Plants are the best medicine

Bright green and precious, plants are bundles of happiness

SYDNEY DOWNING, Evergreen columnist

Plants — my slight obsession. I could cry over receiving a new plant. Seeing all those leafy green hands reaching for me makes me feel basically like a mom with a new baby.

I am a stereotypical plant mom who will walk by a plant and talk to it. I probably should consider getting a bumper sticker that says “new plants onboard” at this point.

I love how when you walk into a room with a plant, it brightens up that space. The shades of green may differ in every plant, but it is always so calming

The catalyst of my new passion was quarantine. We all went through a lot — to cope, plants were something I would get when having a bad day. 

If I had a hard week of online school, I would get a plant. If I was feeling gloomy missing out on the normality pre-pandemic, I would get a plant. It never took much of an “inconvenience” for me to result in getting a plant.

My plant collection quickly grew from five to over 20. When I moved back to school, it seemed as if I was driving with a jungle in my car. 

My mom constantly tells me I do not need another plant, but that has not stopped me from getting new plants. I am sorry mom, but I definitely have two more and some propagations in my living room right now.

Khalil Al-Wazan, senior landscape, nursery, and greenhouse management major, not only works in one of WSU’s greenhouses but also has around eighty plants.

“I’m a cheapskate when it comes to plants; I refuse to spend over $50 on a plant,” Al-Wazan said. “When it comes to budget, a lot of people are willing to give cuttings.”

For those who — understandably — cannot or will not buy as many plants as they might want, cuttings are a trick many people like myself use. 

Cuttings from a plant are a very affordable way to grow a new one. I would not recommend just going to a store and starting to cut plants. However, if you know people with a lot of plants and they are willing to share the hoy for free, ask away!

Once you have the plant cuttings, you just have to propagate the roots in water. The roots take their time to soak up water and sunlight and eventually grow enough to be transferred to soil.

I am not a plant expert but have had success with propagation and see the roots growing. It feels like a big accomplishment that turns my day to be amazing.

Caring for plants has always made the bad days turn into good. Every once in a while, I will have a plant day. These days consist of getting new pots and replanting the ones who outgrew their old pots. I look forward to this occasion. 

Cora Borgens, senior landscape, nursery, and greenhouse management major, has a room specifically for plants.

“Being able to take care of plants and nourish them into a space that other people can enjoy, is what’s really fulfilling for me,” Borgens said. 

Caring for plants is often portrayed as challenging. It can be made simple when you take time to learn the basic needs of your plants. 

Part of my excitement with plants is getting to learn about them. Finding out some plants grow without sunlight so I can have a plant in my bathroom about made me buy ten more Peace Lily’s. 

“The easiest way to care for a plant is to know the plant,” Al-Wazan said. “Soil is the number one component; [if you have] the right soil, then it’ll be really easy.”

Soil, sunlight and water are the key ways to help a plant thrive.

At the end of the day, it is so important to take care of yourself, just like your plants. 

“I am basically a plant,” Borgens said. “If I don’t get sunlight and enough water, I also feel sad”

When you have a plant and take care of it, you are more likely to take care of yourself. I know from experience; these plants are asking for our help to give us serenity in return.  

I know it is hard to always be positive or happy. But little things can give us a lot, and plants are the little things in our everyday spaces.

If you do not want to care for one, observe ones around you when days seem dull. 

I look back on quarantine and am slightly grateful for it. I gained knowledge on what makes me so happy even if this need of mine is slightly expensive.