You always knew it was going to be difficult... becoming a plant parent for the first time... but 2020 was borderline traumatic (for many reasons).
In the beginning you were so full of hope and inspiration. Most of your friends had just become plant parents during the pandemic and were oohing and ahhing over their perfect pileas and fantastic fiddle leaf figs. They all looked so happy together and you soon developed a new appreciation for the expression “green with envy”.
r feed, and the idea of having your very own plant became rooted in your mind.
“This could be my life too...”
you whispered to yourself on those lonely, green-less nights.
And then it happened. Your prayers were answered when Sharon from work sent you a succulent on your birthday. Blessed be dear Sharon! Praise the plant gods for this wonderful gift. It was time to join the ranks of plant parenthood.
And you loved that little succulent with everything you had to give. You bought a grow light, you sculpted you own handmade pot, and you read it bedtime stories each night. You were successfully raising a happy, healthy plant and all seemed right with the world.
Until it wasn’t…
Suddenly the color started to fade and the shriveled leaves fell to the soil. Your plant was dying a slow, agonizing, silent death, and you couldn’t do anything to save it. You tried buying another plant for added support but it too began to wilt and soon your living room became a plant hospice. R.I.P. Plant.
But in 2021 hope springs eternal. This is the year. This is the year no plants die under your watch. In fact, this year you’re going BIG. Palms without brown edges? Not a problem. Orchids with endless blooms? Too easy. Soil without any nasty pests? Bring it on fungus gnats.
Now before you go opening a tab at your local plant shop, let’s make sure we learn from 2020’s failures. Here are my top five plant resolutions for all plant parents in 2021.
1. I will practice mindful neglect
Overwatering is the number one killer of houseplants. Just because plants need water doesn’t mean they need it every day, and overwatering often leads to root rot which can be deadly. In fact, most plants only need water once a week, so don't be afraid to leave your plants alone more often. Remember, it is always better to underwater than overwater.
2. I will commit to daily check ins with my plants to catch problems early and often.
It’s easy for our plant problems to get out of hand if we don’t pay attention to our plants’ warning signs. They will let you know when they are unhappy, but you have to take the time to look and pay close attention to the small details. Try implementing daily check ins with each plant to make sure nothing is out of balance. It is easy to solve certain issues if you catch them early, so keep your eyes open.
3. I will only buy plants that will thrive in my environment.
That Fiddle Leaf Fig may look magnificent, but it isn’t going to survive in your basement apartment without any windows. Most plant parents fail because they buy plants that are ill-suited for their environment. Take the time to understand the specific requirements of each plant and be honest about your own plant care dedication. It will save you money and emotional heartache.
4. I will learn from my plant parent role models.
The best way to become a great plant parent is to learn from others. Here are some of my favorite plant parents:
Maria is a former plant killer turned crazy plant lady who’s podcast features some of the best plant experts and their helpful tips. She has so many helpful episodes and I was recently featured earlier this month! She also has a fantastic newsletter and plant personality quiz.
Yes, her name is Fern, and it's no wonder she has the green thumb that she does. Her collection is super impressive and her style is unmatched (she kinda reminds me of Khaleesi from GOT haha).
Harli is a houseplant queen on YouTube and is one of the most knowledgeable plant people around. She is so relatable and has struck such a good balance in her plant care.
Kevin’s work is truly epic and his YouTube channel is incredible. Whether you are growing food on a balcony for the first time or building your own homestead, Kevin has got you covered.
5. I will forgive myself when some of my plants inevitably struggle.
Let’s be real. We've all struggled in 2020, we have plants that are currently struggling and we’ve all killed a plant or two (or twelve). Give yourself a break and remember that plants require persistence and patience. Just keep an open mind, learn as much as you can, and don’t beat yourself up if your plants look a little unhappy. It happens to the best of us (myself included) so keep at it young plant parent. You got this.