My Deep Dive into (Plant) Motherhood

My path to plant motherhood first began several years ago, when my high school best friend gifted me a succulent. It was in the tiniest, hand painted pot adorned with roses and thoughtfulness. I was in love.

Yet my love was not enough for the succulent, as I somehow managed to kill it due to underwatering. Yes, I did not water my succulent enough. My dream of being a plant mom was temporarily shattered, and I threw it away until this year. At the beginning of this semester, I was a bit more lonely than usual. Due to the pandemic, Boston looks and feels very empty, and many of my friends are not studying in-person this fall. I’d guess approximately 40-50% of my friends, including my boyfriend, are not in Boston. Plus, with the (very necessary!) social distancing requirements, human interaction has decreased dramatically.

While I’d love to get a pet, I know I lack the financial stability necessary to provide for one. So, the next best option is to buy some greenery!

I was pretty hesitant at first because the tragic death of my last plant still stuck with me, but once some loved ones gifted me an orchid and some succulents,  the plan was set in stone. My roommate and I bought a monstera, prayer plant, and snake plant for our communal spaces, and my obsession began.

plant with green and red leaves Photo by David Clode from Unsplash We now have over ten plants in the apartment, and considering our square footage that is a lot! A pothos hangs over our kitchen counter and a flowering cyclamen sits on my windowsill. The orchid rests beside the stove, and two more plants are perched on the microwave. There is practically a plant army in the apartment, and I couldn’t love them more.

Monstera plant on top of soda machine Photo by Kelsey Knight from Unsplash Our plants have remained mostly healthy, though there have been some bumps in the road. I discovered crotons are highly temperamental when mine shed all but three leaves after half a week without water. It is currently recovering in my closet which has since been converted into a plant hospital. 

The prayer plant and the snake plant have also been fussy due to the amount of fluoride in our tap water. Now, I have to water them using the Brita.

Plants in fun pots on a shelf Photo by Prudence Earl from Unsplash

My plants may be divas but I love them nonetheless.

On the bright side, I’ve found solace in my plants. As embarrassing as it may be to admit, I talk to them sometimes, and I genuinely enjoy the responsibility of caring for a living being. It’s nice knowing that I’m not completely alone in my room, there are three (four if you count the croton in the closet) plants surrounding me. 

While they may be silent, perhaps my plants are a testament to the idea that the best company is born in silence. 

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