I’ve always thought of those that can keep plants alive as people with an almost unattainable patience and a special connection with nature.
Growing up, my mom didn’t keep many plants in the house – or outside of the house, for that matter. It would be months before one of us remembered to water the shriveled greenish-brown thing in the corner of the living room. Since this was my experience, I believed that caring for plants was difficult and mysterious.
There are lots of great reasons to have plants – they bring beauty, oxygen, and when we’ve had a never-ending winter like this year, they remind us that summer will ACTUALLY come soon. Hopefully.
This is my first year living on my own, and I’m looking to change my track record! I was gifted a few different plants at the end of college which I’ve kept alive until now, much to my surprise — which led to a plant-buying spree a few weeks ago.
This spring, I’ve kept bamboo, jade plant, and bleeding hearts; along with herbs like mint, oregano, basil, and lavender. I also have a few plants that I don’t know what they are. That’s the fun part!
The oregano, basil, and lavender are the only plants I have started from seeds. I think they are very cute.
Here are some things I’ve learned in my short time as a botanical caretaker. If you’re hesitant to start your journey like I once was, these are for you:
1. I water my plants every 2-3 days making sure the whole top of the soil is wet. If it still feels wet from the last time I watered it, I don’t. That’s it. When the water soaks in, I believe that’s when the magic happens.
2. I learned recently that it’s important to put pebbles or rocks at the bottom of the pot so the roots don’t drown. I re-potted a few of my plants after learning this – some that I’ve had for months! – so it’s okay if you weren’t aware of this either.
3. A good plant is one that will come back after you’ve killed it. I left my apartment for a week and surely thought I was going to need a new hobby. Amazingly, this little mint leaf came back!