Saving the Earth – One Plant at a Time

copyright Paul Steele 2012

I’m starting to realise that our home is becoming something of a houseplant sanctuary. Some people rescue animals, but I think the universe has seen fit to fill our house with all manner of down and out plants during the last few years. Our latest additions this week are several bedraggled spider plants (pictured). They’d badly outgrown the three tiny little pots I strongly suspect they were originally bought in, and then abandoned beside the communal bins of our workplace.

Most of them seem to come to us this way. As both of us love plants, and neither of us can bear to see them disposed of (especially if all they need is some tlc) we’ve found ourselves bringing home anything from these small spider plants to a huge overgrown yukka. Thankfully we usually find them near the bin, and not in it. That’s something at least, though I wouldn’t hesitate to go skip-diving if I had to.

Obviously most of us know that having houseplants around the home or office is very beneficial. In my opinion they look amazing and make any setting more luxurious and comforting, therefore doing a lot to improve your state of mind, but it’s also well known that they remove CO2 and other harmful chemicals from the air, even NASA has done a study on this.

They take minimal care and make no noise – not that we can hear anyway, so they seem to make very good listeners – I freely admit talking to ours every day.

I’ve even read a study someone did about thinking about causing their plants harm and actually receiving an alarming response through electrodes they had gently attached to their leaves. I’ve also read about various people who swear by playing their grapevines classical music to encourage growth. There is even a multitude of articles out there that suggest plants and trees are connected together – and over large distances.
A few years ago during my reiki attunement I was invited to use dowsing rods to discover the aura of one of my reiki masters’ plants. It may sound strange, as it did to me, and having never used them before I was a little stunned when I actually got the rods to cross about 10 feet away from said plant.

To me they are clearly more than an immobile lump of greenery, and I can’t help but to struggle to understand why or how anyone can just throw plants out when they become a little bedraggled. It just seems that maybe it’s too much trouble to re-pot when needed, which is a huge shame. But then, I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone what to do. I know that not everyone has a green thumb, but then neither do I – I’m not even familiar with all the plant varieties. There are experts among us whose knowledge on the subject of flora far outstrips my own. I just do the best I can with what I have learned over the years, and advice from my mum and good old Google, and I’m learning as I go. Our success rate in nursing these ‘stray’ plants back to health has been 100% so far so we must be doing something right, and the spider plants I’ve just done have already perked up considerably so I have high hopes for them making a full recovery.

I’m a little hesitant to let it be known that we take in unwanted houseplants, though our workmates have probably noticed the odd plant lurking behind my desk waiting to be taken home. We’re beginning to struggle to find enough pots to re-house just the ones we find and bring home, and I am loathe to buy something as free as dirt but we do have a limit to what we have in our own garden, and of course it generally doesn’t have enough nutrients. Though saying that we’ve been in our own home long enough now to try our hand at composting. Something I’ve never really done before, circumstances not really allowing it, but I am more than willing to give it a try – we will have to see how that goes. As for suitable plantpots we will have to find a way to source some more. Ours have run out and there’s even a limit to the plethora my mum has left with us while she moves house.. She’s said we can use them but I don’t think she meant all of them.. hehe 🙂

Eventually, if this rescuing continues as I suspect it will, we’re going to have space issues in our small house. We will have to start giving them away or move somewhere with more room. Since I’m not sure I can bear to part with any of them at the moment, it may actually come to the latter. But this shouldn’t be for a while yet – and if we can avoid bringing home any triffids, we should survive the houseplant takeover when it happens.

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