables?


I would think about how you station the plants.

(v) to assign to or set in a station or position : post

"station a guard at the door"


Perhaps you can use, plant crop. Anyway what's wrong in using "plant a plant"? I do not see anything bad if you repeat the word two twice.

  • Maybe you can let the OP know why do you think using plant crop is better than plant a plant. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 16:46
  • Not all plants are crops. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 16:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.