YAWA: Chia Pets

The You Ask We Answer team have been hard at work investigating Chia and Chia Pets after Mr. McGregor's Daughter likened them to the plastic topiary I found recently. We don't have these in Britain, though we do have something a bit similar: usually around Christmas as a garden centre gift line, which then quickly enters the drastically reduced section in January. However, for all non-American YAWA readers who don't know what we're missing, this rather helpful clip from YouTube reveals all:

But who would have thought something so innocuous could be quite so controversial? And not only that, it would appear that Chia Pets might have some of the same issues as their live counterparts, with a potential environmental disaster in New Mexico resulting from the dumping of unwanted pets. So do remember you owners out there: a Chia Pet is for life, not just Christmas ;)


  1. Good grief!! I wanted one of these when I was a kid sooo bad. Completely silly. They also have one where you put the seeds on a bald head and it grows in… where did we come up with such things.

  2. I was given a Parsley Pig many years ago. Much the same sort of thing, a small terracotta pig with holes in the side of it which you filled with compost and then planted parsley seeds in it. Then you watered it and all the compost and seeds fell out through the holes.

    It is still somewhere in the garden where fat snails have made a home in it.

  3. I dont think I have every come across these before - though I dont feel any regrets about this!

  4. Hi Guyz! I thought I might be tapping a rich seam of nostalgia over the pond there ;) As for the bald head idea - you'll see from the controversial link in my post that's it's been bought bang up to date!

    Arabella - thanks I had a senior moment recaling what the UK equivalent was and you've described it exactly! Then of course we have the more 'grown up' strawberry planter which does much the same as the parsley pig in my experience.

    PG - it came as a bit of a surprise to me when I googled Chia Pet too!

  5. Once again, VP, your YAWA team has provided another valuable public service. Every Christmas I see these commercials and consider buying one for that impossible-to-buy for person, but have so far resisted. I am glad now I have never bought one, because chances are these people wouldn't have been responsible pet owners and would have dumped their chias in New Mexico, too.

    BTW, We have lots of ridiculous gift ideas over here at Christmas time:)

  6. chia pet + cat= little piles of *uck* all over the floor!

  7. Makes a great gift?! I bought one for my aunt when I was like 7. Don't think she liked it. Just the other day I found out that Chia spouts are edible, just like alfalfa.

  8. Rose - I think your impossible to buy for person will be glad you've resisted ;)

    Petoskystone - I thought there might be a fatal flaw in the concept!

    Wormandflowers - I can just imagine your aunt's face! The first link takes you to a history the plant's use. I wonder what it tastes like? Has anyone tried it?

  9. I have a feeling they would not live up to the promise of the pictures on the box!

  10. Oh, dear, what did I start? I had no clue that Chia Pets were not a worldwide phenomenon. They really are too silly, especially the Homer Simpson head & the Barack Obama. Too bad they yanked that. Not that I've ever had one. I'll have to track down the commercial with the jingle "Chi-chi-chi-chia."

  11. VP, This is great fun! We've been looking for a Chia Garcia for years...that's the Gerry Garcia Chia pet we saw advertised and then were unable to find! It was just too silly not to get. gail

  12. EG - you could be right - perhaps one of my Americal readers can hep?

    MMD - Dont't worry it was a lot of fun to research and put together and perfect for YAWA ;) No need to track down the original commercial - I've featured it in my post already - it's the YouTube clip featured.

    Gail - sounds like the kind of thing you'd find on eBay?


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