Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Repotting Brand-New Houseplants

While i had my potting soil within easy reach, i repotted some plants i recently bought.

  • Two  little cyclamen looked like they were crammed into their little plastic pot; they were difficult to water. 
  • A little poinsettia, as i suspected, had its roots constrained by a tiny 2" peat pot. I peeled the peat pot off to let the roots spread out. 
  • A little anthurium had thick roots and was very nearly root-bound.
These brand-new plants looked so beautiful at the garden center. They had been pruned and fertilized to maximum growth. They looked ideal. And therein lie the seeds of suffering.

Once these plants arrive at my house, they come face to face with the reality of dry air, sporadic watering, and no fertilizing.

We compare ourselves--or our plants--to some imaginary ideal. I should look like.... And my plants should look like they did when i bought them. If they start to look pale and wan and lose leaves, it must be my fault. I'm not as good a gardener as some imagined ideal gardener. Oh! If only i were perfect.

Reality is that plants live, wilt, peter out, and die. When we can accept things as they are and simply watch life as it unfolds, there we can find peace.

Acceptance doesn't mean that we just roll over. I rolled my plants into bigger pots and hope that more room to grow enables them to live a better life.

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