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!!!
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.
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…
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!
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.
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…
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.