Plant Parenting 101
Ever wondered what’s the hype about being a plant parent? Perhaps you’re hoping for a green little life to brighten up your desk and your day amidst all those e-learning lessons? Here’s some tips and tricks to guide your baby steps into plant parenting!
To Plant Parent or Not To Plant Parent. That is the question.
If you somehow stumbled upon this article and you’re wondering what is plant parenting?? As its name suggests, plant parenting is basically caring for a house plant the way you would nurture a child (or perhaps a pet) in order for them to thrive and grow!
In the new age of e-learning, imagine your usual day. Long hours in front of the electronic screens, your eyes are dry and shutting down from the intense concentration (be it through studying or maybe, netflix-ing). You look to the side, where a small, petite and cute desk plant come into your line of sight. Unassuming as it may be tucked in the far corner of your desk, having a green object, in this case a desk plant, can greatly improve your mood and soothe your eyes.
Not only that, the process of obtaining and caring for your new green baby can also be a good way to relieve your stress. The act of gardening (however little a desk plant may need) is extremely therapeutic and a mood lifter. The plant itself can also serve more practical uses like clearing the air by minimising the air pollutants around.
For those who are looking for a small challenge and wish to take the first step into the world of responsibilities, caring for this little life may just be the new hobby you need. Otherwise, it can also be a decent alternative to owning pets, especially if your parents are strongly against them. (T.T)
So, now that you’re decided on taking up this challenge, let’s talk about how to avoid the unfortunate tragedy of a short demise for your new green baby.
#1 Start with a low maintenance plant
Let’s face it, most of us are do NOT have green fingers naturally, neither do we have frequent opportunities to improve our limited gardening skills while growing up. However, that is not to say that we can’t start trying it out now.
Gardening is a skill that can gradually develop over time. So, for the beginners, we can try to start small with a plant species that needs relatively lower maintenance.
Consider a cactus/succulent which only requires you to water about once a week,
or even a closed terrarium that can easily survive by itself, with very minimal watering.
Source: Maud Bocquillod
Other low maintenance indoor plants that are also suitable for Singapore's tropical weather include:
Fittonia (aka Nerve plant)
Air plants (aka tillandsia)
Source: Severin Candrian
Pothos (aka Devil’s Ivy, or commonly known as the money plant)
ZZ plant (aka Zanzibar Gem)
Source: Nicolas Solerieu
Knowing and being realistic about the amount of time and effort you are planning to invest into your plant baby can be a good guide into the type of plant that is most suitable for a start.
#2 Research, research and more research
Unfortunately for everyone, there is no shortcut to life, and that includes nurturing and loving your plant baby. Other than the fundamentals essential to a plant’s survival – light, water, temperature, nutrients (thank you primary school science for this!), it is absolutely important to check out the optimal conditions that your plant will thrive in.
For example, if you’re planning to get a tillandsia, it’s important that you place it in an airy location with fresh air as these plants obtain their nutrients from the air. It would be unwise to place them in an air-conditioned room.
Or with Pothos, take care not to place them under direct sunlight as they thrive in partial sunlight and with ZZ plants, just watering them once a fortnight should be enough so hold your love back from over-watering these babies :')
(An extra: Here's my little air plant, Crispy, that has thankfully lived past its 4th month and (hopefully) still thriving!)
A little goes a long way, taking the extra effort to internalise several info pages regarding your plant can just literally save a life.
#3 Ring for Watering
Sometimes, even as much as we love them, it is often easy to neglect these silent healers at the edge of your desk, much less remembering to water them. This is where you can consider several phone applications that specifically track your watering cycles to ensure that your plant is properly hydrated and to set alarms to remind you to water your plant. Consider these apps:
Vera: Plant Care Made Simple
Florish (only available for iOS)
Blossom (only available for iOS)
Some of these apps go beyond just serving as a watering reminder, they even provide further information about your plant baby’s species and growth progress that will definitely be of use along your tireless journey as a plant parent.
Source: vadim kaipov
I hope this little guide towards plant parenting can serve you well as a base material to grow and bloom into your new responsibility as a plant parent!
If you feel like you’ve gotten a hang of things, challenge yourself! Go beyond just the beginner realm of cacti and succulents towards planting species that require even more skills, attention and time. Whatever it is, just have fun and enjoy the ride~