Nurturing plants, nurturing me

green foliage of devil's ivy (pothos) vines

My first plant started off as a small vine of devil’s ivy that kept me company during the 2020 lockdown. 

The pothos vine sat at the corner of my desk in a pencil holder that I emptied and filled with water. I watched it grow as the weeks went by one leaf at a time. Since then I can definitely say I’ve gathered a small collection. I’d spend my free time researching sun exposure, fertiliser and propagation because nurturing something and watching it grow feels so rewarding. 

When I used to look at my plants sitting on the window sill, I was reminded of how small they used to be, and how impatient I used to be in wanting my devil’s ivy vines to span across my ceiling. But of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing. My plant stopped growing which resulted in me chopping it up into small nodes and propagating it again from scratch. I felt disheartened and worried, something that I had cared for was suffering. Fast forward to a year later, with a bit more research and fertiliser, the devil’s ivy is growing better and healthier than it ever was. Now, when I look at my plants sitting on the window sill, I’m reminded of my love, care and effort. They serve as a reminder of delayed gratification, that despite the setbacks my effort was still worth it.

There’s something calming about spending time watering, pruning and fertilising plants. I’ve come to realise that taking care of them has helped me take care of myself. Amidst the busy hustle of uni, work and life, it has been a welcome distraction. Being responsible for the plants’ wellbeing and care fosters a sort of confidence creating positive emotions, plus tending to the plants helps engage the senses in the present moment.

Over the past few years, I’ve picked up many handy tips. I learned to choose a plant for the space and not a space for the plant. It’s fascinating how expressive plants can be, the leaves will begin to droop signalling it’s time to water but perk right up after a good drink! Last season my peace lily didn’t produce any blooms but this season I can really tell it’s happy with a cute little white flower about to bloom.

Tagged in What messes with your head, Wellbeing