The first time I bought a money plant from a local plant shop some three years ago, I did not think tending to plants can turn into such an addiction!
Fast forward today, my little apartment sprawls with all kinds of local plants, seasonal flowers and an occassional vegetable.
I have grown up watching my grandfather tend to a beautiful garden in our country house. I however, did not take up gardening as a child. It was only when I moved to a rental apartment two years ago, that I started owning plants. I just had a lot of space living alone so I thought instead of buying furnitures, I can just have a few plants. The first plant I bought was the devil’s ivy (Epipremnum aureum). This is commonly known as money plant. Today this single plant is more than six feet in length and its plant cuttings are all over my house. I have also been lucky to have gifted a few cutting to friends.
During the first year of owning plants, I have killed quite a few of them. But the ones that survived really made me interested to take up gardening as a hobby.
One of my first experiences and lessons came with the Monstera deliciosa. I had bought this plant online from Ugaao (an online plant nursery) and there were only two heart shaped leaves for a whole year. I was disappointed. Then a year later, I noticed the leaves changing to the beautiful cuts and holes in the leaves that the Monstera is known for. It took a whole year for this plant to actually blossom and it completely changed my idea on how to care for plants.
For example, now I know that poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) blossoms with beautiful white leaves all winter and then shed those during the summer. All summer and monsoon its leaves remain green and then changes to white at the turn of winters. The snake plants, syngoniums, hibiscuses, water cabbages, and a few types of pothos are my all season plants.
Growth is a process is the most important lesson that my plants have taught me!
One of my proudest moments so far has been to be able to grow a healthy pink bougainvillea plant in an apartment that doesn’t really get much sunlight. This plant alone sits in our master bedroom which has a single source of sunlight that it receives in the afternoon. Minimal watering and access to sunlight are the two ingredients to growing a beautiful bougainvillea.
The one lesson that I have taken away from this experience is that one needs patience and time when it comes to plants. Tending to plants equals to caring for a growing human child. Once you plant the seeds or buy yourself a small plant, you cannot expect it to make it in the world on its own. It needs to be watered, food in the form of fertilizers and some sun, though many plants prefer the shade more. Urban gardening has really taught me more about perseverance than any other life experiences.
I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find some more photos of my plants in this previous post here!! Let me know your thoughts and share your tending to plant stories in the comments below!!