If we are to believe disaster films, a worldwide catastrophe would lead to chaos and the collapse of society. But who would have thought that this pandemic would lead to something entirely different? Who would have thought that we would all witness a renewed interest in home gardening – the birth of the Plantito or Plantita era? People locked up in their houses turned to their nurturing side and learned to reconnect with nature. And they achieve this with a steady connection like strong fiber internet.
Home gardening has become part of the new normal, as a “stay-sane-at-home” approach to some people. And yes, this is a very good thing, not just for the environment, but also for your mental health. Studies have proven that the presence of plants and foliage has a relaxing and calming effect on people. Taking up home gardening can also reduce stress and anxiety. Being surrounded by plants is actually good for you.
The rise of the Plantito and Plantita
This renewed interest in home gardening is not just a local phenomenon, mind you. Last year, plant sales have soared in most cities around the world where quarantines were enforced. In some places, demands even reached up to 3000%. Plant nurseries have been swamped with orders and are doing their best to keep up with the overwhelming demand. Some plants even start commanding ridiculous prices. And it is not difficult to see the appeal. Aside from the abovementioned positive effects to mental health, having a home garden can be an opportunity to be self-sustaining. For example, when you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you can slash grocery bill in the long run.
Of course, by now, we no longer have to explain what a plantito or plantita is. Instead, we will answer this question: “Is being a successful plantito or plantita easy?“ And the answer is… Yes and No.
Yes, it is easy because you can jump in and start caring for a house plant. The bare minimum would be, of course, do not kill the plant. On the other hand, it is also not easy because there are some more things to consider if you want to be a successful plantito or plantita.
1. Plan your space.
The first thing to consider is where you would want to put your plants. Do you just need a desk buddy to help alleviate the droning hours of working from home? Do you want to turn your balcony into a small forest getaway where you can lose yourself for a moment? How about a refreshing hanging garden to spruce up that blank wall? Would you want to keep your plant indoors or outdoors?
It would also really help if you already have a vision of your garden in your mind. Where you plan to put them will be one of the things that determine which plants you can get. Planning is everything.
2. Choose the right plant for you.
This one is obvious. You can not be a plantito or plantita without plants. But just like any other living thing, different plants have different needs and different levels of care required. It may look very beautiful, but it will not really matter if your plant withers in a few days. You should look for plants that match your gardening experience and skill. If you are just a beginner, we recommend house plants that are sturdy and may endure a bit of neglect, like Snake Plants or a ZZ Plant. A small cactus can also bring a much deserved break and relief on your work desk. These plants are low maintenance and do not need to get watered that often.
You can also try growing your own plants. Get the seeds from vegetables and fruits that you have consumed and go plant them. There are also online guides on how to easily grow your own carrots, ginger, and onions from kitchen scraps. As you grow confident with your gardening skills, you can try your hand at plants that are more difficult to care for. There’s no need to worry. Not everyone has a green thumb, but like any other skill, practice makes perfect.
3. Do lots of research.
Caring for a plant is as easy as watering it, yes? Not really. You have to do research. Remember: knowledge is power. And what is the best way to gain knowledge? The power of the internet. Get a good internet service provider because you will need to access information about plant care. For example, what is the best fertilizer? What particular need does your plant require? What if the plants get infested with pests? Which plant best suits your lifestyle? A good internet connection will give you all of the knowledge you need. The faster your internet is, the faster you get to become a successful plantito or plantita. Speaking of which…
4. Get good and strong fiber internet.
Having a fast and reliable internet connection, like fiber internet, allows you to do multiple things for your plant. It puts the knowledge and collective experiences of other plantitos and plantitas literally on the tips of your fingers. And, more importantly, it allows you to get your plants without leaving your house. Online shops have popped up to cater to the demands of plantitos and plantitas locked up at home. You can also connect with fellow plantitos and plantitas to find ideas and inspiration for your home garden. Or for the business-minded, start your own nursery as a side business. If you have a good setup, show the world your pride and joy, and inspire others to also be a plantito or plantita. Unlimited internet means unlimited possibilities!
Good thing, there are numerous internet service providers here in the Philippines. One of which is Streamtech, the country’s newest wave in fiber internet. It offers various affordable fiber home internet plans that can come as a cable and internet bundle. It also offers other amazing products apart from its unlimited internet plans perfect for your home needs.
5. Get ready to get dirty.
We all know that plants grow on dirt. There will be only a few cases, very rare cases, where you will not get your hands dirty in this hobby. Plantitos and plantitas should not be afraid to get down and dirty. You will do lots of digging, obviously. Plant grew too big for its pot? You will need to repot it.
New additions to your growing garden? Prepare to push and rearrange your plant babies.
Better learn to love the feeling of dirt and mud on your hands. Dirty hands are a badge of honor for plantitos and plantitas.
6. Know your tools.
You can maintain your garden with the help of different tools. These tools also come in a range that matches your skill level so choose accordingly. When looking for tools, an important factor to consider is the quality. We can call a spade a spade but not all spades are equal. Just because something is cheap, it does not mean that you get to save money. If a tool breaks easily and frequently, you will have to keep buying the same thing over and over. Go for quality. Choose tools that are sturdy and will last long. Of course, the most expensive tools will be the most durable. Decide how much you can spend and how long you want your tools to last.
You will most likely be shopping for tools online so take the time to read reviews and ask your fellow plantitos and plantitas for recommendations. However, if you find yourself in a store, consider how well the tool feels on your hand before buying it. Focus on how comfortable the grip is and how much the tool weighs. Remember, you will be using these for the whole time you are gardening. It is important that your tools should help you make the job easier, not more painful and difficult.
Quality is not the only factor that will determine how long your tools can serve you. You should also learn how to handle and use them properly. Familiarize yourself with each item and its specific function. Misuse can affect their life span and may even cause you injury. Care for your tools and they can serve you well.
Safety is also an important issue. Do not leave your tools lying everywhere. Keep your tools organized and stored in a safe place like a storage rack.
7. Mind the budget.
Every hobby can get crazy expensive and, believe it or not, the same goes for being a plantito or plantita. It is easy to fall in love and lose yourself in this hobby. And this is why you really have to watch your budget. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. It is no longer fun when you reach the point where you have to eat your plants to literally survive. The satisfaction you get from home gardening should come from caring for your plants, not from buying the rarest flora with a 7-figure price tag. Be realistic with what you want and work within your means.
8. Learn to be resourceful.
Being a plantito or plantita is a path to environmentalism so get ready to walk down that road. Home gardening is a good opportunity to learn DIY skills. Tap your fiber internet to quickly search for garden hacks online. Learn what you can recycle as plant food and fertilizer. Research and discover the joys of composting. Find instructions on how to make your own watering can. You would also be surprised by how many household items you can use to keep pests away, improve the moisture-retaining ability of soil, and kill weeds. As mentioned earlier, being a plantito or plantita can be expensive, so get ready to reduce, reuse, and recycle!
9. Be ready to change.
We would like to think that your choice to be a plantito or plantita goes deeper than joining a bandwagon. But hey, if it is, that is okay. No judgment here. Some people do it for stress relief or therapy. Others do it for the likes. Ask yourself what you want to get out of this. There are people who started on this as a hobby and grew to love it more. This renewed love for plants and nature often changes them. For example, some folks start a small nursery business after learning to cultivate their own plants. Some people learn to grow their own vegetables and suddenly it becomes a gateway to a healthier lifestyle. Some even realize their deep love for nature and start joining online environmental efforts like adopting trees. Being a plantito or plantita can change you for the better.
10. Be dedicated.
Your plants are your responsibility. Nurture should be in a plantito or plantita’s nature. To repeat an earlier point, the satisfaction stems not just from how pretty your plants look. It should also come from the way you care for it, watching it thrive and grow. Plants are not that much different from pets. They still need your attention. After all, these are still living things and, weird as it may sound, plants thrive more with affection. Seriously, you cannot care for another living thing without dedication. This is probably what is most important and also what defines good plantitos and plantitas.
The benefits of being a plantito or plantita really outweigh everything else because at the end of the day you are really doing something for the greater good. As urbanization continues, we get less and less green space in this concrete jungle. Starting a home garden is a good step towards bringing back greenery in the city. Doing the above tips, most especially getting connected with a strong fiber internet, ensures a step closer to ‘that greener life.’ But this is, of course, a very noble goal. Scaling it down, how can we say when a plantito or plantita is truly successful?
Well, here is the thing. Being a successful plantito or plantita is not really a goal. It is more of a process — making mistakes along the way but not letting setbacks discourage you. Moreover, it is sharing and learning from other plantitos and plantitas so your home gardens can all grow and thrive. Finding love and joy in the hard work that you invest in caring for your plants defines it. Feeling pride when your saplings grow and your flowers bloom describes it. Becoming a real and successful plantito or plantita is being satisfied with what you have but still pushing yourself to be better.
A successful plantito or plantita is someone who grows with their home garden.