How I Developed My Green Thumb: From An Ex Plant-Killer

Caring for my plants is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life right now, especially after quarantine. I have my art, my books and other things that bring joy to my life, but it's different from sustaining a form of life in a way that it allows it to grow. If you have any kind of plant you might know what I mean.

I have 28 plants at the moment, but that wasn't always the case. You see, I used to believe that a green thumb was something people were born with. They either had it or not, and I wanted so badly to keep one plant alive and see it grow, but I remember how horrible I felt after killing my first plant, which was given to me by my teacher. Realizing that I didn't "have it" was disappointing, but I'm a stubborn person sometimes, and even though it took several dead plants to get the hang of plant care, I know that a green thumb, like any other skill, is something that gets better with practice.

How I Developed my Green Thumb: From An Ex Plant-Killer | Lifestyle/Plant Care |Written by  Lourdes Montes | Two Arts in a World | May 2020

I don't feel proud of the plants I killed before. Every time, I brought a new plant home with the same hope of seeing it grow. I paid close attention and reflected on my habits every time a leaf fell off or wilted. In truth, plants have a language; they give warning signs when they don't like how you're treating them. AndI learned to pay close attention to them.

Did that automatically make me good with all plants? No.

Keep in mind: All plants have different sun and watering requirements. Usually the labels they come with will tell you about your new plant's needs, but sometimes certain plant shops don't have the mass marketing instructions other plants come with. So you need to ask and do a little bit of research on your own. It has been the case with some of my most uncommon plants.

Maranta cutting and potted Calatheas | Picture CreditL Lourdes Montes | 2020

But start easy. I highly encourage starting with a Pothos, a Christmas Cactus, or a Snake Plant. those were the plants I successfully kept alive at first. You can also browse through this list of easy care houseplants.

It is very likely, that if you're just like I was, you will end up killing your plant anyways, but it will be alright as long as you figure out what you did wrong and learn from it.

After I kept my first plant successfully alive, I finally ventured into bringing more plants home. Caring for plants requires adjusting your schedule slightly to water and then eventually fertilizing, repotting and propagating them when needed or desired.

When you learn to love your plants right and meet their needs, they will reward you with growth. Maybe that's why some people like to call themselves plant parents, myself included. It might start as a hobby but it becomes a commitment and I hope you get to find your way into plant parenthood just like I did. Right now my Monstera has given me beautiful new leaves I feel so proud of, I feel like I will need to change her into a bigger pot soon. Oh I can't wait to tell you about my plants and how special some of them can be.

I will try to share plant tips and more about my journey with plant care. If you have any specific questions, you can drop them in the comments and I will try to answer them or at least point you to the right resources.

Love, Lourdes.

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