What we Learn from Plants

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

As we’ve talked about in previous blogs and on our Instagram (@dirtonplants) there are many different types of benefits you can get from plants. Plants help boost your mood, boost your productivity, clean your air, add aesthetics to a space, and prove that biophilia is real and important. Beyond this, there is so much that plants teach us from taking care of them. Plants are so resilient and beautiful. Plants sometimes act as extroverts and require a lot of care and attention, while other ‘introverted’ plants prefer to be left alone. Here is a short list of what we learn from plants, caring for them, and how it teaches us to care and love ourselves.

Snake plants

1. Patience is an important part of caring for plants. Sometimes you can get frustrated with plants, especially when you are unsure of what is wrong with your plant or why the leaves are turning a different color, however, it is important to be patient and calm. You can do some research or trial and error to figure out what is going on with your plants, but if you stay patient, you will learn what your plant needs and be able to fix the issue or correct your mistakes. Patience is also important when you get a new plant or are propagating a plant and can’t wait until it’s much bigger. So just remember to take things slow and maybe try a few things out so you can figure out what is wrong and how to ‘fix’ it.

2. Related to having patience, it is also important to remember that growth takes time and that every plant, and person, grows at their own rate. It can be intimidating when you see a plant that is huge and lush while yours of the same type is still small, but just remember that even though it may take time, it will grow. It is important to remember this in your own life. Every person, like plants, grow at different rates, so just because someone’s growth seems to be ‘ahead’ of yours, doesn’t mean that one day you won’t get there too.

3. Listening to what your plants need can help you figure out what your plant needs, for example, if a plant is underwatered, the leaves may turn a brownish color, the soil will be bone dry, and your plant can look a little droopy. When a plant is overwatered, it’s leaves will typically turn yellow, telling you that you should water it less. There are many other signs that plant leaves and their ‘body language’ show that indicates what type of attention and care they need. This is important to remember when taking care of yourself. Listening to your body and what you need is an important part of self care. Your body, like a plant, will indicate when you need more water, if you are hungry, and if you need more vitamin D or ‘sunlight’.

Lucky Bamboo

4. Hydration is important. It is important to stay hydrated and get enough water. This is the same for most plants, otherwise your plants can become droopy and dry, and with enough water these problems can be fixed. It is the same with your own body. Hydration is important and if you are feeling lethargic or tired, even ‘droopy’, it may be a sign that you need to drink more water and stay hydrated.

5. Plants bounce back, and so will you. Plants are resilient, and even though a plant with root rot can be intimidating, a plant losing leaves can be nerve wracking, and a plant with browning leaves can be scary, they will be ok, for the most part. If your plant has brown leaves, simply cut off those brown leaves, figure out what is wrong with the plant, and your plant will ‘bounce’ back and look great again! Root rot can seem like the end, but that isn’t always the case. There are ways to recover your plants from root rot and allow them to thrive again. Plants that lose leaves can seem like they’re dead and goners, but propagate them, give them a second chance, and watch as new leaves start to grow back. Remember this in your own life, and even though things may seem like they’re over or going badly, just remember in the end you will be ok and be able to bounce back. And remember that you are stronger than you think!

6. Always remember that self care is important. This is something you can learn from taking care of your plants because houseplants need care, even if they don’t need a lot of water, they do need to be cleaned in order to photosynthesize and grow. It is important to clean and take care of yourselves and remember that showering and pampering yourself is a form of self care. Using a humidifier on your plants is important to keep them healthy, strong, and thriving, and this is also important to do for yourself. Steaming and humidifiers are also beneficial for people. Cutting of your plant’s dead leaves and grooming them also relates to self care for yourself.

7. Having imperfections is ok. Plants have imperfections, like variegated types of houseplants, which make them unique and beautiful and even sought after in the plant community. This is the same with humans. Imperfections can cause you to feel bad about yourself and hate a certain part of you, but just remember that these ‘imperfections’ makes you just as beautiful and unique as variegated or imperfect houseplants!


There are also so many other things that you can learn from plants and through taking care of them. Plants are so vital and important for your mental health and to care for yourself. Plants are a new, unique type of self care that can also help beautify your space.

You may also be interested in our blog Sleep Easy with the Help of Plants

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