Honest Motherhood: Plant Parenthood

I became a plant parent this weekend. Up until last week, our home had spent years severely lacking in the plant department. Aside from the occasional bunch of flowers, one gifted leafy thing that we killed, and our annual Christmas tree, I rather neglected filling our space with greenery. Until Sunday. 
“How many shall I get?” I asked Joel. 
“A few, don’t go mental..”. 

Knowing how indecisive and easily rattled I can get with these things, I brought a friend along for guidance (already a plant parent so able to advise). Also I’ve yet to drive on the M4 during the day, and needed a lift to IKEA. (Nervous driver). 
After queuing for an absurd amount of time in the IKEA restaurant and consuming our meatballs, we made our way to the plant section. They don’t make it easy. The clever store layout means I was dragged into looking at new cushion covers, a throw, several frames, a new lamp that, had I been in the right mood, I would have walked away with. I ended up with the cushion covers and about seven plants. One fake, six very real. 

Overjoyed with my new greenery, we headed to the car, where I realised I’d failed to consider the journey home. How was I going to hold all my new plant children? It was a between-the-feet, between-the-knees situation. Each roundabout had me clutching three little ones, soil peppering my friend’s car. I kept the succulent close. The marginata held steady by the back seat and I abandoned the fake one under a coat somewhere. 

“I can see where this is going…” Joel muttered as I brought the last of the new plant life into our home. “I’m having visions of me being the one keeping these alive..”. 
“Er no! I’m on it!” I responded, very much not on it. I’d soon do my research and learn how to care for these things. 
“It’s trial and error!” A fellow plant mother tells me. 

As an actual parent, to humans, I always thought the term “plant parent” was a bit silly. They’re plants. They don’t misbehave, or scream in your face or throw food at you. Nor do they wake you in the night. They do however, require a certain level of specific care. Or parenting. It is like having children; you are solely responsible for these living beings and without you they will cease to exist. 

Having had mine at home for over a week now, I can affirm there is no better way to describe ones relationship to their plant; plant parent is perfectly accurate. There are many similarities to caring for actual humans. The worrying, the checking you’re doing what’s best for them, reading the relevant books, talking about them with the other parent, comparing notes with friends, thinking maybe they’d be better off outdoors, wondering if they’ve had enough sunshine or if they’re too hot or cold or dehydrated. 

Given the life and vibrancy they bring to each room, I’m excited for this new chapter of plant-parenthood. 
“I’m getting more!” I announced to Joel, thrilled we’d made it through the first week with all greenery still thriving. 
“Oh no you’re not going to become one of those crazy plant people are you? With way too many plants?” He said, both amused and concerned. 
“You can’t have too many plants…”. 


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