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May 1, 2017 | by  | in Opinion |
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Growth

The first plant I ever owned was a succulent. I chose a succulent because they are meant to be so easy to take care of. I thought, I can do this. My succulent died in our cold damp Aro Valley flat. We lived there for two years, it is where I started to become an adult, it is where I started to make a home. The tenants after us took the landlord to the tenancy tribunal because it was such a dump.

I water my plants from my drink bottle. (I carry a water bottle at all times — it is important to stay hydrated, and you never know when you won’t have access to a tap, or a cup). It feels especially nurturing to share with them like this. I have a sip, then my first maidenhair has a big drink, then my second maidenhair has a big drink, then, if its soil is dry, my little calathea can have a sip too. Then I will have a big drink and fill up the water bottle again. It’s important to stay hydrated. Sometimes I forget to water my peace lily, but she is a good quiet communicator. When she droops I know I have been neglectful. The guilt feels like when you accidentally hurt a child’s feelings, they droop too and you want to tell them that really the world is good and beautiful even though it’s at least partially a lie. My peace lily has got two flowers now, the most it has ever had at one time.

It is good to cut the dead and dying bits off your plants, so that they don’t get tired trying to keep the dead bits alive, so that they can grow beautiful and strong instead. My plant family started when I was very sad. It was good to be responsible for something, but heavy. Dead plants break your heart. Last winter both of my maidenhairs shrivelled and browned and I thought, this is the end. I cut off everything and put them in the sun. Now they are so big and so beautiful. I still get sad in winter. Last week a friend asked me for plant care advice and it made me feel Successful and Maternal.

A lot of dust collects on my leafy plants. No matter how much you dust there is always more dust. You can cry and cry and drink some water and keep crying. It is important to stay hydrated.

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