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I hear so many people tell me they have a brown thumb. “I can’t grow anything”, ” everything I try to grow dies.”
With experiences like that who would want to try and grow something, especially food for themselves. It makes the gardening process way to heavy and stressful. It just seems too hard and you already feel like you’ve failed. Feeling like you failed stinks. I’ve been there too and understand how you are feeling.
Failing doesn’t build confidence or bring you the peace you were hoping for from gardening. So let’s change your thought pattern and instead let’s think of it as experimentation.
So you experimented and the experiment didn’t go in the direction you wanted. They often don’t, but it is not the end of the world because you get to experiment again, and again, and again if needed.
Only this time you are going to start with something simple. Like a house plant that can take almost anything.
Enter the sansevieria, sometimes known as a snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword, viper’s bowstring hemp, and many more. Those are the common names and aren’t always the best way to find a particular species of plant. If you want to get very specific use the Latin name which in this case is Sansevieria trifasciata. This way we are all working with the same plant.
This experiment starts with a fun, easy mission. Find a pot you love, then order a sansevieria and plant it in this new cool pot. Name him/her/they and then enjoy watching that plant settle into the pot and live a long happy life.
You don’t need to overwhelm yourself with all the stuff you see on-line or in all the books offered on Amazon about gardening. Just K.I.S.S. on this one.
You will hear things like you need to fertilize it once a month, light requirements, soil needs, how invasive it can be, and on and on but we are keeping it very simple and in a pot, in the house.
In future posts, we can break all that other information down but for now, just keep it simple. Get a basic potting soil, a plant, and a pot. You can even purchase one that is already planted in a pot you like.
There is only one goal in this experiment and that is to get to know your new friend. It may sound silly but plants are alive and the more you interact with them the more you get to know them.
Pet your buddy when you pass by. Say hello. Tell them a joke or dump your day on them. They love it! Just enjoy your relationship with this one simple plant.
The fantastic thing about Sansevierias is that they are in the Asparagaceae family and are a pretty hardy plant that doesn’t need a ton of care. They actually thrive being left alone and can deal with a variety of light situations. Low light? No problem they can handle that. Bright light? Ok, they enjoy that as well. They just don’t love extreme blasting sun all the time, it can burn them out but they will usually survive that as well.
You don’t need to water it all day every day because it is a succulent and they can go for long periods of time without water. In fact, they enjoy it when the soil drys out a bit. They definitely do not like to sit in wet soggy soil so just a touch (cup) of water in the soil, not the leaves, every few weeks. That will make them very happy.
Set an alarm on your phone that tells you to touch the soil once a week. It will be good for you and the plant. Overwatering is normally the biggest issue with plants believe it or not.
In this experiment, you get to just look at your plant, enjoy it, say hello each morning, and say good night before bed. That is it. That is the goal of this experiment to just enjoy the beauty and natural aspects of this plant for as long as you wish.
If you want to do this for a month, great. A year, fantastic. Go at your pace and just enjoy watching the experiment.
You can try drawing your plant. It doesn’t have to be perfect just doodle it. Take the time to really look at it and see the lines, colors, shapes. It is a form of meditation that will chill you out quickly while connecting you with nature.
See how your breathing shifts when you do this. It is pretty amazing. You will also notice when the plant starts to grow and see the new leaves breaking through the soil. That is always a thrill for me. I love watching things grow and create new forms.
My guess is that you’ll enjoy this new relationship so much that it won’t take a year for you to want to bring a friend home for your plant buddy. But give yourself time that way you have no pressure and can just enjoy the process.
If for some reason it dies you didn’t fail. You can experiment again. Failure isn’t really a failure at all, ever. You gain valuable information from the experience. Next time you’ll have a new experience and will gain valuable information from it too.
There are so many plants to experiment with. Even “expert” gardeners are not perfect with everything they plant. That is part of the fun to see what thrives and what doesn’t and then modify the experiment and try again.
Mama Nature does the exact same thing, all the time, for billions of years.
I’m excited for you and can’t wait to hear how it goes. Let me know about your experience in the comments below.
Plant Power On!