We are super excited to start introducing plant lovers in the San Diego community. Today, meet Vee. She has the most amazing plant collection - give her a follow on Instagram @in.sght for the best tips!
Since March 2020, there has been an increase in people purchasing plants, engaging in plant-related activities, and working on home improvements. People are beginning to implement the practice of caring for their home and their plants, which in turn is helping them care for themselves. People are not going to a horticulture therapist. No - their therapy is their plants.
Engaging in plant related activities helps improve a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Many people are purchasing plants at local garden centers, nurseries, and online. New plant parents are now socializing virtually in this pandemic to discuss plants, sharing their prized plants and their growth, and bridging connections around the world. Plant care encourages each individual to learn to take initiatives to provide optimal plant care, research the plants, and dig their hands into soil. Just the act of putting your hands in soil alone stimulates production of serotonin, making a person feel happy and calm. Seeing the plants flower, grow, or unfurl a new leaf is a natural reward for a person, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and improve a person’s mood as they see the fruits of their labor.
Plant therapy invites a person into practicing ritualistic behaviors to help provide a routine. It highlights the person’s capabilities and allows the person to reflect.
I guess that brings me to the question, who am I and why am I talking to you about the benefits of caring for a plant? My name is Vee, and I am mental health therapist hoping to help people build insight through plant therapy. I have battled with depression most of my life. There are times the waves drown me and other times I am able to ride the waves with the support of therapy, music, hiking, my dogs, and plant therapy. I knew a wave of depression was coming in again about 3-4 years ago, when I started purchasing plants and getting into plant care. I did not know what the plants were doing for me then, but I knew I felt happy talking to Lilo, my peace lily, and rotating her so she didn’t look lopsided as she pulled towards the sun. My plant collection grew to 40 plants over the years through purchases and
propagation and to over 100+ after COVID-19 started. My mind is quiet and calm when repotting my plants. I would feel the smile on my face when I see the roots take off, the activation of axillary buds, and a new leaf unfurling. I would feel sad when there was root rot, stressed battling pests, and defeated when a plant lost its leaf or died. No matter the case, taking care of plants continued to be therapeutic
through the lessons it taught me and as I reflect and process my personal stressors.
“Get a paper towel and wipe the leaves for me please.” That was my mom’s chore for me growing up. I had previously seen it as the MOST tedious chore ever. But today, it’s no longer seen as a chore, but something I love to do for my plants as I reflect, process, and build insight through plant therapy.