I think that many people have a fear about gardening. They are afraid of care of plants but really I think they are afraid of failing. I honestly think that is why so many people have lawns and not plants. The idea of gardening is nice but overwhelming. I am here to encourage you! You can do it! Start small and don’t be afraid to fail. You will fail and that is okay as it is part of learning.
Currently we are in the life stage where we are potty training our son and I think that journey illustrates this exactly. You almost need to fail a couple of times to figure out what you are doing. In his example it is having n accident to get the idea of going before you need to. In growing it is essentially the same thing learning what you can and can’t do in regards to a plant or a part of your yard. In the mistakes you learn your limits and you learn about yourself as a gardener. If you think about it killing a plant is way less embarrassing than wetting yourself in public!
When I kill a plant I can learn many things. I ask myself these questions…
- Did I over/under-watered this plant?
– I’ve over watered succulents to have them then rot on me and under watered gardenias to have them dry up to a crisp.
- Did I plant this plant is in the wrong location? (Full sun/shade or different drainage requirements)
- Does this plant does not suit my region/yard/lifestyle?
– Lifestyle is a good question. Plants not suited to your region (find your USDA hardiness zone here) may require extra care that you may not have the time or inclination to deal with.
- Was this plant supposed to die off? IF the plant that you planted is an annual, it lives for a short time for a season (often beautiful flowering plant) and then dies. You will need to plant these each year (some reseed). It is part of nature and no fault of your own.
None of these things are a personal reflection unless you make them that way. The image above shows a failure, a mint plant that I killed. I think that I over watered it. and that the pot does not drain well. I think that I’ll try again in another pot in a month or so. It is a liberating feeling to give yourself permission to fail in gardening and in life. It is a very helpful way to learn and grow!