Why Talking To Your Plants Should Be A Part Of Your Daily Routine
I love plants. Like really, really love plants. Dream living scenarios would be here, here, and most definitely here. As a child I felt extremely connected to nature. I would spend hours outside in my backyard barefoot on the grass, giving my trees hugs and feeling such overwhelming senses of emotion looking at botanical life, that I could probably muster up a few tears. Weird? Maybe, but what I'm getting at here is that I really love plants and green things that grow and blossom and bloom. Growing up with a father who had an intense admiration for anything South Western, loved filling his spaces with cacti and succulents. My grandfather had a thumb greener than Gumby's, and had sunflowers that grew in his luscious garden up to 15 feet tall. And my mother, being a little plant-obsessed herself, would never ever turn down a plant staring up at her from the sale rack of the grocery store checkout line. See what I'm getting at? I was born to care for plants. I couldn't wait to fill a space of my own one day with hundreds of plants. So, let's jump 20 years later...picture me now, living in my cute little soho apartment filled with to the brim with green, abundant life, glistening and growing and glowing. Like one of those pictures above! Yes!
Sadly though, this picture is only in your head. You can imagine my embarrassment, shock, dismay (horror, even!) when I found out that not only was I not able to properly care for plants on my own, but that every single one of them that I brought into my grown up apartment died a slow and painful death, and yeah, succulents included.
Where did I go so wrong? Why was this happening to me? What happened to the little barefooted hippie child who used to stroke aloe stems, whisper sweet nothings to herbs and have play dates with palms (can you tell I was an only child?).
After months and months of struggle to keep even one cactus alive, I went cold turkey and said I would never ever be a plant lady. Maybe it wasn't in my cards after all. I gave up and never looked back. That is...until about 10 months ago. I started working at a plant-based company (yes this one) and found new hope and promise and a reconnection to plants and botanical life, and after some convincing from my peers and significant other, I decided to give it another try.
Here's the thing though. This time, I decided to do things differently. I decided to go back to my roots, treat the plants I brought in, or adopted (as I now like to think about it) as my little children, my little friends, my little souls. I decided to to name them, talk to them, give them words of encouragement if one looked a little down. Pet them, rub their leaves between my fingers. Sing to them. Feel their soil, not just to see if it was dry, but really feel what was happening with it. Connect to them. You name it, I went there. And guess what happened? I'm sure you can guess but I'm going to tell you anyway. My plants are ALIVE and THRIVING and HAPPY. All 7 of them. Sammy, Sunny, Spike, Mr. Prickle, Fiona, Sherman and Murray. Those are their names. And I talk to them. Every day. It's part of my morning routine, or meditation if you will. I ask them how they are doing and tell them how pretty they are. 'Hi Fiona! How are you doing today? You look marvelous!' And when Fiona isn't feeling so hot, she let's me know, she's also the most temperamental of them all. And crazy plant lady I might be, but you know what? There's scientific proof and articles about how talking to your plants, also called Biocommunication, and caring for them in such a way, really does help them to survive and thrive.
"In 1848, German experimental psychologist and professor of physics Gustav Theodor Fechner argued that plants have souls and that, like humans, they desired for and benefited from the companionship, conversation and nurture of others. Fechner believed that plants not only enjoyed the sound of music, but would be encouraged to grow better and bigger if they were spoken or sung to."
Isn't that awesome?!
And lastly, this is what I've learned as I've finished writing this. The plants didn't change. I changed. And we are all here living and breathing (the plants and I) to tell you that it is possible. You can care for plants and you will. If you really believe.