Here's What I've Learned: Series Recap

Emily Hostetter

Lesson Number One: Choose Your Care Plan.
Lesson Number Two: Occasionally Wash Your Plants.
Lesson Number Three: The Top Of My Dresser, But Make It Fashion.
Lesson Number Four: You Might Kind Of Kill Your Plants. Do Not Panic.
Rule Number Five: Plants Are For Everyone.

This summer started with a pretty simple little mission: don’t kill four plants. That’s it. If you’ve followed this series, you’ll know exactly how I went about not killing four plants, and you’ll also know that I very nearly did kill four plants at one point.

But since the series started all the way back in May, and since your head is now probably filled with the joyful summertime fog of pool days, farmers markets, bike rides, and texting your friends fourteen different breezy outfit options before you meet up for drinks on a patio because there is an extremely slim chance that one of you might remember to ask a stranger to take a group photo and you want to look super effortless but also “v amazing,” here is a refresher course in the form of five simple lessons I’ve learned about plant care.

If you’ve been waiting until the end of this series to select your plants and begin your journey...actually, that’s hilarious. No one has been waiting. But if you need a reminder about how to do that, here is

Lesson Number One: Choose Your Care Plan.

Don’t be intimidated, this is far less scary than when you turned 26 and had to sign up for your own health insurance. Just evaluate the light in your space at different times of day (light = food for plants = make sure they won’t be hungry), consider how many recurring iPhone reminders you want to set about watering, and then partner with Shylah or Andrea to talk about which type of plant best fits your needs and lifestyle.

indoor house plant placed in window sill next to books and mug

You may have a little learning curve, so if it helps to know, my Snake Plant and Parlour Palm have definitely been the most laid-back of the bunch. Those two are like the friends in your squad who will commit to plans weeks in advance and still show up, but who you can also call like, “I’m sweaty, happy hour at Cheese Bar in a cool 15?” and they’re down. You know the type. Hanging out with them is just...easy.

It’s 2018, a modern era. Elon Musk is about to dig some kind of insane tunnel underneath L.A., dumplings are the new ramen, Netflix is generating its own content right and left, and we’ve all found our preferred form of dry shampoo. FYI, mine is aerosol, and I read the ingredient list recently, and it’s terrifying, but I digress. I was bringing this around to shampoo, because while we can now go much longer between washes (since washing our hair is, I guess, hard?) we still have to get in there once in a while and rub some goo into our wet scalps to help our hair return to it’s normal human texture of “not dust.” This has been a metaphor for...

Lesson Number Two: Occasionally Wash Your Plants.

variety of indoor house plants placed on wooden shelves

A quick dry dust and then a wipe down with a damp cloth is all it takes. Easier than a complicated shower. An annual repotting is also recommended to give your plant nutritious soil and permit the roots to grow. In the spirit of clinging to this very loose comparison, think of repotting as that deep condition/gloss/whatever thing your hair stylist is always asking if you want. You say yes like, every other time, because you don’t really know what it is but it seems to help. (Shout out to Lauren, I know that you know what you’re doing and that’s all that really matters, see you Saturday.)

After choosing, cleaning, and caring for your plants, it’s time to bring them home and STAGE THEM. I know! I know.

Lesson Number Three: The Top Of My Dresser, But Make It Fashion.

A few posts ago, I shared some deeply filtered photos of my staged plants. Something totally unique and interesting about me is that I love for things to look nice. You probably can’t relate to this, it’s a very unique thing. But just in case, somehow, aesthetic choices matter to you re: your home, then please know something else really shocking: plants look so good in your house. I KNOW! Just wait until Instagram gets ahold of this! But in all seriousness, it is fun to stage your plants. We’ve all spent more hard-earned cash than we care to tally up at Target and TJ Maxx and (insert cool-girl Instagram collector you can buy from), building the perfect, specific collection of crap to put around our house to make it “ours.” When I started to think of plants as living decor (AND FRIENDS), the way I placed them around my home completely changed. Styling them felt like an expressive challenge, and as we’ll discuss in an upcoming paragraph, styling requires not only the application of your own taste and creativity, but also a fair amount of adaptation, because….                             

Lesson Number Four: You Might Kind Of Kill Your Plants. Do Not Panic.

This rule should be additionally titled: Even Though I Did Definitely Panic And Almost Threw The Baby Out With The Bathwater (Gross). Your plants react to change by turning yellow. It’s okay! Give them some light and some time. If they droop or dry out, give them some light and a little water. If they develop an infestation of harmless but irritating fungus gnats (mine just did), you may be over-watering, so cool it and pick up some insecticidal soap. Your plants may appear to be in a state of distress, but you can often perk them back up through small, thoughtful changes to your behavior. Don’t be alarmed. Almost every problem has a solution. Also, oh my gosh, this has once again become an excellent metaphor for interpersonal dynamics.

hanging indoor house plant in white roomIf you’re someone who loves to research, you can learn everything about your plant’s genetics and natural habitat and it’s botanical relatives and all the things you may have forgotten from high school biology. If you’re not, you don’t have to. Just give them the simple care they need.

If you’re someone who loves to style and every day is a sartorial adventure and your home is a revolving door of interesting decor and curiosities, you can work plants in to your vibe. If you’re not, you can stick them in a pot on an end table with enough light and guess what? You just decorated. Easy peasy.

If you’re thoughtful and consistent, you can have a nice little green patch in your home. It’s that simple! It really, really is. I’ve styled and restyled my plants, moved them and moved them again, brought them to the brink of death and nursed them back to health and then, in case I didn’t mention it but I definitely did, brought a plague of fungus gnats down upon my household. We’ll get through that too. That’s why we have                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rule Number Five: Plants Are For Everyone.

If you’ve killed every green thing under your roof, you can try again and I promise, promise that you can succeed. If you’ve got an urban jungle already, you can keep leveling up. Who needs floor space anyway, right?  No matter who you are or what you like, your home and your desk and your world can get a little greener. I hope this series helps you get there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Previous