[RPG] Can the Mending cantrip be used on plants


The description of the mending cantrip says:

This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such
as a broken chain link, two halves of a broken key, a torn cloak, or a
leaking wineskin. As long as the break or tear is no larger than 1
foot in any dimension, you mend it, leaving no trace of the former

This spell can physically repair a magic item or construct, but the
spell can't restore magic to such an object.

For the purpose of mending, are plants considered to be objects? If a patch of bark falls off of a tree, or a limb or branch, could it be reattached with mending?

I understand that living creatures are unaffected by this cantrip, as they are not objects, which is directly stated by Chris Perkins on Twitter. But, while plants are living, usually, could the cantrip be cast to restore them if they've been damaged?
It could be argued that once the plant has been destroyed, it is now an object. How would still living trees and other plants be ruled?

Best Answer

By very strict RAW, mending cannot be used on plants.

The rules that define objects in D&D say (emphasis mine):

[...] an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or a vehicle that is composed of many other objects.

Using the "plain language" approach, we can use a dictionary to define any ambiguous terms that are not otherwise defined in the books.

The definition of inanimate is:

not alive, especially not in the manner of animals and humans

And the definition of plant is:

a living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses...

Using these definitions, we can determine that plants are indeed not inanimate, and are therefore not objects, making them ineligible targets for the mending cantrip.

If we go with this admittedly very strict interpretation of the RAW, then you seem to be out of luck.

But isn't this all a bit silly?

If we wanted to be a little more lenient while still adhering to this strict interpretation, you might be able to get away with using a spell like druidcraft - but as a cleric, you wouldn't normally have access to that spell without multiclassing unless you are a Nature Domain cleric and learn it using the Acolyte of Nature feature (PHB, p. 62), or you take the Magic Initiate feat (PHB, p. 168) and choose the druid class.

But really, though, why?

Honestly, this DM can't find a particularly game-breaking side-effect to allowing mending to be used on plants, and I'd probably allow it just fine at my table.