origin: (1752) Greek; dioecy= two households
Plants are not exactly like you and I, although often hermaphroditic (staminate and pistillate on the same flower in 80% of cases), they too can have separate sexes and that is referred to as dioecious; male and female sex organs on separate individuals, as is common to human beings. In such cases, a plant may be controlled by alleviating it of the partner, for without two -- one of each gender -- no successful fruiting can ever occur.
If you've always wondered why your green thumb has failed to produce a result, double-check that it's not a dioecious genus!
Growing up, my family picked a house that already had two enormous trees; one in the front yard, one in the back. They were great fun to play with and around, but the one in the front yard was the more exciting because it changed. While both trees were stagnant at first, some years later the one in the front yard would flower and fruit prolifically with small saplings sticking up to ruin a green smooth surface. It took a long while for a gardener to explain that unbeknownst to us our trees were of the same species despite their different behaviors. Furthermore, we had a female tree in the front and a male in the back, whose roots had finally found one another underneath our very house and silently entangled, thus explaining the reason for the sudden boon of activity -- mating & babies -- my folks could only be disgruntled that is also meant that no end to berry debris or weeding the front lawn would be in sight!
Myself though, I always found it a tad romantic.
What plants are part of your home? Are they monoecious or dioecious?