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Pet Plants: 10-Ways to be a Better Plant Parent

There are at least 10-ways to be a better plant parent, probably more.  There's nothing more thrilling than getting a houseplant and being able to not only keep it alive but to see it thrive!

Planting, like any parenting job, can be both tough and rewarding.  Houseplants are fickle and sometimes rather delicate.

You've probably come to learn by now through my pet plant series, that plants have their own agenda.  They have personalities and great character, so it's important to treat them as such!

In order to be a better plant parent, you'll have to acknowledge a few things when you bring your plant baby home:

  • Every plant is different.  They are a lot like children in that way.  Let's say you have three children like myself, each kid will have a completely different vibe about them.  It's the same with your plant babies.
  • Plants thrive on love.  Just like humans and other animals species to do.
  • Houseplants have bad days too.  There are times when even the direct sunlight plants need less sun because the sun is overwhelming them, for example.  You'll notice this when their leaves begin to brown or look limp.  Take a cue from their temperament!
  • Not all houseplants like to be kept inside and not all houseplants like to be kept outside.  Some, a lot actually, prefer both.  That's why being a plant parent is a full-time job.
  • Plants like to travel too.  It's not unheard of for an aloe vera plant to feel a calling for say, a Michigan relocation.  Some plants like to see the world!
  • Plants are sentient.  That means they have plant feelings.
  • Houseplants, as well as all plant life, have a soul.  Plants are ensouled with one or more nature spirits.
  • Plants can talk to you.  They are very good communicators.  You just have to listen.
  • Houseplants in particular really love humans.  They want to connect with us.  It's the easiest way for them to get messages to us about taking care of the planet, not using pesticides, picking up litter, zero-waste, and more!

The Pains and Rewards of Plant Parenting

Being a plant parent can be both a pain and a reward.  I consider it the type of commitment that's right up there with adopting a pet in order to give your plant baby the best love and care.

Let's talk about the growing pains of plant parenting, shall we?  Because plants are so individual, some require more care than others and that's something to keep in mind when shopping in the garden section.

Growing Pains

  1. Plants require a lot of care and tending to.  Just like with a real-life pet, plants are living creatures.  You want to make sure that you can take care of one first if you never have before.  Start with one and build on that.  I also recommend starting with a minimal care plant such as a cactus or aloe vera plant.  
  2. Houseplants need to be moved around a lot.  I take the majority of my houseplants out on to my porch every morning then bring them in towards evening.  This is because houseplants need sunlight and fresh air.  It's good for them!
  3. Succulents are temperamental.  Some plants, no matter what you do to dote over them, will die off until you find their sweet spot.  This especially holds true for succulents.  Keep trying!  You wouldn't give up on your human kids, would you?  Don't give up on your plant children.

Rewards

  1. Plants love you unconditionally.  You just have to keep working on your relationship with them.  
  2. Houseplants give great advice!  Houseplants are great at giving sweet, down-to-earth advice on any heartfelt problem you have.  
  3. You'll have a new family member.  What could be better than adding a family member to your home?  That's exactly what it means to adopt a pet plant.
  4. The air will be cleaner!  Okay, this only holds true with air cleaning plants but it works.  Air plants clean the air and filter it of all the bad stuff you would have been breathing in.  
  5. You'll feel more connected to nature.  Plants are living, breathing sentient beings and have the ease and grace with which to connect you with natural living.  Suddenly, you'll want to go green or for a hike!

10-Ways to be a Better Plant Parent

Finally, here are 10-ways to better plant parenting!  By taking a little extra time to read this guide and connect with your pet plant, you'll feel exponentially better about your role in his or her life.  

Plants make the perfect gift for someone.  They make the perfect friend.  They also make the perfect family member.  My oldest, dearest pet plant Matilda has been in my family for so long, she photobombs pictures!
  1. Name your houseplant.  Again, plants have distinct personalities and really want to be apart of your family.  Give them a name!
  2. Listen to your plant.  Plants will tell you when they don't like a certain spot in the house, when they've had too much sun, or when they are thirsty.  Just be a good listener.
  3. Use rich, organic soil.  I'll be writing a post on how to make your own soil soon, but keep in mind that pesticides are really, really bad for your plant kids.
  4. Don't overwater them.  A good rule of thumb is to add a couple ice cube to your plant every other day.  Plants hate when people overwater them.  It's their pet peeve!
  5. Talk to your plants.  Communication is key when plant parenting.  I have found that plants are like babies in that they love a high-pitched voice or a deep, rich one from a man.  They also know your voice!
  6. Give them their space.  Some days plants love when you dote on them, other days not so much.  They need their own space, literally and figuratively.  This goes for having too many plants in a pot.  Overcrowding is uncomfortable and hinges on their personal space.  Give them room to breathe!
  7. Match them with a healing crystal.  Plants and gemstones go hand-in-hand.  You can read more about the magic of gemstones here.  The gemstone makes a great companion for your pet plant, as well as heals them both physically and spiritually.  It keeps your plant happy and grounded!
  8. Give them a home!  Plants need their own home.  This goes back to that personal space thing.  Some plants do really well in clusters, namely succulents, while others are loners like aloe vera plants, cactus, and air plants.  Follow their lead!
  9. Educate yourself.  Being a plant parent requires a little research and learning.  They want you to expand your worldviews.  Learn all about them and their particular species in order to give them the best care.
  10. Love your pet plant!  This is so important.  If you act ugly towards them or neglect them, they are going to feel it.  I guarantee you that the love you get back will be ten-fold!

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