Gardening is a skill in The Sims 3. The skill is augmented by the Green Thumb trait, and the Super Green Thumb lifetime reward. It involves (as with gardening in real life and the previous Sims games) the planting, growing and harvesting of various plants that Sims can find within the game. Unlike the previous Sims games, The Sims 3 gardening has been much expanded upon, introducing many real-life plants and several fictional species such as the 'Life Fruit', 'Flame Fruit', and 'Plasma Fruit'.
Some expansion packs include more varieties of plant collections. Some of the plants can be used as ingredients for Nectar Making and Mixology, with the key ingredients for Nectar Making being the grapes from Champs Les Sims. With Ambitions, Sims can register as a self-employed Gardener. Gardening can be profitable by selling the harvested produce from the inventory, supermarket, or consignment store.
Only teens and older can tend gardens. Children cannot learn the Gardening skill, but they can learn the Child Gardening hidden skill. Once a child grows up into a teenager, they will earn Gardening skills at the same level of their Child Gardening and Scouting hidden skills.
Once a Sim has maximized their Gardening skill, they will receive a certificate in the mailbox a few days later, along with a notification saying: "The Dillinger Diggers Guild congratulates you, [Sim name], for achieving the very highest level of excellence in bringing life forth from our fertile Earth. Please accept this handsomely framed certificate and display it with pride knowing others will see just how skilled you are."
- Number Planted
- Unique Plants Planted
- Items Harvested
- Perfect Items Harvested
- Unknown Seeds Planted
- Best Harvestable
- Money Earned
- Largest Money Bag Harvested
- Master Planter
A Master Planter must plant 19 types of plant that can be planted in the game. Once you have mastered the varieties you will be able to reduce weed growth significantly on future plants.
- Botanical Boss
Botanical Bosses must harvest at least 75 Perfect fruits and vegetables. After so many Perfect harvestables, the plants of Botanical Bosses almost never die from neglect.
- Master Farmer
Master Farmers have harvested at least 650 fruits and vegetables. The plants of Master Farmers remain watered and fertilized longer, meaning their gardens are more efficient.
|0||Plant Common seeds|
|5||Plant Uncommon seeds|
|6||Revive plants (with Green Thumb trait)|
|7||Plant Rare and Special seeds|
|8||Plant Cheese and Egg plants (via Skill Opportunities)|
|9||Plant Burger Patty and Steak plants (via Skill Opportunities)|
|10||Plant Omni Plant seeds (via Skill Opportunities)|
Plants and seeds can be planted at home. Seeds can be found on the ground throughout the town or upon reaching level 1, while plants can be found from the supermarket, vegetable stand[Store], or harvesting from wild plants.
Several plants are exclusive to premium Store contents. These plants are only included by purchasing certain premium contents (which are usually part of a set or venue) and installing them to the game. The plants and the premium contents are as following:
- Humble Harvest Stands: lemon and purple eggplant
- Grandpa's Grove Tractor: orange
- Bohemian Fruit and Nuts: blackberry, blueberry, cocoa, peach, pear, pecan, raspberry, and strawberry
- Canning Station: cucumber, corn
|Image||Plant Name||Rarity||Value (in §)||Max Produce||Fertilizer Value||Fertilizer Days||Plant Type||Nectar Value||EP|
|Bell Pepper||Rare||12||15||15||4||Staked Bush||-|
|Life Fruit||Special||25||12||25||6||Staked Bush||22|
|Death Flower||Special||0||2||-200||4||Staked Bush||-|
|Omni Plant||Special||Varies||25||-||-||Staked Bush||-|
|Cherimola Blan Grapes||Common||4||30||5||3||Vine||5|
|Gralladina Fran Grapes||Rare||10||30||15||3||Vine||12|
|Cranerlet Nuala Grapes||Rare||13||30||15||3||Vine||16|
|Plasma Fruit||Rare||20||2||20||4||Staked Bush||18|
|Red Valerian Root||Common||6||20||5||3||Bush||-|
|Cortado Bean||Common||22||20||10||5||Coffee Plant||-|
|Kona Bean||Common||9||20||10||5||Coffee Plant||-|
|Maui Bean||Common||11||20||10||5||Coffee Plant||-|
|Midnight Bean||Common||12||20||10||5||Coffee Plant||-|
|Red Berry Bean||Common||50||20||10||5||Coffee Plant||-|
|Forbidden Fruit||Special||1||-||-||Forbidden Plant||-|
|Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Kindness)||Common||35||20||-||-||Crystal Flower||-|
|Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Laughter)||Common||35||20||-||-||Crystal Flower||-|
|Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Love)||Common||35||20||-||-||Crystal Flower||-|
|Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Rage)||Common||35||20||-||-||Crystal Flower||-|
|Crystal Flower (Emotional Charge: Neutral)||Common||15||20||-||-||Crystal Flower||-|
|Purple Eggplant||Common||4||20||5||4||Staked Bush||3|
- The sale values of each plant depends on its quality. The higher the quality, the more valuable it will be, based on its base value:
- Horrifying: 60%
- Putrid: 70%
- Foul: 80%
- Bad: 90%
- Normal: 100%
- Nice: 110%
- Very Nice: 150%
- Great: 200%
- Excellent: 250%
- Outstanding: 300%
- Perfect: 400%
- Max Produce is the maximum produce the plant can bear before being barren.
- Nectar Value is the value of the produce when used as a single nectar ingredient.
Quality & varieties
Harvested produce has a quality ranging from horrifying, putrid, foul, bad, normal, nice, very nice, great, excellent, outstanding, and perfect. Higher quality produce is worth more for selling and will have increased strength as fertilizer. The quality of the harvested produce roughly corresponds to the quality of the plants. Thus, an excellent apple tree will usually bear excellent apples, however there is a chance of harvesting higher quality produce.
Produce can be used for the following:
- Cooking ingredients
- Nectar Making ingredients[TS3:WA]
- Mixology ingredients[TS3:LN]
- Alchemy ingredients[TS3:SN]
- Jam and preserve ingredients[Store]
- Science samples[TS3:UL]
- Fishing baits
Generally, plants are used for ingredients. Store plants are usually used to complement other premium contents:
- Lemons are used to create lemonades from the lemonade stand. The lemonade stand is part of Humble Harvest Stands premium content.
- Lemons and purple eggplants are ingredients of some of the pizzas from the wood fire oven. The wood fire oven is part of Monte Vista special premium content.
- Plants from Bohemian Fruit and Nuts premium content are ingredients of most recipes for the Baker's Station premium content.
Additionally, produces can be used to create jams and preserves with Canning Station premium content.
Some plants also have their own unique variety, which makes them have other usages aside from ingredients.
Mushrooms are plants that came from Supernatural. The common use of mushroom is for Alchemy ingredients. Some mushrooms are edible and can be used as a food ingredient, i.e. truffles, porcinis, and white caps; while the others are inedible. Collecting wild mushrooms is also part of the Collecting challenges. Collecting 7 of them will increase the quality of mushrooms grown. Harvested mushrooms don't count to the challenge.
Herbs are plants that came from University Life. Herbs are related to Rebel social group. Herbs can be used as an addition to meal or herbal drink, burned in bonfire or fireplace, or eaten raw, which will give a moodlet and various certain effects. The moodlet time is based on how the herb is consumed: 8 hours if eaten raw, 5 hours if added to meal, 3 hours from herbal drink, and 2 hours from being burned. There's a 15% chance the herb will cause herb nausea when consumed, which will increase or decrease based on the quality of the herb.
Below is the list of herbs and its effects:
- Peppermint - No effect
- Chamomile - Increases social group influence gain by 15%
- Cinnamon - May increase the effect of romantic interactions
- Greenleaf - Increases weight loss rate by 20%
- Basil - Increases performance gain by 5% and opportunity reward by 10%
- Bumbleleaf - Extends the "On Fire" moodlet to 4 hours
- Buzzberry - Increases Athletic skill gain by 15%
- Ginseng - May decrease energy need decay
- Lavender - Increases energy need gain by 10%
- Licorice - Decreases hunger need decay by 30%
- Wonderpetal - Increases academic performance gain by 10%
- Sweet Grass - Removes "Nauseous", "Visceroidal Nausea", "Virtually Nauseous", "Seasick", "Herb Nausea", and "Buzz Crashed" moodlets. Does not remove "Liquid Crash" and "Food Poisoning" moodlets, however.
Coffee beans are plants that came from University Life. Coffee beans can be consumed raw or as coffee drink from the barista bar. Coffee beans cannot be used as any ingredients or for the espresso maker. Consuming coffee bean will give various moodlets, which work like "Buzzed" moodlet from drinking coffee, which will temporarily override "Sleepy", "Tired", and "Exhausted" moodlets, as well as getting "Buzz Crashed" when the effect expires.
Below is the list of coffee beans:
- Midnight Bean
- Kona Bean
- Red Berry Bean
- Cortado Bean
- Maui Bean
Crystal flowers are plants that came from Into the Future. The main use of crystal flowers is as ingredients to create trait chips for plumbots. A crystal flower has 5 types of emotional charges. The common emotional charge is neutral. Sims can charge a crystal flower so the emotional charge will turn into either kindness, laughter, love, or rage. After that, they must charge the flower regularly, or the emotional charge will lose its power and eventually turn back into neutral. Sims can also neutralize the flower to change the emotional charge to neutral instantly.
When the flowers are harvested, Sims can harness the flower or imbue it to other Sims. When harnessed, the flower will grant a special moodlet to the user. Only non-neutral flowers can be harnessed.
Money tree is a special tree that has money bill leaves and grows money bags. Sims can harvest the money bags and exchange them for money. Sims can receive the seed from certain opportunities, fishing, analyzing an unknown special seed, and so on.
If tended well, money trees will never die. However, should it be neglected too long and perish, it will explode and leave many bills behind.
The following plants have the rarity of special. Sims can plant these seeds after they've completed certain opportunities. Completing the Uncommonly Good opportunity will grant the ability to plant cheeses and eggs. Completing the Outstandingly Rare opportunity will grant the ability to plant steaks and patties. Completing The Omnificent Plant grants the ability to plant omni plant and order its seed from the mailbox. These opportunities can only be received in order, but not necessarily consecutively. This is because The Omnificent Plant requires Sims to plant outstanding steaks and Outstandingly Rare requires Sims to plant excellent cheeses.
Omni plant is a special plant which can be used to replicate many things. The plant can be fed with items, and once the plant is on its harvest state, Sims can harvest whatever the plant was fed with. The following are items that can be fed to the omni plant:
- Books (general, fishing, skill, toddler, written, and sheet music)
- Ingredients (harvestable produce, fish, and grocery ingredients)
- Rubber duckies
- Teddy bears
- Toy box toys
There are several things to consider about the items that can be fed to:
- Cooking recipes, alchemy recipes, and comic books cannot be fed to omni plants. This means that the players cannot exploit Ambrosia recipe book worth §12,000.
- Not all plants are considered as ingredients. Death flowers, forbidden fruit, and crystal flowers cannot be fed to omni plants in particular.
- Inedible plants may still be considered as ingredients, such as kelp, inedible mushrooms, mandrake root, and wolfsbane flower.
- Imaginary friend doll is considered as a teddy bear, but cannot be fed to omni plants nonetheless.
Fertilizer can be used to increase the plant speed growth. Fertilizer does not affect the quality of the plant or produce. Most ingredients can be used to fertilize plants, as well as horse fertilizer from the horse stall. Below is the list of fertilizers, the time the effect lasts, and the grade.
|Fertilizer||Grade||Time (Days)||Relative Potency|
|Plants Vs. Zombies™ Sun||50||4||200|
|Angelfish, Sea Sludge||25||4||100|
|Vampire Fish, Mummy Fish, Dragon Fish||25||3||75|
|Vampire Fruit, Truffles, Shark, Ninja Starfish||20||4||80|
|Steak, Bell Pepper, Flame Fruit, Cherries, Spotlight Mushroom, Red Herring, Tragic Clownfish, Siamese Catfish, Piranha, Blowfish||15||4||60|
|Gralladina Fran Grapes, Cranerlet Nuala Grapes, Unicorn Fertilizer, Ghost Chili, Sewer Trilobite, Linckia Starfish, Eel||15||3||45|
|Salmon, Black Goldfish, Swordfish||12||3||36|
|Watermelon, Pumpkin, Ginseng, Sweet Grass, Cinnamon, Basil, Lavender, Peppermint, Wonderpetal, Chamomile, Bumbleleaf, Greenleaf, Licorice, Buzzberry, Kona Bean, Midnight Bean, Cortado Bean, Red Berry Bean, Maui Bean||10||5||50|
|Porcinis, Minnow, Jellyfish, Fairy Damsel, Three Eyed Fish||10||4||40|
|Avornalino Grapes, Meloire Grapes, Horse Fertilizer, Wolfsbane, Tuna, Sea Bat Starfish, Octopus, Squid||10||3||30|
|Plum, Rainbow Trout||8||3||24|
|Onion, Lime, Carrot, Banana, White Caps||5||6||30|
|Cheese, Burger Patty, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato, Apple, Lemon, Purple Eggplant, Orange, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cocoa, Peach, Pear, Pecan, Raspberry, Strawberry, Corn, Cucumber||5||4||20|
|Grapes, Renoit Grapes, Cherimola Blan Grapes, Mandrake, Red Valerian, Anchovy, Goldfish, Alley Catfish, Crocodile, Crawfish, Frog, Doitsu Koi, Kawarimono Koi, Ochiba Koi, Tancho Koi, Snail, Kissing Gourami, Toad, Luminous Salamander, Sea Urchin, Anemone, Sea Polyp, Hermit Crab, Seahorse, Rainbow Snail||5||3||15|
Depending on the quality of the fertilizer, the value and length can be modified. The fertilizer value will be multiplied according to the multipliers, and the length will be added with extra days. Furthermore, completing the Master Farmer skill challenge will benefit Sims by giving additional 2 days for any fertilizers.
|Fertilizer Quality||Value Multiplier||Extra Days|
The following achievemtns from The Sims 3 Website can be unlocked through the activities involving gardening skill:
|Name||Image||Type||Description||Notes & Tips|
|Achieving Grapeness||Gold||Have a Sim harvest 100 Perfect Harvestables|
|Fruitful Efforts||Silver||Harvest 60 Items|
|Precocious Pollination||Bronze||Plant 10 Plants|
|Profitable Botany||Platinum||Have a Sim earn 50,000 Simoleons from selling Harvestables||Can also be unlocked by reselling fruits and vegetables bought at the Grocery Store|
|Weed ‘Em and Reap||Silver||Have Sims Pull weeds on 50 plants|
- Sims can use a sprinkler to water plants in a 5x5 area. It can be turned on and run indefinitely. Sims can upgrade the sprinkler with Auto-Water so it will run between 4 AM and 7 AM, but it has to be turned off first.
- Science skill helps aid Sims with gardening. The higher a Sim's Science skill is, the more chance they will harvest extra produce, boost the harvested produce quality, and increase the seed quality.[TS3:UL]
- The harvester can be used to harvest multiple plants at once.
- Selling the produce in the supermarket is worth 10% higher than selling from inventory, and even more if sold in consignment store.[TS3:A]
- Sims can plant indoors with the planter bowls from Supernatural or soil rugs from Into the Future.
- Unicorns and fairies can use their abilities to grow up the plants one level higher, up to their harvestable state.
- The following traits are suggested to help with Gardening:
- The Green Thumb trait increases the quality of plant produce when they plant a seed or harvest produce.
- The Loves the Outdoors trait will create a positive moodlet when Sim is outdoors.
- The Eco-friendly trait will create a positive moodlet when gardening.
- The Gatherer trait increases the quality of produce harvested from seeds the Sim plants.
- Several premium Store contents are released to help Sims with gardening utilities. The premium contents are as following:
- SwiftGro Gardening Station, which can be used to identify unknown seeds, water plants instantly, talk to plants, and use composter to fertilize the plants.
- Plants Vs. Zombies™ Sunflower, which produces sun that can be used as an excellent-quality fertilizer.
- Grandpa's Grove Tractor, a set of a tractor and track pieces, which can be used to tend, water, fertilize, and harvest a large amount of plants at once, so long as the plants are within the range of the track, approximately 8 tiles away.
- Plants will turn to dead state if they are neglected from wilting state. Sims with Green Thumb can revive plants with 70% chance of success, while failure attempt will destroy the plant.[clarification needed] Money trees cannot be revived as they'll explode upon their death.
- Plants will turn to barren state once they reach their maximum amount of produce. Barren plants cannot be revived.
- Fertilizers and weeds don't affect the plant quality. They only affect the growth time of the plant: fertilizer shortens the time, while the weeds increases the time.
- Plants are immune from meteor impact, but the produce will be destroyed.[TS3:A]
- Banana[TS3:ST] and corn[Store] don't have proper plant mesh. Instead of growing on a banana palm tree like in The Sims 2: Castaway and a corn stalk, they grow on a generic fruit tree and a staked bush, respectively.
- Watch out for zombies as they will eat the plants and set them to dead state. Keep the plants indoor to keep them away from zombies. Consider enclosing gardens with fences and lock the gate to only the household - this will keep the zombies out. Plant the garden a few squares away from the house to avoid zombies spawning in the garden.[TS3:SN]
- Like zombies, horses and deer will also autonomously eat garden plants. Fencing off the garden and locking the gate will prevent them from getting in.[TS3:P]
- During and near winter, plants will remain dormant until it's mid-spring. During the dormant period, Sims cannot tend the garden. Planting indoors will prevent plants from getting dormant. It will also change the dormant state to normal when the plant is moved indoors, but only after 4 AM or the next time the game is loaded.[TS3:S]
- There is a glitch that prevents Sims from ordering Omni Plant seeds via mailbox normally after patch 1.17 causing the Sim's action queue to be automatically dropped when they reach the mailbox. There is a temporary workaround for the Sim to bypass the glitch and order the Omni Plant seed via mailbox normally.
- There is a glitch with Gardening after installing Supernatural. Sims' action will be dropped shortly when they are interacting with the plants. The plants will remain in the harvestable state after Sims harvest them instead of going back to mature state, causing the plants to be stuck and unable to produce again. The bug is caused due to the new collection journal feature introduced in this pack. This bug only occurs to Sims who have had history in Collecting; newly-made Sims will not experience this bug. The bug is fixed in Twallan's Overwatch mod.
- The cucumber plant from Canning Station premium content is missing translation strings for all languages except English. This prevents the game from loading the plant data properly, and causes the plant not to grow at all. There is a mod that includes all the missing strings, although the strings are all in English.
- There's a glitch that prevents Sims from ordering the Omni Plant seed from the mailbox.