When I moved into my own apartment after being married for 15 years, I bought plants to keep me company and decorate my space with positive energy. For anyone who cares for plants, you know that they have needs and are individuals. You have to get to know them. Watch them and care for each variety differently.
There is an elephant plant in my home that is finicky. I use pronouns for my plants and this guy tests my awareness and patience. He has tried to wither away 3 times in the past 2 years.
In efforts to save him, I changed his watering routine. I placed him in bright light, indirect light, high on a shelf, low on the ground. He lived in many different planters and I’ve tried fertilizing and changing the soil. While my efforts might sound a bit much, I had to do something. I couldn’t just let him wilt and die. I am dedicated to energy that brings light in my life.
Here’s what I noticed about caring for a plant that can’t talk to you, can’t tell you what it wants or needs and from time to time, tries to die on you.
Be aware of your surroundings
If I didn’t pay attention to my plants, I wouldn’t notice when they need water, when they need more or less light, when they need a new planter. Pay attention to your surroundings. What is growing? What is dying? What is positive and negative? Everything you are with emits energy. Notice.
Trust your instincts
Stop following a schedule or someone else’s recommendations on watering your plants. Same goes for how to live your life. People will make you feel like you are doing something wrong if you don’t follow along but if everything is constantly changing, why can’t we? Why stick to the same routine, same schedule, same ideas? Listen to your instinct. What is it telling you? Are you happy? Are you living your life? Silence the noise and listen to your heart. Trust your gut.
You have to give your plants time to grow. They have their own process. Even when my elephant plant was just a small stem, I never once got upset at it for not growing faster. I was just happy that he was still holding on. Imagine how much love we would give ourselves if we would have more patience for our process. Not everything in life will come to you, no matter how much you wish or work for it. You don’t have to try and save everything but if you feel a deep connection and if you have even just a little bit of hope, be patient.
Ask for help
We are not meant to figure it all out by ourselves. I know it’s hard to believe but we are all connected and help is out there. I personally like @houseplantjournal on Instagram. He wrote a great book for plant parents. In life, we will come up against hard situations and if we can remember that we aren’t alone, that we can reach out and ask for help, perhaps this will keep us growing. It’s not easy to admit that we need help but go back to trusting your instincts. Reach out. Someone, something, some energy will answer.
Today, my elephant plant has a new leaf. I am happy to see it flourishing and growing, even it it’s just one leaf, I know that he’s alright. I don’t have any negative feelings towards him and his process. He is finicky but imagine if I let him go at the first sign of struggle? I’ve learned so much from him. Life is good like that. Be open to learning and growing. It’s not perfect and it gets frustrating but the lessons we learn will forever change us.