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Houseplants: to buy, to borrow or to steal?

Being a plant lover does kind of blur my moral and ethics slightly on this subject. I have to admit that I have on occasion nipped off plant stem from the street or other people’s outdoor garden. I have a neighbour who occasionally helps herself to my plants without asking me. As plant owners we tend to not take these as serious offence. A recent phone conversation with this neighbour is what prompted this blog today. This neighbour on various occasion would call me up and demand plants, not request but demand. So I asked her the other day. Her response was “I don’t buy plants, I only take gifts from others (with gifts she means helping herself or just demanding). The plants that I buy always dies but the ones that I take from others they do well.” 

She is right, it is true, the survival rate of plants from the nursery is less than the ones acquired from homes. The reason is very simple - they are home-trained. Nursery plants are used to a a high level of humidity, shade and company of other plants. They are also transit plants in most cases. As in brought from a different climatic condition. They are not settled. When you bring them home, it is a new environment. If you are not trained to understand their need and acclimatise them, their survival rate reduces. Well I am not endorsing stealing from neighbours. Just acquire information about the plant and its needs when you get one home. Or just get one from a place that already has acclimatised houseplants or can guide you as per your home environment need.

So to sum it up, if you are getting a new plant from a nursery do the following;

  1. Read about the plant that you want and its need, 

  2. If you like something that you haven’t planned then read about it at the nursery

  3. Check with the nursery, if it’s a locally grown plant, or if it’s imported (even from a different city matters)

  4. When you get the plant home try to replicate the environment at home as well

If you are new with plants, don’t worry, plants die. Get a new one. If you are worried about losing them too much then get acclimatised plants and then slowly graduate yourself to untrained plants. You will get there. 🙂 

But, whatever you do, please do not keep sick or unhealthy plants at home. This would be a topic for another day. Till then, if you have any questions or even if you disagree with me, do write to me. I would love to hear from you.

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