Like many other folks out there, I became a plant tita last year. I turned to plants as a way to cope with the quarantine brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. It started with two pots of beginner-friendly plants: golden pothos and dwarf snake plant both of which I put in the window sill of my room where it will get sunlight. Some people speculated early on in the quarantine that people’s interest in plants may be just a fad due to the lockdown. Not me though.
As I continue to shelter in place, this love for plants has only grown. In fact, it’s become a way for my mom and I to bond. She’s the original plant tita who’s taken care of our grandma’s backyard garden. It’s been more than a year since I started taking care of plants. I’ve definitely learned a few lessons along the way in my planting journey.
Lesson #1: Different plants grow differently
I know the basic requirements of growing a plant. It needs sunshine and water. But it’s only recently when I became a plant tita myself that I realized that actually, different plants have different care requirements. If you want them to grow healthy and last long, you need to know what they need.
Some plants need only watering once a week like snake plants and ZZ’s. Others like the fittonia need to be watered more often otherwise their leaves start to droop if soil is left dry too long. Ang arte! LOL! Some plants need bright light which can be bright indirect or bright direct. Others can survive in low light conditions so those are great indoor plants. I also learned that they even grow differently depending on the soil you planted them in. I always thought it’s loam soil for all because that’s what Science 101 taught me.
I’ve had some plants die on me in all honesty which sucks because hey that’s also money down the drain! But that’s how it is when you’re caring for living things.
Lesson #2: If you want to have more plants, buy, propagate or ask around
As a plant lover, you’d want your plants collection to grow. I know I do. Of course, since I’m just starting out with this, I’ve been buying a lot of plants online and at the market. But buying is just one option. It’s not very cost-effective, you know what I mean?
Propagating plants is a good way to multiply one’s current plant collection. So far in my gardening journey, I’ve only been able to successfully propagate my red anne fittonias, ZZ plant, snake plant and calatheas. I learned this one from my mom when she proposed to cut my trailing pothos so it can multiply.
Also another way to more plants is to find generous plant tito and plant tita friends and neighbors! Found out most of the plants that my mom has in our garden actually came from her friends and our neighbors! I, myself, have gotten some plants from my own plant tita friends. I hope in the future I could find plant-loving friends who have rare, expensive or imported plants too! Ha! Ha!
Lesson #3: Be prepared to shell out money
I’ve definitely found myself becoming more and more interested in taking care of plants as time goes by. In fact, my IG feed is full of plant sellers. You know what I learned as a newbie plant tita? Taking care of plants is like taking care of pets! You’ve to be prepared to shell out money if you want them to live.
I mean plants alone can be expensive to buy especially if you’re gunning for the imported ones. Then there are pots, soil, fertilizer and gardening tools to buy. So far for the love of plants, I’ve bought pots, soil, fertilizer, a mini shovel and a watering can. I’ve also had hanging plant racks installed in our backyard. That’s just to name a few of course because I’m looking to buy more plants and gardening stuff.
I definitely need a water hose so I can water more plants more easily. My watering can’s useful but only for the small plants. And I definitely need a durable one like Eley Hose Reels! Our previous watering hoses easily sprang leaks and always got tangled up. Their eley water hoses look promising. They’re made of polyurethane which is the same material used in inline skate wheel so they’re extremely durable, lightweight, and reliable. It’s also kink-resistant which is great because that’s less of a hassle for me! Plus it’s also drinking water safe so pets can freely drink from this.
In the future, when I have more money to spare, I dream of renovating our garden and making it even more beautiful and relaxing to be at.
Even when this whole pandemic is over, I see myself continuing to tend to my plants and getting more into gardening. I plan to grow herbs, veggies and have more trees too in our garden to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Now that I’m a plant tita myself, I get it. This rise for taking care of plants. It can be so relaxing to do! Plus there’s that feeling of amazement seeing them grow as time goes by.