Lessons From My Houseplants

I often think about how much I learn from my houseplants. I learn how to take care of them and keep them alive, yes, but I also learn patience, the importance of routine and reliability, amongst other things. Tending to plants is a great exercise in mindfulness. Each time I water my houseplants I check to see if they could use fertilizer, pruning, more adequate drainage, etc. Is there something that is hindering their growth? Without the natural elements, houseplants rely on humans to keep them alive. I’ve learned a lot from growing plants over the past few years, and here are some takeaways I thought I’d share with you today.

Everything has its season.

Over the course of Scissors & Sage’s three years, I’ve tended to slow down or take a break from writing in summer months. Sometimes I feel guilty about this, that I’m neglecting the blog, or that the break will turn into something more permanent. I don’t want it to be a project I’ve forgotten about. I’ve learned, though, that everything has its season. No plant grows consistently through all four seasons. Its growth depends on other variables like temperature, sunlight, and watering patterns. We’re instructed to ease up on fertilizing plants during winter months–they don’t need as many nutrients as they do when they’re producing flowers or growing more quickly in summer. We’re meant to ebb and flow, to move at different paces throughout the changing seasons. It’s okay.

We each need a different set of optimal growing conditions to thrive.

Some plants like a lot of sun. Others would have burned leaves if placed in that much direct light. Some like high humidity, while others prefer a desert-like environment. Like plants, we all need different things in order to thrive. I’d prefer bright light and dry air, personally. Maybe somewhere near water. I feel my best when I have routine sleep, breakfast every morning, and time to unwind each night. I can survive without these things, sure, but I’m bound to get a metaphorical yellow leaf here or there if it keeps up for too long.

Change and growth happen every day.

…Even if we can’t see it. It’s really incredible to watch plants grow each and every day. I enjoy watching my plants turn toward the sun, perk up after being watered, and sprout new leaves and flowers. There are few things more satisfying than watching something grow that you’ve tended to. Even if you can’t see each change happening each day, you can notice the differences from week-to-week or month-to-month, and know that those little things add up to become something great.

Never underestimate the importance of vitamin D.

Need I say more?

How do you ebb and flow throughout the year? What optimal growing conditions do you need in order to thrive? How do you see change and growth happening every day/week/month/year?

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One thought on “Lessons From My Houseplants

  1. WOW! A beautiful post, Victoria! I love the seasons….I always have trouble deciding which is my absolute favorite, but I am always so grateful to be living in the northeast where the seasons truly unfold so beautifully. I have to say that winter excites me the most, though! The idea of that crisp cold air on my cheeks breathes life into me. The idea of a snow storm or even snow flurries quickens my blood flow! When I was a teacher/principal I always talked about the quiet of winter, post-holiday, as such a special time of year…in fact, my favorite time of year… so there you have it! Winter it is!
    Winter is a time to hunker down, but also a time to take stock. A time to listen to the quiet. A time to reflect. A time to just listen. Period. So this is all kind of contradictory…I am excited and energized by the winter, but at the same time, I am made peaceful by the winter’s quiet beauty. Unlike plants, I would say I definitely “grow” most in those cold months! Definitely a quirkiness to winter for me…but quirky is good! I love quirky!

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