Mailing List Sign Up

Success With Houseplants

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – January 2

I got home after a week away and found that my houseplants were dry. That’s not surprising. What I thought as I walked around with the watering can, however, was that noticing this twenty minutes after I got home was important. I’m convinced that there are two reasons that people can’t keep houseplants alive and the first has to do with attention to watering.

The “attention” part is the crucial element here. How plants are watered is, of course, a matter of life or death. Too little and the plants dry up, too much and their roots rot. But in order to determine if there is a dearth or an excess of water on any particular plant, our eyes and minds are essential.

At the beginning of this New Year, I’m wondering if this is any different from how we approach other aspects of our lives. Whether we have an advanced aptitude for what we encounter in our work, home life, community, or other pursuits or not, paying attention is often the key to success.

By the way, the second reason that people can’t keep houseplants alive is also tied to awareness. Plants need the correct amount of water and light. Here too attention is important. The light that shines in one window is different from that which flows in through another. Noticing what is there on a day-by-day and month-to-month basis means the difference between houseplant success and failure.

New Year’s resolution: notice all the areas of life where concentration and responsiveness might make all the difference.


8 comments to Success With Houseplants

  • As a plant doctor I think you are spot on, it is all about awareness and attention. Someone once said “Attention is the most basic form of love, and through it we bless and are blessed” 🙂

  • I’m with you on paying attention to plants but it hadn’t really occurred to me to pay that level of attention to other stuff too. I’m not really a resolution maker but might have to make an exception this time. Thanks for the ah-ha.

  • I am also in favor to ‘paying attention.’ A good reminder
    for so many things!
    This would make a great wood sign to add in my house.
    I like YOUR sign message under the table in photo!! 🙂

  • Thanks, all. As you may or may not know, one of my reasons for writing this blog is to explore how plants and gardening are connected to everything else in our lives. I’m determined to keep growing…and yes, Deborah, also to remember not to piss off the fairies!

  • A thoughtful post. We need to pay attention to ourselves as caregivers as well. It’s hard to give attention to plants, to others, to the business of living if we are not taking care of ourselves first.

  • HI C.L. Houseplants don’t make it to far here we seem to kill all the try to exist. One problem is not enough natural light. Negelect is the other major killer. We pay more attention to what’s outside than inside.

    Have a wonderful day,

    Sorry wont let me correct the mistakes.

  • What a perfect post for the new year – “pay attention”, but really listen (perceive), too.

    I need to reproduce the little sign under your table. I l-o-v-e it!

  • You can all have your own “Don’t Piss Off The Fairies” plaque! They are sold on Amazon: