2016: A Year of House Plants

scented geranium
This year I intend to reacquaint with and revive my house plants. They are in desperate need of assistance.


Is it strange that I make New Years’ resolutions for my plants? If you consider that our house plants are a reflection of ourselves and our home life, then no, it’s not weird at all.

above: pineapple scented geranium (wintering over inside)


  • plants in the south-facing window seat
  • Spanish thyme (also wintering over inside)
  • African violet
  • Monstera
  • coleus (wintering inside) with an un-known plant in front
  • Paphiopedilum Raisin Pie, an orchid hybrid

plants on shelf in window


spanish thyme
In some ways it’s easier to resolve to tend to my plants than it is to come up with resolutions for myself. I am entirely focused on raising my now 13 month old child and building my career on the side, so making personal goals feels difficult. All I could come up with is as follows:
A. Take more time alone to putter around the house to work on projects (as an introvert I need this greatly!)
B. Revive my health and vitality through movement/exercise, food, herbs and creativity
Both of these are directly or indirectly addresses through taking care of my house plants. Plants are an ongoing personal creative project that need constant and evolving care.

african violet

Plant Resolutions 2016: 

1. Get rid of bugs

2. Repot

3. Catalogue my plants and their needs

4. Have good soil components and amend their soils per their preference

5. Water on a schedule

6. Display plants purposefully and beautifully

7. Make a worm bin so I can feed them worm juice regularly

8. Keep their moisture level adequate

9. Hang out with them

10. Try a new plant or two, with a clear plan of their care
That should be plenty for now, and for those entire year, actually. Simply watering them on time is enough of a project!



There are some overall problems with my plants. For one, I’ve got bugs, and lots of them. Mealy bugs and scale insects. And they are wreaking havoc on my plants’ growth.


Debugging (if I may borrow a term from Rob’s field, computer programming) is a major task as simple cleaning and plant spa days (showering them) aren’t enough anymore.
I’ve tackled bugs in the past with success, and I got so good at it that I would debug my friends plants voluntarily. I know I can do it again.

Unfortunately, I haven’t taken any time to debug in the past year, mostly because it’s pretty damn hard to do much of anything except care for an infant. Some days I’d barely get to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom – as if I could prioritize sitting down to pick off every scale insect with a cotton swab.

Paphiopedilum Raisin Pie orchid
Which is precisely why I want to spend some time just looking at my plants – I’ve hardly acknowledged their own existence. It’s not the end of the world, not like plants aren’t essential for life or anything ;)
I am a firm believer that more attention we give something, the more it flourishes. By attending to my plants, I attend to my surroundings, my home, myself, my family, and dare I even say my community and the earth, too.
Wish me luck as I reacquaint with the plants around me. I’m curious how your house plants are doing??


hearts on a string

Take care,

About Celia

I live in Portland, OR in a orange stucco apartment building surrounded by wild gardens. I love plants, yoga, going for walks, the Oregon wilderness, photography, gardening, herbal tea and creating. My Etsy shop is KyraBotanica, where I sell handmade herbal tea and natural body care products and fragrances.

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