Developing a lifetime of love for plants

Published in For the Health of It Author: Clara Vancura

Dietitian’s obviously are known to have a lot of knowledge about foods, plants, vitamins and minerals. So, when I was asked to consider writing about plants — I suspect that was the intention of the For the Health of It editorial team.

Little did they know this dietitian enjoys reading scientific articles and has recently read various studies with plants showing benefits in mood, heart disease and other areas that affect health. But, while I enjoy their health benefits — it's not what I love most about plants.

My passion started at an early age when my grandparents taught me and my siblings how to plant corn, fostering a love for the land and what it can produce. As I continued to grow and left my little town for education, I was able to find an outlet for my love of plants with houseplants — but I was not very successful. I thought it was a genetic predisposition from my Mom who kills any plant that comes within my childhood home. Recently though, I have delved into houseplants again. With the help of some very knowledgeable people, I have turned my black thumb to green.

My new hobby has given me additional pieces of calm and tranquility as well as hope daily when I see my green plant babies throughout my home. Yes, I will have some plants that I can eat this summer, but I have found taking care of plants just for the sake of growing a plant has given me much more than vitamins and minerals. I hope that you will fall in love with plants just as I have through learning and literally growing together.

Here are some tips of help keep plants alive and growing:

  1. Ask questions! People who love plants enjoy sharing and helping others avoid killing anything green. Older generations, like my grandma, have years of knowledge waiting to be tapped into. Any community member is a potential plant lover, including over 2,000 Master Gardeners with the University of Minnesota Extension alone!
  2. Ponder how much time/work you want to put into your plants. Be realistic and start slowly, working up as your confidence and knowledge grows.
  3. Remember, no question is too silly! Ask even more questions as you purchase your plants from the greenhouse.
  4. Some resources that have been HUGE helps for me, include:
    • University of MN Extension: Master Gardener Program
    • Social media of all kinds to find others who are interested in plants
    • Podcasts are a great way to learn while you are on the go. I have fallen in love with “Bloom & Grow Radio” and “Let’s Argue About Plants” recently but there are MANY more to choose from!

Enjoy planting!