My Plants Know I Mean Well

By Mary Ellen Ellis | April 4, 2021
by Mary Ellen Ellis
April 4, 2021

I like to think I’m a good gardener, that I treat my plants well. But the truth is I have doubts. If my plants could actually describe my gardening care, tendencies, and style, I hope they would call me well-meaning. I could live with that. 

If My Plants Could Talk…

I have to be honest in admitting that I have thought about this before, but not about my potted philodendron or bed of day lilies. What I want to know is what trees would say, especially the grand old trees. 

When it comes to my own plants, the ones I tend outside each summer and keep going indoors throughout the year, do I really want to know? I hope they would be kind. I’m not always the most doting plant parent, and I’ve lost some over the years. 

I would also hope that they know I mean well. When I forgot to water the 20-year-old peace lily in my front room until every leaf had drooped over the edge of the pot, was it angry? Disappointed? Don’t worry, it comes right back to life after watering every time. It’s my perfect houseplant. 

Loyal Houseplants

My few but long-term houseplants would definitely express some loyalty. We’ve been together a long time, through moves. One plant got attacked by my new kitten last year and I had to trim it back by half. I think it would say it forgives me now. It’s already sending up new shoots. 

The outdoor plants, I imagine, would be less loyal but only because they’re more wild. They go through the winter dormant season on their own and come back each spring. I think they would say they’re happy to see me in the spring, relieved to get a little trim, a drink, and some food. But they don’t need me as much. 

If my plants could talk, I would listen. I think they would be kind and forgiving. They would say I am an imperfect but passionate gardener, someone who truly appreciates them, even if I neglect them from time to time.

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