Plant Mom Moments

The Life and Times of a First-Time Plant Mom

How it All Started…

Picture it, the year 2020. The entire world is being faced with a new (or new version of a not so new) deadly disease without a cure that’s killing hundreds of thousands. To limit the spread, governments all over the globe are placing entire countries under ‘house arrest’. Well, you know the rest.

Before ‘the pandemic’, I didn’t realise just how heavily my peace of mind rested on being able to do something as simple as taking a walk outside, specifically around lots of trees and green spaces. It brings me a giddy feeling that takes me back to my childhood, and my grandparents’ home with a river behind it and trees, trees, trees and more trees.

So, in the throws of a nationwide lockdown that was slowly being lifted, as soon as garden centres and plant shops were allowed to open up, the journey of bringing the outdoors inside with me began. I became the plant mom of three houseplants somewhere between April and May; a snake plant named Silver, a rubber plant named Phoenix and a cactus named Harry.

…and How it Grew: Plant Admirer-turned Addict

What started off as “just three to add some life to the room” turned into 15 houseplants in the space of five months. This, friends, must be the ‘addict’ part they don’t warn you about.

Allow me to introduce my children, all in order of the first brought home:

Silver: my snake plant

Phoenix: my rubber plant/ficus elastica

Harry (the boy who lived): my pineapple cactus

Melody: my jade plant (still not 100% sure what type of jade she is)

Millie: my variegated rubber plant

Carl: I’m not 100% sure what kind of cactus he is but I love him to bits.

Sasha: my heart shaped philodendron

Freya: my Kalanchoe

Lola: my bunny ear cactus

My Chin Cactus

My String of Bananas (I’m thinking of naming her Chiquita)

My variegated Pothos

My baby Jade Plant #2

My variegated teardrop peperomia

My pink fittonia

My burro’s tail

My ladyfinger cactus

(Plants 10-17 haven’t been named yet. Would love to hear your name suggestions in the comments! Help me out)

Highlights of plant mom life

1. So, it goes without saying that a parent shouldn’t play the favouritism game with their children; but can I just brag on my trailing plants for a bit? Sasha and the String of Bananas? There’s something so soothing and satisfying about seeing them grow longer and eventually trail, to the ground. Mine aren’t being hung from the ceiling or anything, as they’re either still too young or for now, pretty content on a bookshelf or bedframe shelf.

2. Seeing new leaves unfurl. It has to be something like … Hearing your baby’s first words. Then second. Then random phrases. There’s a relief in knowing that you’re taking care of living, breathing things and they are thriving in your care. That’s not to say that I am the perfect plant mom either; actually, as we speak, my two rubber plants are being moody and not for the life of me can I figure out why they seem to be in such bad spirits (the dreaded yellowing included).

3. Each of your plants is live art on display. If I had known the endless types of plants out there (did you know there are over 400 types of succulents worldwide?), this little not-so-little collection of mine would have been started years ago. With the world of types, plant sizes, designs, colour patterns and variegation at your fingertips, collecting plants can never get boring.

I could probably talk your ears off about my newfound hobby but we would be here for hours on end. Are you an inspiring plant mom? Considering it and curious about how to start? I’ve got a few new posts coming soon chronicling all the how-tos this journey has taught me. So stay tuned! Happy planting!