You’ve heard of dog-dads. You might have heard of cat moms. But you’ve probably never heard of plant-parents, have you?
No kidding. Plant parenting is an actual thing (google it!). It’s something lots of millennials are trying out. Because plants don’t need constant attention. They make your room/apartment look super-pinteresty. Also, they won’t grow up, leave for college and leave you all by yourself.
And since we’re all stuck with the stay-at-home, work-from-home lifestyle, it’s probably the right time to take up the responsibility.
Now, we’re assuming you’re new to the world of plant parenting (or gardening, as Oxford Dictionary would probably call it). So here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Start small
You don’t need a full-blown greenhouse, to begin with. Just two or three pots in your balcony or living room will do. And they don’t need to be exotic plants with names like Casuarina Equisetifolia or something else you can’t pronounce. Get some low-maintenance types like a spider plant or a money plant and begin your journey.
2. The right light matters
Some people thrive in the spotlight while others shy away from it. Plants also have their own extroverts and introverts. Only, it’s not the spotlight that matters, but the sunlight. Do some research about your plants. Find out if they prefer direct sunlight or the shade. And position them accordingly.
3. No more late-night binge-watching
Because that means you’ll also sleep late. Which means that you’ll wake up late. Which means the sun will already be at max intensity when you water your plants. Which means that the water will evaporate before it is fully absorbed. Which means it won’t reach your plants and they will look sad and miserable. Which will make you sad and miserable. So don’t be sad and miserable. Water your plants early in the morning. Got it?
And while we’re on the subject of watering…
4. Don’t drown your plants in water
It can be tempting for beginners to cover every bit of the soil with an inch-deep layer of water, but that can do more harm than good. Lightly drizzle the water on the dry soil until it becomes moist. Resist the temptation to pour all the water from your can. It’s tough, but not as tough as resisting the urge to watch the next episode while binge-watching. So we think you’ll manage.
5. Don’t throw away the used coffee grounds
Because they make some great memories.
Lol jk. Actually, used coffee grounds are more beneficial on top of the soil in your pots than in your garbage bin. Being rich in nitrogen, they make for a great make-shift fertiliser. But don’t overdo it. Just sprinkle some on top of the soil. There’s too much of a good thing, just like drinking coffee itself.
All in all, though, be patient. And be ready for some disappointments as well. In the first few stages, plants are super vulnerable. And they might even die. But don’t let your dreams of an elaborate, green home die with them.
Learn from your mistakes, start again from the beginning if you have to and pretty soon, you’ll be able to put up a pic of your home garden on Insta as a #proudplantparent.