Plant Parenthood Part One: So You Want to Get a Plant

While on winter vacation, I had a great conversation with my sister about her cactus motherhood. She seemed so enthused about her “children”; they all have names, are on a watering schedule, and even have their own table in her room. Since then, I’ve thought a lot about the wonders she preached on taking care of plants. How could small, prickly things inspire a sense of responsibility in my (usually) carefree sibling?  What would it inspire in me?

To answer these questions, I’ve decided to give plant parenthood in 2018 a shot. The first task at hand is obvious: find plants to raise. If I was going to take on this new hobby, I wanted to do it right; So, I did my research on plant shops around the area to find a place that was both affordable and reliable. After a long Yelp binge, I landed on “niche”: a plant store with locations in the South End and Cambridge.

Based on my budget and the fact that I had no clue what type of plants I was looking for, “niche” was the right choice. The Cambridge location had such a vibrant ambiance, filled with all types of plants; from herbs to desert plants, they had an abundance of options for me to choose from. The employees were also extremely helpful, too. They helped me figure out which plants were best to start with and gave me some good tips as well.

In the end, I chose a small succulent and a pilea for my first plant babies. Although my selections were based on looks at first, the cashier of the nursery assured me that the two plants were good for the indoors and had a relatively easy care regimen. She also told me that a water spray bottle was a good investment during the winter to make sure my plants don’t get more water than sun. If my first plant parenthood experience goes well, I will definitely go back to see what other plant selections interest me.

Aside from the two plants I purchased from “niche,” I’ve had a yellow cactus named Elenor after a song by The Turtles that fit her. For the full plant mom experience, I decided to keep with the 60s/70s music theme. Because the pilea looks mystical and majestic, I’ve named her Rhiannon after the Fleetwood Mac song (of course, with my queen Stevie Nicks in mind.) With its star power, I named the succulent Ziggy after David Bowie’s alter ego. Maybe I like having a reminder of my music icons or the creative license to give them names at all, but their titles make excited to look after them.

From my trip to “niche” to naming my plant children, the first stage as my role of plant mom was extremely radiant. The plants have already established a sense of beauty in my room and my life as a whole. I’m excited to see them thrive and to see how I handle my responsibilities in plant parenthood.

Next step on this journey: finding a routine and dressing up my plant children with pots.


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