An Emotional House Plant – Wise Words Wednesday


You need water.

You need sunlight.

You’re basically a houseplant with more complicated emotions.

We do! We need water. We need sunlight. We are definitely emotional!

While we all have our basic needs, fulfilling those needs is often impacted by our ability or inability to take-in the required air, water, sun, exercise, and nutrition. Similarly, if we do not allow for positive encounters in our day or uplifting words in our speech, it’s really hard to squeeze them in later. After the sun goes down, you can’t exactly be like, “Hey, sun, could you come out and shine for just a bit? I missed you earlier.”

It doesn’t work that way.

Two years ago my friend Sarah gave me a Christmas cactus . I LOVE that Christmas cactus, but last winter it wasn’t looking too festive. I did some research and it turns out that I had been giving it too much water and sunlight. The Christmas cactus is after all a cactus, and I was treating it like a common pothos with constant window exposure and weekly watering.

After adding soil specially formulated for cacti, moving her to a shadier spot, and slowing way down on the watering, I saw a beautiful improvement in the appearance of my Christmas cactus. It turns out some plants don’t require as much emotional interference as others. We just have to pay attention to what’s going on and modify our dosage to ensure healthy growth.

For Mother’s Day my sweet husband braved the pandemic quarantine and brought home a basket with a violet and some ivy as part of my gift. The plants did well until their roots started to get a little too bound up in the basket. As soon as I moved them to a larger pot, things began to go black. The leaves of the violet drooped. The blooms wilted and ceased to develop. It didn’t look happy. The ivy was worse. It started to turn a brownish gray mixed with yellow. I changed my watering, the light exposure, added fertilizer, did some pruning, and talked to it daily, but the ivy just couldn’t hold on. It needed something different than I could provide.

The new location and added attention seemed to revive the violet, and I think she is even considering growing a new bloom. (Fingers crossed!) She just needed a change.

If you are feeling wilted, watered down, dried up, or in a dark place, remember you have one up on those persnickety house plants. You can root yourself and your outlook in a new location. You will blossom as you find the nourishment needed to flourish. Whether it be through your diet, sunlight exposure, conversation, hydration, or just some good ol’ gardening therapy, branch out in your efforts to avoid drooping like one of those overly emotional house plants. Prune away all the things that are making you sag physically and emotionally. Put energy and intent into new growth and perk up your positivity. You may need water and sunlight, but, even more, you deserve a chance to cultivate success.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I really did try to save the ivy.

P.P.S. Special thanks to Sarah Salmons for the Christmas cactus and inspiration for today.

P.P.P.S. Additional thanks to Nick Rackers for helping identify the pothos. Nick, any advice on the ivy?


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