Having a houseplant or garden requires a lot of patience, which can sometimes be frustrating and sometimes be incredibly fulfilling.
If you have ever asked yourself these questions, then you’ll know what I mean:
Is my plant even growing?
Were those spots always there?
Did this plant look perkier when I got it?
How can I even tell when this thing needs to be watered?
But there are also those proud gardening and houseplant parent moments where we remember when our plant was on the brink of death and we revived it! Or maybe we remember when our plant was a little baby plant and now it is massive and we wish people could understand the time and growth it took to get here.
The good news is that we can answer some of these questions and share some of these special moments simply by using the cell phone camera in our pockets!
Taking photos of your plants can transform your relationship with your plants for the better; here are 6 reasons why.
1. Seeing Growth Over Time
I’ve often felt like my plants weren’t growing despite my hard and consistent work. As with any living thing, however, when we see them on a daily basis, it is more difficult to notice the changes. That is where having photos can be really helpful.
Even as a person who has learned to be a little more patient with my plants, I still have been amazed at the progress I recognize when comparing photos from a few months prior.
If you aren’t a big photographer, try setting a reminder for yourself on your phone to take a photo once per week during a time window you know you are home. They don’t need to be professional, just legible!
You could even create an album for your plants so you can find them more easily to compare later on!
Here are some of my progress photos!
I bought these coffee trees in a tiny pot a couple of years ago. You can see how much they have grown now!
(Also, putting together these progress photos showed me how spaced out the trunks used to be and that I should repot them to give them some room to breathe. I’m going to do that soon!)
I got this rather sickly looking heartleaf philodendron in the mail in March of 2019. I revived it and here it is in July of 2019!
Here’s one last progress shot, this time of my scindapsus pictus (satin pothos) a few months apart!
2. Understanding Your Plant a Little More
Plant photography is also a way to get to know your plant better!
Daily photos can show subtle changes that could indicate whether a plant needs to be watered (the leaves might be starting to droop, for example) or a plant isn’t receiving enough light (the stems are stretching and reaching toward the window).
These changes are small enough that we may not notice them by just looking at the plant, but we can see the change by comparing photos!
3. Identifying Potential Problems
Photos can also help us see problems that we might not have otherwise noticed. This is especially true for those of us that love macro photography or zooming in on the finer, smaller details of our plants.
I was just taking photos the other day of my alocasia frydek and its gorgeous leaves. Upon zooming in on those photos, I noticed a white bit of dust on the leaf surface. Alocasias are notorious for attracting spider mites and I knew right away that this dust was probably mites… again. Darn.
But at least I caught the spider mites before they had done any significant damage – which was only made possible because I was trying to take some nice shots of those beautiful leaves!
4. Appreciating the Small Stuff
I like to appreciate the overall appearance of a plant as well, but there is also something quite lovely about noticing the tiny details and intricate changes that your plant is working hard on.
Since taking pictures of my plants, I notice these small details and changes so much more frequently because I’m spending more time looking at them.
I see the way different plant’s leaves uncurl or how stems thicken on some plants when a leaf is forming. I notice when tendrils begin to shift on my vining plants when looking for something to grab onto.
While you can certainly notice these details without taking photos, photography can be a motivator to spend time looking at and for these details which we sometimes miss or forget to take time to notice.
5. Building Community
Sharing the pictures you take can also be a way to build relationships with other houseplant or gardening enthusiasts.
Whether you choose to share your photos publicly or privately on social media, you can connect with friends or potential future friends who are interested in the same hobbies you are.
It is a lot of fun to be able to share plants with other plant lovers, talk about plant-y things, and connect with like-minded individuals. Lots of people are doing this now through social media and you can too!
6. Spending Time with Your Plant
This might be the simplest reason of all, but taking pictures of your plant gives you a reason to spend time with your plant!
You spent hard-earned money and you are consistently spending time and effort to care for your plant so taking the time to enjoy it just makes sense. Photography is one way to do this!
Besides the fact that looking at your plant has numerous health benefits and can improve your ability to care for your plant, it can also just be another way to enjoy your beautiful plant!
Have some additional ways that taking pictures has enhanced your relationship with your garden and houseplants? I would love to hear about it! Comment down below!