Since today is National House Plant Appreciation Day, I thought this would be a great time to share my obsession with house plants.
I discovered pretty early on that I love growing things and plants were seriously the easiest. When you have tons of spare time, they thrive. When you have no spare time, they still thrive. And as long as you don’t forget them for entire weeks on end, they… thrive.
How They Excite Me!
One of the things I love the most is getting my hands in the dirt. I love dirt under my fingernails. I realize that seems silly especially since I’ve made dirt and it’s a little gross if you sit and think about it too hard, but I love getting dirty.
The other thing that excites me is watching the plants grow. I love to start babies and then watch how big they get while being, ultimately, ignored. They’re amazing. They’ll move on their own. They’ll talk to you with the turning of their leaves. They’re wonderful.
The above pictures were taken this morning and you can see that they’re suffering a little from the Alaskan darkness from winter. Last year, I had created an environment for them to thrive all year long with more light and more watering, and… they were pooped by summer and so was I! So, this year, I’ve allowed them to get a bit of the winter rest by watering them less and turning on the lights less.
They’re growing, the daft things! My asparagus fern is ridiculous. My monstera has created several new leaves, and all of my pothos are threatening to take over the entire room. By summer next year, I should be able to create a nearly complete canopy.
House Plants In Fiction
You’ll see house plants in my fiction, too. In Karma Peels, the plant room is my actual plant room, but a little older with more established plants. The monstera leaf they duck under is what I will have in about two-five years. I didn’t have to do much to create the setting on that scene. I literally just took my computer to my favorite room of the house and started writing.
Our sci-fi series that will be come back out again has a lot of house plants in it as well. Some of our ships are living ships, where we create a self-sustaining eco-system in the ships that are most likely to find themselves on longer voyages. Originally, I’d researched the best plants to be used as air scrubbers and oxygen producers, but quickly realized that their durability was what mattered the most. A lot can go wrong on a space ship where a loss of environmentals means a direct connection to vacuum. So, the plants you’ll see there are the ones that have survived me. There are also quite a few fun ones that were thrown in there because in order to keep plants alive, you have to enjoy the process of keeping them alive. So, going strictly with what makes sense doesn’t work when half of their job is bolstering the human soul in space.
My all time favorite series, though, will probably always be Dreamland, and there I play around with the far reaches of what plants could be. They walk, they sing, they interact. They move and dance, they growl and bite. Their communication is a lot more active. Teddy, our next hero who will hopefully launch Dreamland into the world with success – I feel a little like the DC Universe with all my failed launches of this world. The first book will launch later this year and I’m terribly, terribly excited about it. She doesn’t interact a lot with the plants. She’s more focused on the monsters she’s making through her dream lab, but she will get to visit with a singing tree, which are my absolute favorites!
Many things affect my writing, and they don’t always have a huge impact, but house plants will always be one of those things that are in the background. I love them. They are an obsession for me and I’m looking forward to bringing my plant room out of semi hibernation, and sharing more amazing plants with you through my stories.