Plants are more than just home décor. Many of the tropical plants cultivated to be grown indoors have incredible healing properties. Humans have adapted in line with and amongst nature. And our bodies continue to respond to plants in a multitude of ways!
This blog is about how learning to look after plants can help us learn to look after ourselves - sound like a reach? Let us explain.
Plants need no justification to be fed, watered or tidied up. We help plants grow because they're living things; not because they are more or less deserving of care. Applying this conceit to ourselves is an essential step on the journey to mastering self-care.
What's more, when we see our plants flourishing as a result of our attentiveness (though this is not always within our control) we perceive the power of our acts of nurturing. These acts include watering, misting, pruning, re-potting or propagating, which in themselves can be calming activities which help us to slow down.
These 5 plants have been chosen because they like a bit of attention, allowing you to interact with your plant and build a nurturing relationship.
Check Out - 7 Reasons You Need Plants In Your Life
1. Variegated Vanilla Orchid | Vanilla planifolia variegata
The beautiful, rare and sought-after Vanilla Orchid, is also a little demanding by nature - especially if you want to get her to produce vanilla pods.
Vanilla is used widely in baking, cooking and eau de toilette and perfume; the fragrance of these vanilla orchid pods alone is enough to make your mouth water. The vanilla orchid has beautiful, lined leaves, which are variegated with yellow stripes. The orchid is terrestrial, and grows up by twining around bamboo sticks.
Special care for the vanilla orchid: keeping the soil lightly moist, ensuring it gets lots of indirect light, fortnightly fertilisation, pod harvesting
2. String of Pearls | Senecio rowleyanus
Possibly the most delicate succulent plant there is. The string of pearls has long spindly tendrils, lined with fleshy bead-like fronds. These plants are dainty and intricate, and when the tendrils grow longer, they are as striking as they are unusual. Unfortunately, these plants don’t love the cold, and can be killed off quite easily from over or under-watering. So make sure you give them lots of love and care, and in the process, think about the love you are giving yourself, remember that you deserve to give yourself as much compassion and care as the things you help to grow.
Special care for the string of pearls: making sure not to over-water, keeping it in a consistently warm, bright spot, and reducing water to an absolute minimum when light isn't available.
3. Wandering Dude | Tradescantia Zebrina 'Violet'
Tradescantia Zebrina are survivors. They can be pushed right to the brink of desolation and then, with some emergency TLC, be brought back to full health within days. They’re a great reminder that life is about life’s great process of fluctuation; the good things can pass with the seasons, but - in equal measure - the bad things will depart too. All we can ask for is the patience, strength and self-love to weather the undulations, and to be ready for when awe and wonder inevitably return to our lives.
Special care for the Tradescantia Zebrina: waiting until it's dry before giving a good soaking - and gently parting the leaves when you do so. Gently take each leaf and wipe any dust away so that it can photosynthesise effectively.
4. Elephant Ear 'Lauterbachiana' | Alocasia lauterbachiana
Elephant Ears are one of our favourite indoor plant geneses here at Bloombox Club, owing to the beautiful array of large leaf shapes that each variety possesses. The Lauterbachiana has long ridged leaves, and this plants’ foliage isn’t dense enough that we take a single leaf for granted. On this note, part of mastering our self-care is reminding ourselves to count each blessing in our lives, to not take the individual components for granted. Sometimes life is just about loving the small parts of the day - the smile from a stranger on the street, the coffee that warmed us on a cold February morning, the plant leaves which glowed amber in the light of the setting sun. Waiting for “greatness” to strike runs the risk of overlooking the beauty that already exists in each and every day.
Special care for the Alocasia Lauterbachiana: dusting each leaf, maintaining good levels of warmth and humidity via misting.
5. Calathea Dottie
Calatheas are one of our all-round stars when it comes to plants and wellbeing. This variety is dramatically dark, making it a nice plant to have in the bedroom.
Many people find the darkness and sultriness of this plant’s burgundy hues to be calming and soothing, whilst others find it melancholy. In truth, sitting with darker feelings and moods can be integral to our self-care journey. Life will not always be green and feathery - we can’t change the fact that sadness is part of life, that darkness may enter. What we can change is our perspective on that sadness, our ability to sit with pain and work through it, our ability to experience the downs for what they are, rather than trying to ignore or numb them. The Calathea is a reminder that there is beauty in pain, depth in darkness, meaning in pain.
Special care for the calaetha dottie: build a practice around plant care with regular misting and monitoring of the temperature and moisture levels of Calatheas.
That’s all for now
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these plants, their needs and requirements, and the lessons that they can teach all of us regarding our own self-care. It’s easy to become fixated on all the things we have to do or achieve in life, it’s easy to forget that mastering self-care is just as important as all the other things we care for.