Practice What You Plant: Lessons Learned From 7 Easy Houseplants
For an aspiring or new plant parent – even old ones, a nursery full of colorful foliage can leave you awe-struck pondering where all these beautiful shades of green have been hiding all of your life. You walk through each aisle smelling, touching, and looking for beauty but also flaws in each pot. You continue your quest for a new housemate wondering what brings each of them joy and whether you have the time, attention, and expertise to care for this little stranger.
Well, Keys to Abundant Life has done the research for you in this quick guide to beginner plant parenthood! Next time you go plant shopping, look for one of these seven low-maintenance, indoor plants to brighten, purify, and add new life and new lessons to your space.
Take What You Need
The bond we build with our plants may not be quite as strong as some of our human connections, but if we look closely, there are lessons to be learned in plant care the same as any relationship, experience, or hobby. Is there a recurring life lesson you’ve been struggling to grasp? Or perhaps in your most recent moments of reflection, you noticed new areas of mental, spiritual, or emotional improvement. Maybe you are just in the mood for a new challenge and have some room to grow. Whatever the case may be, check out some beginner plants that might inspire personal growth.
1. Multiply your blessings to uplift yourself and others with a pothos. These plants thrive in soil and water growing wider and longer with proper care. Pothos is one of the easiest plants to propagate or “breed”. Just cut along the bottom of a healthy stem first ensuring a node exists and place it in water. Roots will grow in just a few weeks, and you can add it to an existing plant to make it fuller, repot it in the soil to expand your own collection, or gift it to a friend to start theirs. Then repeat!
2. Relinquish some control over your life with a ZZ. Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a really complicated name for a really simple plant. In fact, they are known to thrive on neglect so it’s best to not micromanage them as they are easily overwatered. ZZ plants can survive in bright indirect or low light, with or without fertilizer, and like cacti, without being watered for months though a little water once a month will help them grow. ZZ’s are proof that sometimes it’s best to let go and just go with the flow.
3. Grow where you are with a snake plant. It’s often said that plants need water, soil, sunlight, and room to grow, but the snake plant is unique in that it likes its pot to fit just right – tightly almost. When placed in a pot that is too big or too deep, the snake plant’s roots can become overwhelmed and oversaturated with moisture making it susceptible to root rot and other fatal problems. Although it may appear to be rootbound, an issue for many other plants, snake plants will grow taller and multiply in the same pot for years. It’s slow-growing, but its stagnancy is not a sign of weakness but of contentment and confidence to keep growing even when its environment has not changed.
4. Shake negative thoughts and snap back with a peace lily. Peace lilies are known for their theatrics. One day late for a drink, its flowers and nearly every leaf band together to cause a scene drooping over in unison only to lift each of their heads in satisfaction within 15-20 minutes of a thorough watering. We all have peace lily days where we feel like drooping, and it’s easy to allow that feeling to dominate your day, but you have to take action immediately just as you would with a sad peace lily. Try meditation, a walk, a run, a phone call to a friend, or a solo soul train line in your bedroom, and, just like a peace lily, you are likely to perk back up and continue your day with positive and productive thoughts.
5. Forget about perfect with a lucky bamboo. Lucky bamboo, which is not actually bamboo at all, is one of the most resilient indoor plants you can buy. Conditions like bright light and regular changing of water help it grow to its maximum potential, but if you are a beginner simply trying to keep a plant alive, lucky bamboo may be a good choice. Lucky bamboo can survive almost any condition which reminds us that maintaining perfection is not only unsustainable but unnecessary because you are resilient enough to flourish under any circumstances.
6. Have faith and trust the process with a bonsai. Bonsai plants can be a challenge for beginners to get lighting and watering just right, but it teaches a valuable lesson. The bonsai, like many other plants, goes dormant in the winter to save energy to grow during the warmer months. Dormancy can be alarming with leaves suddenly yellowing and dropping until your bonsai is bare. But don’t fret! It’s all a part of the process. Once your bonsai gets a whiff of warmer weather and notices the sun shining longer, it will sprout its leaves back as if they never left. You won’t even need to water it until the spring. Just bring it inside and let it do its thing!
7. Be patient with an air plant. Air plants are some of the easiest but slowest growing plants, which I recommend for beginners. All most need is a light misting once or twice a week, but don’t expect much growth. It can take years for an air plant to show significant growth, but trust that it is alive and well and growing even if you can’t see the difference yet.
So, the next time you’re looking to spruce up your spot and improve the quality of your air, consider one of these seven plants! You can’t go wrong with any one of them.