OPINION: Why Being a Plant Parent is Hard while Rewarding

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Mariah Koeneke
CONTRIBUTOR

Being a plant parent can feel like a very daunting task, but it does come with rewards. Graphic by Mariah Koeneke.

I’m not going to lie to you. I have about five plants in my bathroom right now, and I know one is fully dead, mainly because my cats knocked it over at 4:00 a.m. the other night. However, my other four are completely thriving. Whether you are a millennial, Gen Z, etc., raising anything can seem scary and impossible at times, especially given everything going on right now. I can remember a time when I couldn’t even keep succulents alive.

Succulents.

 They don’t require attention or much water, but I somehow managed to kill more than three of them over the course of 2017. I felt like I was never going to be able to have plants in my home and be that girl from a number of Pinterest pins, Tumblr posts and Instagram posts who always seemed to have gorgeous plants in every room of her home that were beyond thriving, luscious and beautiful.

It wasn’t easy growing up and watching my mom garden every year with ease, and hoping I would someday do the same, only to kill one of the easiest plants to maintain.

However, during the span of quarantine and Nebraska’s first ‘lockdown’, I had decided it was time to try again and attempt to be the “Plant Mom” I had always dreamed of being. I hopped on Instagram and went straight to Mulhall’s, a greenhouse and nursery in Omaha, page. This is the place I had seen all my friends going to for their various plant needs, and let me tell you, it is gorgeous.

The store is lined with every plant you can imagine and every plant you might want. Not to mention they have a wide range of pots, decorations and home décor. I went in, bought myself a variety of plants, and left determined to keep my new babies alive.

Here’s where it gets a little challenging.

Each plant is different, much like us. Some require more attention from natural light and water, while others require much less. Each plant is unique and getting to know them is very important. It is also essential to know which plants are toxic to indoor pets if you have any.

Each day I compulsively check my plants for new buds, new colors, soil moisture, dead leaves and more. I will admit to the odd conversation I have with them when I find a new bud that I haven’t seen before, but that’s just between us.

The challenges of knowing when to water them, if they need plant food, what kind of soil and how much light they need comes with time of growing your new babies while getting to know them.

It is one of the most rewarding feelings knowing you are keeping growing things alive and well while they are also providing you with fresh and clean oxygen.

Now, don’t be afraid to take on the challenge of owning plants. See where they take you and how much you can grow right along with them.

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