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Five Indoor Plants that Teach Important Life Lessons

Five Indoor Plants and the Important Life Lessons They Teach

1. Coleus

Coleus is a beautiful leafy plant that comes in a wide variety of colors and can be easily propagated. You can usually purchase coleus from mid spring to late summer. At my local Lowes, they sold coleus until October, when they closed down the entire outdoor garden section. Coleus comes in many different varieties ranging from wide lime green and maroon leaves to thinner varieties with leaf patterns that mimic paint splatter. 

You can even see how some new stems are coming from existing leaves. They want to be plucked!

Pro Tip: You only ever need to purchase one coleus (unless you want a different color) to fill your garden/ multiple pots. Just pinch off about a two-inch piece of stem and stick it directly into moist soil. It will root by itself within a few days. 

How to Thrive Indoors: 

  • High levels of sunlight (a window seal is nice, either south or west-facing)
  • Keep the soil moist watering often (not too much)
  • Remove blooms as soon as you see them (if the plant fully flowers, it will die)
  • Keep a desired shape by pinching off stems

This plant is beautiful and requires mid-maintenance. 

What life lesson does a coleus teach?

You don’t need accessories to make you look beautiful, pinch off those distracting flowers and thrive on your natural beauty.

2. Poinsettias

Look at this beautiful white poinsettia.

Poinsettias are usually associated with Christmas. The funny thing is, as I was growing up, my mom would by a poinsettia every year in early December and every year it would die after Christmas. I grew up thinking that these flowers were strictly Christmas flowers; as if they could only survive on Christmas cheer. WRONG. The truth is, they can thrive all year round. Poinsettias even have blooming cycles (which is why they change colors around Christmas time).

So worth the effort!

Pro Tip: Get your poinsettias ready for the holidays by helping them change color. Poinsettia need long periods of darkness to begin this color changing/ bloom time. Create this long dark period for your poinsettia by covering them with black trash bags in the evening. Your poinsettia should have only 6 hours of day light, to accomplish this, carefully cover them around 3-4pm and uncover them around 8-9am. Timing does not have to be exact, but you will need to do this process ideally in late October and commit to this schedule EVERY DAY.

How to Thrive Indoors:

  • High levels of sunlight (a window seal is nice, either south or west-facing)
  • Let soil completely dry in between watering
  • Keep the plant away from areas of the house that may to be too cold
  • After the blooming process is complete, some leaves will fall. That does not mean it’s dying, you’re doing a good job.

I challenge you to take on this plant next Christmas and keep it alive for years to come! This plant is a bit high maintenance, but you can do it. 

What life lesson does the poinsettia teach?

Hard work will be greatly rewarded.

3. Succulents

There is a crazy amount of variety when it comes to choosing a succulent. Succulents can range in color from different shades of green to purple and even pink varieties. Some succulents bloom flowers and others have spikes similar to a cactus. No matter what variety you choose to have in your home, succulents are beautiful and pretty low maintenance.

Beauty comes in all sizes.

Pro Tip: You can propagate your succulents by plucking off their thick leaves. Most of the time I clumsily bump into my larger succulents and sadly knock off their leaves, but there is hope for them. Simply take your leaf and place it on top of some semi dry soil. *Do not place it on moist soil or it will rot. Then be sure to place this arrangement in the sun. Roots will sprout from the place where the leaf broke from the succulent and be drawn toward the semi moist soil. Soon you will have a baby succulent. Congratulations!

How to Thrive Indoors:

  • High levels of sunlight (near a south or west-facing window)
  • Use a well-draining pot 
  • Use a well-draining soil, such as cactus soil from Miracle-Gro
  • Let soil completely dry in between watering
See how these babies came from old leaves? The old leaf shrivels after a while.

What life lesson do succulents teach?

Even though it may seem bad in the moment, something new and beautiful can come from tragedy.

4. Air Plants  

Air plants are those little tentacle-looking green plants that hipsters place in seashells to make an ‘air plant jellyfish’. Air plants are ridiculously easy to care for. If you live in a humid area, the air plant will water itself by absorbing moisture straight from the air. If you live in a dryer region you will need to water it once a week by soaking it in a bath. It really is low-to-no maintenance, like seriously, just chuck it in the sink once a week. I haven’t watered my air plant in three weeks and it’s doing great. No worries.

Pro Tip: Display your air plant in an open glass terrarium. You can place the air plant on top of a bed of small colorful rocks. Beautiful. (You’ll be a hipster in no time.)

How to Thrive Indoors:

  • Keep in a bright room
  • Do not place in soil or on top of any moist base (it will rot the plant) 
  • Water with a 20-minute bath every week… or less often

What life lesson do air plants teach?

Not everyone needs your full attention, life will go on without you. Stay humble.

5. Orchid 

Orchids are majestically beautiful. They come in many different varieties that dictate the shape and color of their blooms. The type of orchid that you are most likely to come across in a supermarket or flower shop is a moth orchid (or Phalaenopsis to sound super smart), so I’ll just speak to that species. Orchids are pretty low maintenance and the blooms can last up to four or even six months! They last for so long it is simply wonderful. Go buy one.  

It was once so lush…

Personally, I have been able to get my orchids to bloom multiple times after the initial bloom period; however, I have never been able to re-bloom my orchid to the same fullness. I purchase a lush orchid with many blooms, they eventually fall off (normal), and then I work and work and work only to be rewarded next bloom with only two flowers. Makes me sad. I wish you all of the best when caring for your orchid, and if you have some magic orchid insight I would love to hear from you.

Still beautiful

Pro Tip: When your flowers do fall off, you will be left with an empty stem and may be tempted to cut it off thinking that will help with regrowth. Don’t do it. Though pruning promotes growth on so many other plants, it will have the opposite effect on your orchid. Leave that unsightly stem right where it is and continue to care for your orchid as normal. Within a few weeks, you will see the emergence of growth from your bare orchid. First a stem, then a bud, and finally a beautiful new bloom. 

How to Thrive Indoors:

  • Keep in a bright room (near a south or east-facing window)
  • Water only when soil is dry 
  • Keep in a well-draining pot 
  • Use specialty orchid potting mix if you plant to repot 
BTW I take my own photos 🙂

What life lesson does an orchid teach?

Once something special is lost, you may not be able to nurture it back to its former glory; sometimes you just have to enjoy what’s left of a beautiful memory.  

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