I have not always had a green thumb. For about 15 years (ages 12-27) I either hated being outside in nature because I was too scared of bugs or being itchy or having fun, or I desperately tried to keep plants alive. So, how did I get from Level 0, or “How did I kill this cactus?” to Level 3, or “I found this leaf on the ground and can grow another plant from it”? That answer is easy – the community of the internet.
Once I successfully kept a few herbs alive for a few months I started thinking about what other plants I could bring in to our home, which to me was Level 2. I started to notice plants everywhere and if I gravitated toward it, I snapped a picture of it. Then I had all these pictures and no information, so I started the process of trying to figure out what the plant was….which was a lot of trial and error.
I’ll save you the work and go straight to the most helpful resource - there are THOUSANDS of Facebook Groups dedicated to identifying plant pictures, diagnosing your plant problems, and just for appreciating native plants people see out and about. I joined 10 immediately (I have since weeded out 8 of them, thank you). The wonderful thing about these communities are they are filled with other plant lovers and people who have WAY more knowledge than I did/do. I posted the pictures I snapped to figure out which plants to look for at the store, I perused everyone questions, and I gained so much knowledge from these groups. After that, I started playing a game in my head while I was in public of “What’s That Plant?” and found that I KNEW THE ANSWERS NOW! Monstera! Umbrella Tree! Snake Plant! Educating myself and learning from the community is how I am now able to keep plants alive and propagate strangers’ cacti left and right.
There are so many benefits to having a simple garden and tending to house plants. You’ll see a lot more on plants here in the future, but for now here are just a few benefits in case you need some more convincing that adding plants to your life is the right choice.
Greenery in your house is always stylish. Plants are very trendy right now and I don’t think that’s going away any time soon (at least not in my house). Plants are a great, cheap, and easy way to decorate and add dimension (and LIFE!) to any room that needs some love.
Having a simple, practical garden saves you that moneyyyyy, honeyyyyy! Having access to your favorite herbs that you always have to buy at the store right on your back porch is priceless. I can pay around $1.99 for a basil plant and then repot and take care of it, and I never have to buy basil at the store again.
Keeping plants can help keep you happy! As I started adding to my house plant collection one by one, I found a lot of joy and comfort by making sure they were flourishing in the right spots, that they had water/but not too much water, turning them so that all sides get some sun, etc. These little routines and rituals started to make me feel very grounded and became a meditation of sorts, serving to help me feel calm, collected, and happy. As a person living with anxiety and depression, that feeling is priceless and I have done enough work on myself to know when that bell goes off that says ‘hey, this is bringing you joy’ in my head, that I should do more of that.