The Socialization of Plants

Some people have lovely front porches that are graced by charming benches, hanging plants, and small tables. I have a friend who puts plants on small tables on her front porch and they look like a cozy nest where a person could sit and watch the world go by.

I decided to clean off my front porch one day as a first step to obtaining a gracious front porch. I took the edger back to the garage, put the boots in the front closet, and swept off the porch. I admit it did look better but it didn’t look cozy! That’s when I got the idea of putting a plant on a small table next to my bench. That would complete the look!

I may have mentioned that I have a small overgrowth of plants inside my house so I didn’t think that it would be a problem if I put one of them outside. At the time, I had gathered all my plants into the living-room. It looked like the undeveloped areas of the Amazon! I moved plants to other rooms and took one plant outside. I’ve always felt uncomfortable having only one plant per room – what if the plant became lonely?

I justified having the single plant on my front porch because there was a lovely shrub planted in front of the porch to keep it company. Granted, the shrub had kind of overgrown, but I felt that it would protect the plant from the wind storms that we sometimes have in Kansas. Unfortunately, after one such wind storm, I went out to check on the plant and it had fallen off the table. It was lying on the porch with some of its dirt spilled out and some leaves broken off.

I righted the plant, put more dirt in the pot, and trimmed off the broken branches. When I checked it again a week later, I noticed that the plant was not thriving! I have to admit that my front door is seldom used. The only time we open the front door is at 5:30 in the morning when I let the cats out and get the paper. I felt pretty guilty that I had left that plant out in the cruel world all by itself!

I brought it back in and repotted it. Several stems had broken off, some of which still had green leaves on them. I decided that I could root those stems and rebuild the plant. After I cleaned up the plant, I put it in the living-room next to a couple of other plants. I spoke encouragingly to the plant, letting it know that I was sorry for my actions and that the other plants next to it would welcome it back inside. I put the green stems into a glass of water and fertilizer and put it on the counter in the kitchen, thinking that it would be warm in there and I could check on them frequently.

I don’t think that the other two plants on the same table as my outdoor plant were as welcoming as I would hope. They had been at my office for the past few years and had a snooty air about them as a result of breathing in all the office atmosphere. I put the little outdoor plant next to my couch so I could talk to it a lot and it started to come back. I put some rocks into the pot to help with soil erosion when I watered my traumatized plant and that perked it up.

Unfortunately, the stems that I was trying to root, weren’t doing very well. It dawned on me that they needed to be socialized with my other plants. I was afraid that it was feeling lonely all by itself in the kitchen. I moved it to the mantle of my fireplace so it would be easily seen by everyone who went through the living room from one side of the house to the other and it could talk with other plants, learning from the older, more mature plants.

It didn’t take long before there were nice long roots on the stems, and I could plant them back with the outdoor plant. I promised that little plant that it could stay inside forever and it seems to be feeling more secure now.

It didn’t dawn on me until I was telling a friend about what I was doing, and she got an odd look on her face. I guess there aren’t many people who worry about socializing their plants. It’s working wonders for mine, though!

2 thoughts on “The Socialization of Plants

  1. Not strange at all. There are studies that plants are very aware of what plants are nearby, and if they are friendly or not. Have you heard about Trees that says trees communicate and help one another? Good entry, Arthur! (that’s what Bruce Pearson, the catcher for the Mammoths,calls Henry Wiggen the pitcher. Band the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris)

    Like

    1. This makes sense. Maybe it goes back to the old, “if a tree falls in the forest and there are no people, does it make a sound?” I’d like to think that a sound would be made if anything falls! I like the studies that support this concept!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s