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Gardening

What to Do if You Want to Grow a Garden but Your Plants Keep Dying

Is having a “black thumb” really a thing?

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Photography: Shutterstock

“I have a black thumb” is what people usually say when they can’t seem to grow anything. While it’s true that there are those who can easily propagate plants, there’s really no such thing as having a black thumb.

Anyone can grow plants at home, but admittedly, it can be frustrating when things don’t seem to work your way, even it if you think you’ve done everything right. To help, here are a few things you may want to take note of:

Go simple

If you’re having a hard time with a certain plant species, then it may be a good idea to take a step back and go for an option that’s easier to grow. This way, you can train yourself to be more aware of what your plant needs without worrying about it being too “maselan,” and you can simultaneously build the confidence you need to grow other varieties.

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Check if the plant you want to grow can propagate in the climate you’re in

Have you tried buying plants in cooler climes like Baguio or Tagaytay, only to bring them back home and have them wilt after a few weeks? This is most probably because they’re better suited for lower temperatures. Similarly, there are plants that thrive in humid environments and easily get frostbitten in colder, dryer areas. It’s all a matter of researching if the plant you want to propagate can survive the place you’re relocating it to. And speaking of relocation…

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Allow plants to settle in their new environment

If you want to transfer your plant to a new pot or directly to your garden, you will need to lessen the shock of the processes. According to The Spruce, it’s important to water your plant prior to moving it in  order to keep the soil intact and to avoid drying out the roots once you lift it out. You’ll also want to make sure that the hole you’ll be placing your plant in has damp soil. Make sure that no roots are exposed and there are no air pockets in the ground. After transplanting and checking if the soil is secure, water it once more.

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Don’t do anything drastic to your plant (trimming, picking fruit, flowers) in the next few days. Allow it to settle in, and don’t expose it to direct sunlight. Check on it daily, and water depending on the amount of moisture in the air and the soil.

RL Tip: It’s best to transplant during a cool, cloudy day to avoid drying up the roots that will inevitably get exposed during the move.

Really get to know your plants well

It’s very important to research on the proper ways to care for a specific plant. There are plants that need regular watering, there are others that easily get root rot due to continuous damp environs. Depending on the plant that you’ve decided to care for, there are a slew of other things to factor in, but luckily, information is easily available online and in social media groups.

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Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance

When a plant is said to be able to survive long periods without sunlight or water, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need them. Don’t forget that plants are living things require need constant maintenance, even if they’re considered to be hardy. Make sure to set aside time daily to check how they’re doing, and adjust the kind of care you provide depending on the weather and their needs (for example: if it’s been raining often, your plants may not need to be watered so much). With proper research and maintenance, your garden will healthily grow and propagate, you’ll realize that having a black thumb is actually just a myth.

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