Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that friends and family have picked up some new hobbies or learned new skills while in quarantine. Activities have included solving puzzles, gardening, sewing, and refurbishing furniture.
I never thought I’d be one of those people. Cases in point: the two dusty guitars hanging on our walls and the shrink-wrapped ball of macrame cord sitting at the bottom of my drawer.
That said, I have been known to go a bit overboard when I set my mind on something. And sometimes, I get a bit obsessive or completely consumed. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I’ve got addictive tendencies.
For this reason, I don’t mess with drugs, I quit smoking cold turkey years ago, and I limit myself to one or two cups of coffee per day. I know myself, and I when I pick up a bad habit, I go a little too hard.
So, let’s talk about houseplants.
Back in February, I wouldn’t have batted an eye at the mention of a Monstera. I would’ve walked right by a Cat Palm. And wouldn’t’ve given a Dracaena (Pronounced druh-see-nuh. You’re welcome.) a second look. But thanks to my amazing friend, Ali, and a Facebook group, House Plant Hobbyist, my perspective has shifted.
It started with one Golden Pothos cutting that a woman was giving away on Facebook Marketplace (we’ll come back to this a little later). It was gorgeous.
With Luxe (The name I gave her. You name your babies, don’t you?), I learned how to propagate a plant from a cutting, what air roots are, and how long to wait before putting it in soil. It was also the beginning of my crazy plant lady phase (which I’m still in) and the moment I became addicted to acquiring houseplants.
It wasn’t long before I picked up a Snake Plant, followed by a Spider Plant, and a tin full of sad succulents (which have all been revived! My String of Buttons is GORG.). Three and half months later, I have had 23 different varieties of plants and currently have 46 plants total. I have also propagated 7 different species. Well, that escalated quickly.
The thing is that these are plants. They’re a good thing to have around, right? They clean the air and give the kiddos something to do. Caroline has enjoyed potting and misting and naming our planty friends. There’s nothing obviously dangerous about collecting plants. (Except that most common houseplants are actually toxic to pets and humans. Learned THAT the hard way.)
Unfortunately, my interest in plants took a turn for the worse. You know how I could tell? My family members would start giving me these “are you kidding me?” looks when I would walk into the room with a new plant, which eventually turned into real words…
“NOT another plant!” “You are crazy!” “MOM, STOP BUYING PLANTS.” “You have enough.”
I felt bad about wanting a new plant or actually hiding the fact that I bought a new plant. It was no longer a joyful hobby. I had lost control.
It was a problem.
Sadly, plants were not the only things I sought out.