Let’s talk about plants! Like you, I was not immune to the ‘plant craze‘ or ‘plantdemic‘ that made people discover the joy of gardening during the pandemic. In just a year, I have not only bought new plants but also new pots, plant stands, loam soil and even gardening tools! I have learned how to re-pot plants, trim them and even propagate some.
Unlike others though, I have not turned into a serious plant collector yet. Magastos din k’se sya, and I am still at that stage na “hit and miss” ang choices ko of green foliage so I can’t justify yet the purchase of high end plants and plants of the same kind but different varieties.
Gardening was something I started last year because of daddy. Since we were on strict lockdown, daddy cannot go out and water the plants which he planted at our veranda. So it became my responsibility. I water his plants before I start my day.
When daddy left us unexpectedly in May last year, I was afraid that his plants will go next so I read up on plant care because I want to save all of them. They’re what will remind me always of daddy when I wake up. My morning routine of watering plants got longer; I started inspecting the leaves and stems na rin and soon I was also plucking out dried leaves and stems or cutting the burned parts. I also rearranged them more than once because I learned that we have plants which should not be placed under direct sunlight.
After a few months, I saw my hard work paid off. The Pachira Money Tree and Green Papua plants were healthy and have already covered our windows hehe!
I had the 4 Palmera Plants of daddy repotted into 6 big white plastic pots, because super old and broken na yung paint buckets repurposed as plant pots for them, and also to allow their roots to breathe more. They are now happily growing bigger palm leaves.
Encouraged by my small successes, I bought 2 pots of Peace Lilies online to add in the veranda. And this was where I encountered my first ‘heartbreak’ with a halaman. One pot thrived and gave me new but smaller leaves. The other pot was not okay though; the peace lilly plant there died. I don’t know what’s wrong because wala naman ako ginawang kakaiba dun sa isa. My hunch was that the root was infected, but I don’t know how to look for one.
It was only after this episode that I realized we have peace lily plants here pala! One thing I didn’t do before shopping for plants was to ID what we have here.
Calatheas are not exactly my favorites. I just don’t know how to make them happy. I found daddy’s Rattlesnake Calathea so dirty and forgotten in the far side of our compound, so I took it with me and nursed it back to health. I gave it a new soil (I use loam soil), a new pot and a new place where it can get the right amount of sun and rain. Now it has more healthy leaves than burned ones, and the leave patterns are more pronounced now thanks to the natural cleaning it got from the moonsoon rains in the past months.
The same care did not work for this other Calathea plant (I don’t know what variety is this). The leaves are all so small, the stems still very thin (even the newly formed ones) and it grows very slowly. I may have to change the soil of this one too.
We also have this tall Zz plant which I learned is a powerful air purifier like peace lilies. I love this one because it keeps on giving. And who wouldn’t fall in love with their thick, glossy leaves? I just have to wipe each one from time to time because dirt and dust stick to them.
When my friends found out that I am into plants, they generously gifted me with more foliage, adding variety to our little patch of green at home. It meant additional pots to tend to, and now I have to allot a full hour just for watering and checking out the plants, hehe!
This Variegated Oregano from my office colleague, Red, is very fertile. I have propagated some already by just cutting the stems and re-planting them. It likes indirect light and just the right amount of water. A totally no-fuss plant that’s perfect for beginners.
I got my first Rubber Plant variety (lemon lime color) from Ann, who also gave me giant Banana Leaves and Arrowhead Plant. I love them all because of their unique colors and textures.
The caretaker at daddy’s resting place, Kuya Eddie, also gives me plants every now and then. He gave me some cuttings of Green Ti Plant which really tested my patience because first, they became infected with spider mites, and then it took a good while before they were able to adjust at home. And just as it was starting to grow new, healthy leaves, Catcaaat (our cat baby) ate some of them thinking that they’re cat grass. And he got poisoned! Poor Catcaaat he has to be confined overnight at the vet. Lesson learned: Know which plants are not safe for pets and keep them away!
Kuya Eddie also gave me this Sterling Dieffenbachia Plant. I love, love its gorgeous, thick dark green leaves. Its lush foliage means it very effective at taking out toxins in the air. Like the Green Ti plant, it must be kept away from pets and children because the leaves are toxic when ingested.
I don’t know what this one below is called but bigay lang din sa akin. It’s also a no-fuss plant and just keeps on growing new leaves and branches as well.
My boss sent me a small Mulberry Tree in a clay pot. Just waiting for everything to be normal because I want to bring this to our little farm lot in Silang.
The ‘plantdemic’ has turned merchandise resellers into plant resellers; and my social media accounts are always showing ads about plants! Napupuyat tuloy ako kakatingin sa mga halaman, hehe! Armed with some knowledge now about plant care, I finally bought the plant that I’ve been crushing on since I first saw it in my Instagram feed: the Philodendron Birkin.
So thankful that it adjusted beautifully in our little garden; iiyakan ko siguro ito kung hindi nagtagal sa akin ito (because it is not cheap). My 2 pots of Birkins have not stopped giving me new leaves and now it’s buhaghag na hehe! Waiting for the aerial roots to mature pa and then I will attempt to propagate them.
I also bought this Yellow Fusion Plant which I realized too late should have been placed just outside our door, where it is not exposed to direct sunlight. The leaves burned because they’re getting hit by direct sunlight, but thankful I was able to grow 2 new ones and I hope there’s more to come. The color’s pretty, noh?
I have to have a Spider Plant just because. Also, it’s cheap, hehe!
AJ also bought vegetable seeds and planted them. Here’s the papaya leaves (Carica) that’s now ready for picking I think. It is said to promote health in numerous ways.
So there. My little garden outside is full now but will always welcome new plants, hehe!
I found joy in gardening because this is where I can feel my daddy, too. I know he’s tending to the plants with me.
How’s your garden going, fellow plantitos and plantitas?