5 Lessons My Plants Have Taught Me

Anyone who knows me, or has been following me on Instagram long enough, knows that I have a slight obsession with plants. I basically can’t go into a Home Depot or any kind of garden store without buying a new plant baby. Oh, by the way, I call them my plant babies. You know that saying “Plant lady is the new cat lady”? Yeah, that’s me! But I also still love my cat, and my dogs and horse for that matter! begonia plants

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, I love my plants. I started with a few succulents and cacti, and the obsession grew from there. I now have 22 plants in my collection, and I don’t plan on stopping there. These plants not only bring life to my little loft, but they honestly improve my life. Caring for them and watching them grow brings me so much peace and happiness. In addition, having plants in your home also has health benefits! They clean the air, certain plants can improve the quality of your sleep, and they also help with depression. cactus plants

Beyond these benefits, caring for my plants has taught me a lot about life. I have found great value in these lessons and want to share them with you all.

5 Lessons My Plants Have Taught Me

1. Be Patient

Now, I’m just as much about “instant gratification” as the rest of my generation. I love the idea of instant results, instant success, and instant growth. But, in all honesty, the reality of that happening at all in the real world is pretty minimal. Plants, for example, take a lot of input (sunlight, water, fertilizer, love, etc.) in order to produce any kind of growth. And that growth is slow. It’s not always buds and blooms, am I right? mamey croton plants

2. There is such a thing as “too much love”

I may or may not have an over-watering problem. I’ve drowned more than one plant, including a String of Pearls plant that I was obsessed with. (Luckily, I was able to able to save a little bit and now it’s growing like a weed, but that’s a story for a later lesson.) While it took more than a couple over-watering incidents to learn this particular lesson, I think I’ve finally figured it out. When you love something, or someone, too much it can suffocate them (or drown them, in the case of my pearl plant). As a result, you are left feeling disappointed and depleted as well! Finding a balance and a rhythm when it comes to relationships and passion projects is vital for their survival.

3. Acting like you don’t care is NOT cool

Yeah, overwatering can be fatal for your plants, but so can neglect. And some kinds of plants need more attention and input than others. It’s the same in life. Some relationships or projects may require more of your attention than others, but they all require some attention. Ignoring them, or putting off their maintenance care, can be destructive for your relationships with others, as well as your outlook on what you normally love to do. It’s all about finding a specific and ideal balance for the relationship or project in question.

4. Apparent failures can often be salvaged

Back to the string of pearl plant that I mentioned drowning earlier. I was able to salvage about 4 healthy buds from the otherwise dead plant and replant them in another pot. With a little research, and a little intuition, I was able to successfully propagate this cutting and grow a new plant! The point is, failure is part of life. Sometimes, things have to go wrong in order for you to figure out how to make them go right. Almost always, there is something good that can come out of a bad situation. And, if you can’t find anything positive at all (unlikely), I bet you’ll be able to learn something. That, in itself, is a massive success. string of pearl plants

5. Hydrate

Guys, water is literally the basis of life. It helps plants grow. It grows our food. Water is the most important substance on this planet. DRINK YOUR DANG WATER. Lord knows I’m not always great about this (read: bladder illness), but that doesn’t mean I don’t notice a huge difference in my health when I do get the appropriate amount of water. Clear skin, better digestion, and fewer headaches are just a few of the benefits gained from proper hydration. Don’t let your leaves droop. Drink your water.

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  1. This was so helpful ! I was not patient last year with my house plants and as a result, I lost them . My S/o and I have been growing an aloe plant however since June and it is thriving! We actual had to do quite a bit of research to get it to this level but we are having so much fun watching this plant grow in a healthy environment!

    1. I’m so glad some of this resonated with you! It’s amazing how much something as simple as growing indoor plants can teach you about life!

    1. Thank you so much! That means a lot ❤️ And I’m sure you do a great job of taking care of yourself! Prioritizing self-care is really the first step! And you got this. You’ll find a plant that works really well for you! If you’re looking for hearty and low maintenance, I highly recommend a snake plant! Plus they’re really neat!

    1. It’s so fun the way plants bring a living space some extra life! Plus, they help clean the air, which is always a good thing!

    1. Thank you so much! I had so much fun playing around with the lighting and the macro lense! And, I’m glad someone else understands! A little space is healthy!

  2. I laughed out loud when I read “Plant lady is the new Cat lady”! Over the last year I’ve started growing my plant collection and have fallen into a bunch of these traps, first over watering, then neglecting because I over watered them! Right now I’m in the midst of trying to salvage one of my succulents, I’m going to take your advice and salvage the couple of buds that are still healthy and see from there! Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. I’m so happy you got a kick out of that! And found some value in the post! That makes me so happy! Thank you for reading!

  3. Very inspiring post! Loving each comparison with human and relationship. It is so true. Definitely we all deserves a bit more attention, love and care. BTW your all plants are so cute, last one is my fave 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I love my plant babies! And that string of pearls plant is the one I saved a cutting from after accidentally drowning it! The cutting started with only about 4 buds, and now it’s exploding! I’m super excited!

  4. It’s amazing what we can learn from something that is living yet not living the way we think of as living.

  5. Im hopeless at looking after plants. I either over water or totally neglect. I really need to try harder as I do like having house plants. Maybe I should start with just one plant and make sure that I look after that?

  6. These are some helpful tips. I just started getting more plants for the home after managing to not kill an orchid alive for almost 3 years… which is a huge victory for me! I have a new found love for house plants. These are very useful to me as a newbie 🙂 thanks xx

  7. Shannon, I love how you related what the plants have taught you into individual life lessons. I have never been good with indoor plants but do love to have a lot of flowers outdoors. We tend to be away from home a lot so indoor plants are not suitable for us at this stage in life, however, I have a tonne of faux plants because I do love the look of greenery.

    1. Thank you so much! I love outdoor plants as much, but never have really had the opportunity to garden! However, this spring I’m going to be planting a variety of veggies and I can’t wait! Isn’t it incredible what a little bit of green can do a space? Gives it such a refreshing feel!

  8. OMG! Number one, this is so so true. Like all of these lessons are thigns I have realized taking care of my own plants. Number two, your plants all look so cool!! I want to buy more of my own, but not until I have a fair amount of space for them to get enough air and light. Even though I love my babies, I’ve also killed far too many :/ (in the past!)

    Xx Ash // themessylife.com

    1. haha thank you so much! so glad I’m not alone in learning lessons from my plants, and in my plant obsession! And thank you about my plant babies! I’m pretty proud of them! And also proud of the fact that I haven’t purchased a new plant in a couple months! it’s like a record for me!

  9. This is a great post! I love when our hobbies teach us more about life than we would ever expect. And gardening and planting hold so many great metaphors for life. Your plants are beautiful!

  10. Yes bringing up a plant is really like caring for a baby . I got one flowering plant three years ago as a present and every year when flowers bloom, it gives me immense pleasure & satisfaction. I feel happy , they really create a peaceful atmosphere & certainly clean the air . One of my potted plant is 15yrs.old , ever green . I love it .

    1. It’s so fulfilling to see them thriving! And a 15 year old potted plant is certainly impressive! I would love it too!

  11. As much as I love looking at pretty flowers and plants, I’ve always put off taking care of one because of my need for instant gratification. Seems like I need to get on my gardening journey so I can practice being patient.

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