To bring a plant home is to embark on a partnership that transcends soil, water, and sunlight. Plant care is about more than keeping a plant alive””it is a way to facilitate curiosity about our vast, interdependent ecosystem. When you develop new rituals and plant-centered traditions that recognize your place within nature, you honor your responsibility to nurture your surroundings.
The rituals of tending to houseplants look a little different for everyone. Some forms of plant care involve steamy weekend showers, gentle daily misting, or meticulous pruning, while others might incorporate regular propagation and sharing cuttings with friends. You might talk to your plants over morning tea, meditate on their growth, or show them off to visitors and internet strangers. Whatever routines you develop, you will soon find that creating space for plant care does as much for your own well-being as it does for your plants.
Here are two possible rituals for your plant journey:
Name Your Plant
Modern buying culture is designed around disposability, and too often houseplants are treated like expendable tokens of sympathy or celebration that are lucky to survive a few weeks in a new home before suffering a neglectful demise. Giving your plant a name transcends this relationship by honoring its existence as a living creature.
Tending to your garden as a means of meditation can lead to lovely botanical explorations. Ground yourself and be fully present in the moment; play your favorite music and let it fill the room; put on an outfit that makes you feel fabulous; pour yourself a delicious cocktail; and begin your viridescent adventure of nurturing the nature you have brought into your home. Don’t rush the process of caring for your garden; enjoy it and make it something you look forward to.
About the Contributors
Christopher Griffin is the assistant director of the NYU LGBTQ+ Center and cares for over two hundred green gurls in their lil Brooklyn oasis of an apartment. An educator at heart, Christopher started their Instagram account, @plantkween, in 2016 as a way to share the many lessons, lush adventures, and simple joys that come with being a plant parent. Christopher recently released their first book, You Grow, Gurl: Plant Kween’s Lush Guide to Growing Your Garden.
Puneet Sabharwal is the CEO and cofounder of Horti, a plant subscription company. Raised in North India, Puneet spent his childhood living in a religious commune with his family and is currently training to become a psychedelic therapist. He cares for more than seventy houseplants in his Brooklyn apartment, where he loves to host folks for chai time. Puneet recently released his first book, Happy Plant: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Healthy Plant Care Habits
Illustration by Mo Riza