In human-controlled environments and in cultivated landscapes, the plants accommodate social, cultural and economic needs. This article will focus on the use of plants for agriculture, urban planning, forestry, environmental education and indoor decoration in The Netherlands. This exploration, based on literature review and observations, reveals mostly anthropocentric, instrumental and unsustainable practices. In urban landscapes plants are pushed to the margins, if not entirely eradicated. This article shows that moral recognition of plants is an ethical imperative, which is also critically important to achieve environmental sustainability. In line with ecocentric ethics and in the interest of long-term sustainability, this article suggests alternative, more ethical and sustainable ways of relating to plants in The Netherlands and beyond.