My mother was an incredible gardener, filling our yard with gorgeous flowers season after season. And, to this day, my father works wonders in our vegetable garden, growing all of the beautifully delicious vegetables that feed us all summer long. Yet, even with their talents in tending to plants, I have never been one to have a green thumb.
I bought a cactus and another small succulent last summer to have as decoration in my dorm room. However, I over-watered my cactus, rotting it out only a short two weeks after buying it. Then, I almost killed the remaining succulent the exact same way (because I clearly didn’t learn anything from it), until my dad came to the rescue. Here we are a year later, and he has kept my little “succy” alive and well. Though, he did not let me take it back to college with me.
So, inevitably, this summer I got three new plant friends as replacements. Does my dad know? He sure does. Is he going to end up caring for them when I begin to kill them off? Absolutely not! I am determined to not let it happen again.
My summer has been centered around trying to care for myself in every way possible, and getting plants has truly helped me to do so.
Let me explain. For starters…
Plants need a routine.
Of course, these watering routines do not have to be strictly followed, but avoiding them entirely can really make or break the plant’s survival. When it comes to succulents, most need to be watered only once a week or even once a month. By making note of this and staying on track with your plants’ schedules, you can get into the same habit of sticking with your own schedule.
In other words, make your plant-care time synonymous with self-care time.
Watering your plant today? Have that be your reminder to pour yourself a glass of water, so you can drink with your plant!
Plants need attention.
They say that talking to plants on a regular basis helps them to grow.
Now, whether or not this is applicable to every plant, I’m sure not. However, I would say that it is worth a try.
Having a plant to talk to can be quite similar to having a therapy animal– without the extra work.
Because plants need love just as much as you or I do, these little creatures can keep you busy if you want to put in the effort.
By talking to the plant, moving it around the house for ample sunlight, watering it, and even re-potting it when it grows too big, you are taking care of yourself right alongside the plant.
This is simply because you’re giving yourself the opportunity to take part in a more calming, stress-free activity. This enables you to take your mind off of the other anxieties you may be feeling, at least for a moment, so you can solely focus on you and your plant.
Plants help to brighten up a room.
During the winter months when there is little to no sign of green plant life outside, having a living, breathing succulent in your room can help to pick up the mood.
Seasonal affective disorder is extremely common. Of course, caring for a plant will not cure all things that encompass depression, but it can help– even if it is only in the slightest way.
Certain light therapy treatments can used for seasonal depression, and funnily enough, these lights can help to keep your plants alive too. Box lights and even natural spectrum light bulbs can help regulate your own circadian rhythm, as well as mimic sunlight for your plants.
Even if you are not affected by any of these, having a plant can still create a warmer, brighter atmosphere within your room. And, having just this little bit of decoration can be a complete mood changer on drearier days.
Overall, having a plant will not totally change your mental health status. However, it can still be a small source of happiness for some. Thus, I urge you to go find yourself a plant. It is much less work than caring for an animal, but still can be just as rewarding.