What NOT to Do to Keep Your Plants Alive

 “All you have to do is water it and put it in the sun.” AKA the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. If that was the case, all five plants I purchased earlier this spring would still be alive. I didn’t do all too bad though; one of the plants survived my terrible mothering skills and that must count for something, right?

Don’t purchase a plant without researching its signs of good health or its maintenance requirements

I jumped on the plant mom train to bring good fortune and good energy into my everyday life. My first plant was a lucky bamboo named Nysa, which means “new beginnings” in Greek. I didn’t even bother to look up what a healthy bamboo looks like or how to care for one before making my purchase. That was my first mistake. Nysa quickly started withering away due to her already poor health conditions and my lack of knowledge on how to care for bamboo. Her once green leaves turned yellow, then brown and she developed tiny black spots all over. I was worried but I somehow thought I could revive her. Of course, I didn’t, and I purchased another bamboo upon Nysa’s passing and named her Nysa 2.0. Long story short, bamboos are hard to take care of and Nysa 2.0 also did not last.

Don’t deem yourself a plant expert one week into the plant mom life

A few days of keeping Nysa alive and I thought I was a botanical expert. Along came my second plant, a bonsai named Nyjah. 

Courtesy: Luther Bottrill on Unsplash

He lasted three weeks. The cause of death? Sunburn. That’s right, sunburn. Me, the newly self-proclaimed plant expert, had no clue a plant could get too much sun and die. I tried to revive him with water, which is when I found out that you can drown a plant too. I couldn’t put it in the sun, and I couldn’t water it, proving everything that I thought I knew about plants (close to nothing) was a lie or at least much more complicated than I assumed. 

Don’t assume succulents are easy to take care of

As my accumulation of plants gained the attention of my family and friends, one friend generously gave me an aloe plant. I thought this was going to be easy because I had heard so many things about succulents being the easiest to care for. Once again, I was wrong. I completely ruined Vera (my aloe) by forgetting to water her, watering her too much and not placing her in direct sunlight. I was completely confused. How did I kill an aloe plant?! Luckily, unlike a bonsai, aloe can be revived. I cut the dead parts of the plant off, placed her in direct sunlight and am currently watching her grow back into the beautiful aloe plant she once was.

Courtesy: Kari Shea on Unsplash

It’s clear I lack a green thumb; however, I have been able to learn from this experience. My journey as a plant mom isn’t over yet but it is pending until further notice. For now, I’ll focus my attention on Vera. I don’t feel too bad about my plant mishaps though because although I’m not the best plant mom I’m an awesome dog mom, and that does count for something! 

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