The 10 stages of plant parenthood - What level have you reached?
What a journey! Some of us are stage 1 plant newbies still, just starting to put out roots and find out what this whole house plant craze is all about. The lucky few have leveled up to stage 10. The crazy few started at stage 10! Join me in the ups and downs, the joys, stress and rewards of the plant parenthood journey. And find out: Which stage are you at?
Stage 1: I got a plant
I couldn’t resist. I don’t really know how to care for it (yet), but I got a plant! I saw it at my garden centre and HAD to have it. Isn’t it beautiful? Right, lets research this precious baby. What do you need? Are you thirsty? Is this a good home for you? What does ‘indirect bright light’ even mean?
Stage 2: How did that happen?
Uh oh, I think this could be a problem. I just visited 3 garden centres in one day. But look how amazing the lounge looks now! You know what? That spot is lacking something. I think the house needs another plant (or three). And the bathroom. And the kitchen. And the bedroom...
Stage 3: *adds to wishlist*
I’ve followed a thousand planty Instagram profiles, joined Indoor Plants NZ and House Plant Lovers New Zealand on Facebook, YouTube’s only recommending plant videos after binge-watching Kaylee Ellen’s playlist. Except I can’t get anything here! Argh. Typical New Zealand.
Right, time to unfollow anyone from overseas. It’s not fair seeing what I can’t have. Plus, I might be wrong, but I'm sensing everyone’s getting sick of me asking ‘Can you get this here?’ on Facebook. Okay, that’s better. But how do I keep track of all the plants I CAN get? Yep. It’s wishlist time!
Stage 4: I got this
Look at all my plant babies loving life! I am Mother Nature. Checking in on them constantly. They bring me so much joy. My Instagram is so full of plants my friends don’t know what I look like anymore. Right, I’m going to start a second Instagram just for my plant babies. Hmm, all the clever plant pun profile names are taken.
Sweet. I’ve got my watering schedule down pat. Everyone’s lush and happy. This isn’t so bad. No-one’s dead. Maybe I do have a green thumb after all? What’s all this fuss about them being high maintenance? I got this!
Stage 5: Let's take this online
A regular at my local garden stores. I've earned the nod of recognition every time I walk in. But they STILL don't have anything on my wishlist. Time to take this mission online.
TradeMe maybe? Who else sells plants online? Wow, everyone does. There goes that business idea. But they’re all out of stock too. Argh x2. Will they arrive okay? Facebook: 'Where do you guys order plants from online?'
*daily website checks begin* Following ALL the online stores on Instagram and Facebook. Obsessively checking Stories for new releases. Yes! Scored one. That’s another ticked off my wishlist (and another 3 added, oops).
Why didn't anyone warn me how addictive this is? Hey, there are way worse things I could be addicted to. Look how much other people spend on their *insert most expensive hobby here*. This is nothing in comparison, right?
Stage 6: Houston, we have a problem
Oh no. Something’s wrong. What is it? Too much light? Not enough? Bugs? Did I over-water? Under-water? Are you hungry? Is your soil okay? Do you need repotting? Just tell me already! *adds photos to Facebook group* 'Help me guys! What’s wrong with my plant?'
PS: And while I'm here, what’s with these flying bugs everywhere? Oh. Fungus gnats *joins the club*
Stage 7: Level up
Latin names rolling off the tongue? Tick. Schedule smedule. Watering when each individual precious jungle member needs it? Oh yeah. Tick. Constant rearranging stopped slowed down? Tick. Brown leaves and fungus gnats under control? Tick. Water, light and soil sorted. Job done.
Wait. Why’s that leaf yellow? I know I didn't over or under water you. Why’s that new growth not looking so good? What’s with the brown tips? Oh. Food. Doh. Turns out water and light are not enough huh?
But should I go DIY? Organic? Do I need a growth booster, or fertiliser? Or both? *research mode initiated* Facebook: 'What do you guys feed?' What's the best fertiliser for indoor plants?
Um, hello? Why didn’t anyone tell me to feed sooner? Plants now next level happy and healthy. I had no idea! Facebook: 'You guys have to try this plant food, it’s amazing'.
Stage 8: Science mode
Double the happiness. I love you SO much I want another the same. Hang on. I can clone you! It’s chop and prop time baby. Maybe I could sell a cutting, or two, or grow a whole new you? Hmm. This could make me some money. What’s everyone selling them for? Hang on, how do I ship this?!
Stage 9: Tool time
Time to invest in the tools of the trade hobby. Yes, I said it. Plants are officially my hobby now. Only the best for my babies. Humidifier for those crispy tips. Grow Pod for my turtles and PPP *you're so tiny, please don’t die* Grow light for winter. Heat pad for my tropical lovers. Time to upgrade your potting mix. Maybe some fancy-pants plant shears shears for myself while I'm at it.
Stage 10: Wishlist level-up
Wow. I’m actually slowing down. Quality over quantity. Still too chicken to count how many I have though. This wishlist is looking a bit empty. What about that holy grail? Will I ever cross it off? Wait. Dare I think it? Am I ready? Okay. Let’s do this. It’s time for something really special…
PS: How do you pronounce Crystallinum again?