We often talk about the therapeutic aspects of gardening, working in the soil and reducing stress in our day to day lives. It's such a great activity with numerous benefits. So why doesn't everyone want to have a garden? We'll tell that to someone who's hortiphobic, a fear of growing plants, and they are likely to break out in a cold sweat and stress just thinking about it. It's almost like having a pet that you need to feed and care for. And if you forget to water it, it will die. Who needs that kind of stress? If that's you, you're not alone. Many Americans fear growing anything whether it's one plant, or an entire garden. This post is designed to take the fear factor out of plants, so you can move closer to a stress-free lifestyle that takes advantage of all that gardening can provide. Read on to learn how you can overcome your fear of growing plants.
What Makes Someone Hortiphobic?
Okay, you're convinced that caring and nurturing a plant of any kind, is not for you. It's possible that you suffered a traumatic plant-related event in your life, and Botanophobia set in. Maybe an episode of severe poison ivy, or you got stung in the nose by a bee while smelling a flower. Or suffer guilt over killing that poinsettia you received the holidays. All very real and potentially traumatic experiences. If you fall into any of these categories, there's still hope!
Moving Past the Fear
If you identify yourself as a person with a black thumb, rest assured, there is a plant out there for you. Even if you have a killed a plant or two before. It could just mean it was the wrong plant for you. Or the environment wasn't ideal. Or you kept an outdoor plant, indoors. Whatever the case, failure is an option. All it means is it wasn't a good fit and it's an opportunity to try something new. If you like indoor plants, but that orchid you picked up at the garden center, perished after being in your home, that's okay. Try another plant that does well in those same conditions. It may be time to try a succulent or cactus. Point is, there is something out there for everyone at every level of gardening experience. Check out our recent podcast Trends in Indoor Plants, for some great ideas on where to start.
Fear of Plant Commitment
What if you are the person who is always on the go? You like to travel or work and home life is especially active? You don't have time to care for plants. Yes, there are plants for you too. There are plants that can survive on very little water or light, so you can be gone for weeks and not worry about them dying. And If you have issues with a long term commitment, try some annuals in a container on the porch or deck. When they die back in the fall or winter, that's the nature of annuals, so no long term commitments are required and you will still have been successful!
If you're still on the fence about trying to grow even one plant, it's worth considering what's in it for you. Yes, you need to provide a some water and general care for plants to do well. However there are studies that have shown a direct correlation to gardening and reducing stress levels. Plants have a therapeutic quality that is calming. Working in soil has been shown to boost our mood, due to a harmless bacteria, mycobacterium vaccae, helping to better cope with anxiety and depression. They can ratchet up the curb appeal of your home. As well as spruce up your indoor living spaces for sharing the perfect #plantsofinstagram and #shelfie post. And guys, let's face it, women appreciate a guy who can nurture and care for something.
Conquer Your Fear
So if you are among those who fear plants or swear you have a black thumb and kill everything, you're not alone. Even the most studied horticulturists out there, have killed a plant or two in their day. Toss out those sad, dusty fake plants in the corner, and start with an easy live plant that won't hold outright neglect against you. You'll begin to experience the joy of seeing that first flower or when a new leaf emerges. This is a sure sign that you are doing something right. It will boost your plant confidence, make your house feel a more like a home, as you start channeling all the stress going on in your life into your plants.