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Why I Became a Plant Parent: Surprising Benefits of having your own Small Garden

In the frame: Common Water Hyacinth
Pontederia crassipes: Water Hyacinth

In simple words, I find solace in nurturing my plants and it's one of the reasons why I love coming back home, especially when I am living alone. We all rely on different things, people, and places for our happiness and survival. For me, it's a combination of my friends, my creative space, and my plants that make Bangalore special.

I had always been surrounded by plants back home, but it wasn't until I started living independently in Bangalore that I realised their true value. Amidst the chaos of city life, plants offer a sense of peace and connection to nature that we often overlook. They don't require much attention or investment, yet they give back so much to us and to the environment.

In the frame: Hibiscus Red

Every new leaf or flower on my plants fills me with joy and a sense of accomplishment. It's the satisfaction of seeing something grow and thrive under my care that brings me happiness. When I first started, I chose easy-to-grow plants like hibiscus, mogra, and aloe vera, and even tried my hand at growing vegetables like spinach, coriander, tomatoes, and chilies. I was so excited when they started sprouting, and I would often share updates with my loved ones.

Gardening has helped me manage my anxiety to a good extent. Had I known this earlier, I could have avoided unnecessary stress.

Garden Croton, Neon Money Plant, Mogra Jasmine, Hibiscus Red, Aloe VeraChrysanthemums, Dhaliya, Small Spinach, Big Spinach, Coriander, Tomato

Over a year has passed since I first started caring for my plants, and while some have thrived, others have not made it due to my lack of knowledge. However, this journey has taught me a lot, and I've picked up some tips along the way that I'd like to share with you.

1. Opt for low-maintenance plants that require minimal watering and sunlight:

This helps reduce the risk of inadvertently harming the plants due to lack of experience. While flowering plants may be appealing, it's important to note that some varieties have a short lifespan and may not last beyond a few months.

Few low maintenance plants are:

  • Personal Favorites':

    • Aloe Vera

    • Garden Croton

    • Money Plant

    • Snake Plant

    • Hibiscus (Just put this under sunlight)

    • ZZ Plant

    • Moses in the Cradle Plant

    • Rubber Plant

    • Any type of common Cactus

    • Philodendron

  • Others:

    • Spider Plant

    • Jade

    • Peace Lily

    • Pothos

    • Areca Palm

In the frame: Dumb Canes, Arrowhead Plants, Philodendron, Garden Croton
Dumb Canes, Arrowhead Plants, Philodendron, Garden Croton

2. Creating a perfect soil mix is simple and can be done with ease, do so:

You can easily source garden soil from any nursery, with a 25-30 kg bag costing around 100 Rs. Additionally, a packet of compost can be purchased for around 80-150 Rs, depending on the source. Mix it well. I also use cocopeat because it helps with proper draining. 40% soil, 30% compost, and 30% cocopeat would do. You don't need to go for expensive products with pretentious packaging to grow your plants. Remember Earth has already sourced everything for us, so why give the commercial giants benefit? Keeping it minimal is the key.

3.Keep an eye out for small plant insects and fungus as they can quickly destroy your plants: You can either purchase a powder solution from a nearby nursery or make a homemade solution using neem oil, water, and dishwashing liquid. It's a super easy and effective.

4. Water only when they ask. If you see drooping leaves or dry soil then only water. It depends on plants also on how frequent must they be watered. But all house plants can be watered once in every 3-4 days.

In the frame: Infected hibiscus with aphids
Aphids on Hibiscus Bud

Plants are a great way to incorporate consistency into your daily routine. During my college days, I had a tendency to procrastinate and overlook important tasks. This once resulted in causing embarrassment to my friends during an important event as I failed to prepare a required list. After this incident, I made a conscious decision to track how my actions affect my environment and other people. Caring for my plants has helped me become more responsible and consistent in my daily life. By watering them regularly and having a constant awareness of their needs, I have become more aware of my own responsibilities and commitments.

It is indeed scientifically proven that plants have numerous benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, purifying the air, and increasing productivity. Once you start caring for your first plant, you will experience the many rewards and benefits of gardening. You will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the role that plants play in our lives. In today's fast-paced and stressful world, it is more important than ever to connect with nature and surround ourselves with its positive energy. By incorporating plants into our daily lives, we can create a more peaceful and harmonious environment for ourselves and those around us.

Well, through my journey of nurturing plants, I have discovered the joy and sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing them thrive. While I may not be a plant influencer or horticulturalist, my appreciation for nature's beauty and colors has deepened through caring for my own little garden. I encourage everyone to incorporate plants into their daily lives and experience the positive energy and connection to nature that they offer. Really!

Until next time. Bye

-Shreya Jain

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