House plants are an excellent way to bring joy into your home. Being around plants brings nature indoors and gives us a different perspective of connecting with nature. Not only are they calming and lovely to look at: some plants will even clean the air for you of chemicals like formaldehyde or other VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Check out this study to learn more! Creating mindfulness and little rituals around how you take care of your plants can create a more balanced state of being that brightens your creative spirit. When you take care of your plants you will absolutely notice their energy brightens when you do good by them.
Watering is lifeblood to all creatures big and small, flora and fauna. When we water the plants we can acknowledge our shared connection to water. Find joy as you pour to instill happiness into your plants.
Use a pair of sharp shears to cut off anything that is not serving the plant’s highest good. Browned leaves, dried flowers, stems that have fully served their purpose can be put in the compost or the trash. The dead pieces that you release from the plant use to be a beautiful feature and had aided the plant in survival as it photosynthesized. Find the feeling of honor for all those who came before us. All the humans that have walked this Earth from barefooted to shoed. Then look deeper at all of the creatures that have been in our lineage beyond that all the way back to the first fish who decided to crawl out of the ocean onto the land. Side note: Have you ever seen a mudskipper before?
- Insect check
Check for insects and other little creatures, sometimes they are friends, sometimes foes. Lady bugs are friendly, fungus gnats are benign but annoying, ants with wings and fuzzy white things not so friendly. The internet is a wonderful resource for learning about creepy crawlies on your plants, you can use a protectant like neem oil to keep your plants safe. I don’t normally use pesticide yearly, I just look at my plants to see what is needed at the time. Here is a recipe just in case. Recipe: 2 tablespoons of neem oil per gallon of water, mix thoroughly. Spray plant surfaces (including underneath leaves) until completely wet. Taking a moment to think about protection. You can take a moment here to close your eyes and center yourself and think about being protected by the universe as you protect your plants from invaders.
- Fertilize with love and care
Fertilizer can be a store bought mix, it can be fish emulsion or worm excrement, it can be compost, it can be the leftovers from boiled veggies. I like to think of abundance here, and how my plants will continue to grow and flourish. Allow yourself this moment to connect with the abundance of the universe and how all life energy flows from one thing to the other.
- Add soil, repot, etc.
As you water your plants, you may start to erode some of the topsoil away from the upper roots. Add soil to the parts that need it so they are covered. Repot plants that are too big for their pots. It is best to not repot your plant when you JUST bought it because it’s not beneficial for the plant’s growth. In terms of repotting: my aloe plant had root lock, this is when the roots intertwine around and choke themselves out. All I did was gently unwind the roots until it was free and then I repotted in a fresh soil mix with some of the oil soil to keep a healthy amount of old bacteria and microbes mixed in with the new. The feeling here is renewal, and rebirth. How can you connect to your own life to honor all the renewals that you have had each season?
- Watch it grow!
Find appreciation through all the seasons of growth. Notice how mature leaves can look much darker, young leaves are delicate and soft. Look deep at the plant, really look at it to see all of the small veins, the different color patterns, textures, and notice the soil. Like with plants, all phases in life are different, and like a plant sometimes we need more or less of one thing or another in order to grow. Sometimes we need some fertilizer to nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits, sometimes we need to prune back some of the dead spots, and sometimes we just need to stay still and enjoy.
I hope you enjoyed this little mindfulness gardening practice. Plants are really special to connect with, and can provide a sense of serenity. If you use this practice or just want to show off your plants please tag me on instagram @kiarahelen.