Collecting plants is admittedly pretty addicting. Even when I tell myself I’m not going to buy a new plant for a month, I end up looking at plants online or in the garden section at Lowe’s. As I’m giving you tips and tricks for plant care, I figured I should share some of my plant journey with you.
During college I moved into a small house with a pretty large yard owned by my grandma. College wasn’t the best time for my mental health, but having a nice yard to garden in was a great outlet. I started with sunflowers and catnip, but each year I expanded and planted new flowers, herbs, and vegetables. The soil was incredibly fertile – I even ended up with marigolds that were six feet tall and bloomed all summer and fall!
I lived in that house for five years, and I was and still am incredibly grateful for the garden I had every spring and summer. However, having an outdoor garden in the Midwest United States means that once autumn and winter roll around, almost all of your plants die or go dormant.
As someone with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) who’s already prone to worse depression during the winter months, having my plants die at this same time every year didn’t help. Houseplants weren’t much of an option at this time either. The house didn’t get much light, it was cold and drafty, and I had five cats (I still do) with no shelves or places to keep plants away from them.
About a year and a half ago my grandma informed me that she wanted to sell this house I was living in. She went back and forth about it, and I spent over a year in a weird limbo of not knowing whether or not I was moving. So I did very little outdoor gardening last summer, knowing that any perennials would soon not be mine anymore.
Not having plants to care for was upsetting to me though. So despite having sub-par conditions, I got my first couple of house plants. It started with some succulents that I was gifted and unfortunately over watered. After deciding succulents weren’t for me, I got a small Florida Beauty and a Golden Pothos from Walmart. This was the beginning of my house plant collection.
Finally in autumn, my partner and I purchased our first home! The first thing that I loved about this house was the amount of windows and sunlight. The previous owner had a respectable collection of houseplants herself, which gave me all sorts of ideas. One of the first things I did after we moved in was go plant shopping, and honestly I haven’t stopped.
Having the space and right environment for indoor plants has been life changing in so many ways. Being able to care for and hang out with my plants during the winter is helping me combat my seasonal depression. It allows me to have my therapeutic release through gardening no matter what the weather is like. Now I have over 50 house plants and counting! I’m always researching plant care, identification, and other horticulture topics.
As long as you do your research, I’d always recommend collecting plants as a hobby to help with stress and mental health issues.