Plant Parenthood: Setting Expectations – House Plant Journal

Plant Parenthood: Setting Expectations

Congratulations, you just bought your first house plant!

The store clerk quickly gave you some vague instructions beginning with “these are super easy to take care of…” A few weeks go by and your plant is looking weak, limp, and has lost several leaves.  You’re puzzled because you did EXACTLY as you were instructed (something like “water it once a week”).  The weeks go by and you’re feeling less and less inclined to care for a sickly looking plant until you finally decide to get rid of it and label yourself: black thumbed.

Here is the reality of plant care: house plants are grown rapidly in ideal conditions.  When they are sold, they are suddenly subjected to harsh (read: dark) conditions where they are stressed and forced to adapt to sub-optimal light, water, and deteriorating soil structure.  In general, this means:

If after reading this article, you get the impression that owning a plant is a significant responsibility, GOOD – you’re on your way to responsible plant parenthood.  But responsibility doesn’t imply that it will take up a lot of your time, it just means you need to learn the RIGHT things to do for your plants.  I see house plants as botanical companions, not simply decoration.  If you want a piece of decoration for a dark corner of a room, support a local artist and get a sculpture, painting, or vintage knick-knacks.  

If a plant cannot see the daytime sky, then it is slowly dying of starvation.
If a plant cannot see the daytime sky, then it is slowly dying of starvation.

If you’re ready to be a responsible plant parent stay tuned here…(I’ll announce new blog posts via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).