The Power of Plants

Jul 11, 2011
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Plants are simple, or so they’d like you to think. Any 7th grade science textbook would tell you that plants require three things to grow: some form of sunlight, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and water often. However, if that was truly the case and it was really this simple, we’d all be bushwacking through the jungles in our front yards, business parking lots, and literally everywhere in between.

So why, then, is this not the case in real life? Why can we give a plant love, and light, and copious amounts of crystal-clear H2O and still kill them like the worst vegetation massacre that anyone has ever seen?

It is because plants are as unique and as particular as we are.

Take my personal attempt at my domesticated green thumb for example: I have had this self-proclaimed dead parlor palm for nearly a year but have been entirely too lazy and too defeated to do anything about it. The actual process of its decline was fairly noteworthy. Over the course of a few days it transformed into something that resembled more of what I find in my teabags than an actual houseplant. This process appeared to occur in very distinct stages. First, the plant told me that it wasn’t feeling well by losing some of the sharpness of its color and began hanging its leafy heads low in embarrassment. It wasn’t long before that pale green shade shifted to more of a burned, woody color. This is when I knew that I was too late to resuscitate this one, and there would be another plant burial soon. However, this strangely wasn’t the case at all. This time, my lazy ways paid off. Just a few short weeks ago after nearly a month of ignoring the lifeless skeleton, my sad and decrepit parlor palm came back to life, and with a fierceness that could be felt far beyond the soil and pot where it sat.

Now, I recognize wholly that I am not writing a blog for a plant-lovers website, nor am I writing about anything outwardly related at all. However, it was so apparent to me that this parlor plant of mine, and many others like it, have a lesson to teach.

Plants have the capabilities to recharge and restart themselves once they find the right amount and quality of resources. We are not much different. We, too, need specific resources and outlets in order to thrive, and in some cases, just to stay alive.

Much in the manner that plants show you their discontentment, people react in the same way: losing color, drooping heads, and crying out for a change. If you don’t listen to the plants needs, or your own, you will continue to wilt until something shifts. Perhaps it is a new light or perspective, or maybe it is simply the nutrients and care that is taken in; but no matter the method or substance, it is essential to find it.

Take a moment to look at your plants, as well as yourself. What do they need to thrive? What do you need to flourish?

Author: Ryan McLean