A little over a year ago, I was sure that I would never become a plant parent. But now, here I am, adoring my third plant purchase for this year… and it’s just the third week of February!!!
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Yes, I have become addicted to plants during the pandemic. But like most plant parents nowadays, I also started with believing that…
“I’m never gonna be a green thumb — I killed a succulent!”
At this point, I didn’t realise that succulents can be tricky. Somehow, I had the idea that succulents were the easiest plants to care for. So in the meantime, I decided to swear off them.
I wasn’t interested in caring for plants at all, until the pandemic happened. Going to the grocery demanded a lot more effort, so I thought…
“How about planting herbs and vegetables?”
If plants were edible, of course caring for them would be reasonable. After all, we were on the brink of doom. I had to be in survival mode. We all had to be in survival mode. In other words, black thumbs had to learn how to tend to plants during the pandemic.
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Without the distractions of the outside life, however, I found losing herbs and vegetables very painful. No, I did not cry over a failed tomato plant experiment. But I wanted some comfort, some redemption; and just in time…
“What is a pothos?”
Everyone seemed to be talking about the golden pothos, also known as the Epipremnum aureum. At first, I didn’t get the appeal; but when I realised we had massive pothos leaves in our garden, I wanted to try my hand at water propagation. They say it’s easy. How black can a black thumb get?
“Omg, a baby leaf!”
Who is she?! Maybe they’re right! Maybe gardening is something we can all learn. Seeing a baby leaf unfurl was so fulfilling — I felt like a proud mother. And at that moment, I realised…
“This is actually fun. I want more.”
I wanted more plant babies. I asked my mother which of her plants I could take under my roof (my room). Snake plants. Zz plants. The aloe vera we originally got for its moisturising benefits. And behold, the tricky Calathea ornata…
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I turned to Google for plant care.
I developed an attachment to infamously fussy plants, so I had to do some research. Then, I learned about lighting, humidity, soil mixes, fertilising, et cetera. Suddenly, I was buying vermicast and perlite. A cheap humidifier. Terracotta pots… I can’t be the only one, right?
I followed plantfluencers on Instagram.
The plant community made my plant addiction look normal. They even escalated my desire — now, I wanted pots and planters, too!
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So I got cute pots and planters.
But I got too many! Now, I had to think of plants to fill my pots and planters. So I turned to my friends who were also plant parents.
“Give me a cutting!”
I would ask my friends for cuttings or swaps. Someone gave me a cutting of a Tradescantia zebrina, and it has been growing like crazy ever since. A friend’s mother gave me an Aglaonema — that too has been super happy with me. My mother, on the other hand, has also received a few plant ayudas during the pandemic. Someone gave her a Syngonium, an Oxalis triangularis, a Philodendron lemon lime… Honestly, I really thought these cuttings would suffice, until…
Plant stores suddenly started following me on Instagram.
Of course, I followed back! Only to look for inspiration, you know. But sometimes, they held flash sales. I’m just human, so…
I bought a bunch of plants for the first time.
And the rest was history. Suddenly, I was visiting nurseries and browsing through online stores in my spare time. I’d buy some affordable plants and pots sometimes.
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Suddenly, my room was filled with 10 plants.
And then, I realised how my plants were eating my savings away! So I tried to go on a plant buying ban, only to fail instantly. But because I had so many plants to look after, some of them died.
And then I wanted to replace the plants that failed to thrive.
Thankfully, my plants started thriving again.
I learned that experience is the best teacher when it comes to gardening. With most of my plants thriving under my care, I was inspired to buy more. Don’t I deserve a reward for keeping them happy and alive?
So, I bought some more.
At this point, I was trying to be as low-key as possible. Fine, I tried hiding my purchases from my loved ones who think my habit of buying plants had become a problem.
One day, I looked at my plant babies and realised that maybe they were right. I did have too many plants.
I considered selling my plants.
I’d propagated so many of my babies. What was I supposed to do with my six extra pots of pothos? Should I have started a plant shop? Or should I have reserved them for plant swaps?
I gave some of my plants away.
Instantly, I started missing my babies. Should I see how they are on Instagram? Oh, look, a new plant shop… And I have more space now…
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I want more.
Will the cycle ever end? I doubt it will in the near future. For now, I’m just relishing in the joy I get from tending to my plants during the pandemic. And if you don’t get where I’m coming from, I suggest you try out the golden pothos.