When Life is Super Stressful, Here’s What To Do With Your Houseplants

Caring for houseplants is supposed to bring us peace, joy, and tranquility.

But there are times in our lives when, for many reasons, we do not have the time, energy, or motivation to care for our plants.

You may need to neglect your plants because of

  • Big life changes or transitions
  • Mental or physical health challenges
  • Demanding times at work
  • Or something else entirely.

The single most important message I want you to take away from this post is that it is absolutely, 100%, perfectly okay to neglect your plants.

You are more important.

You can let them sit there and wait for you to have the capacity to care for them again, however long that takes.

You are more important.

Watching your plants suffer may provoke feelings of displeasure, stress, or overwhelm. Those feelings are valid and real.

It is okay to get rid of plants to help manage those negative feelings because you are dealing with enough already.

You are more important.

You have every right to give away plants, throw them out, put them on the curb for someone to take, or do whatever you have to do to preserve your own mental and physical well-being as you navigate whatever it is that you are going through.

As much as we love our plants, it is okay to prioritize ourselves first, and there is nothing shameful about it.

You are more important.

You can sell the plants if you want to, but you don’t HAVE to. If selling them creates more stress and demands time and energy that you already do not have, don’t sell them!

Please do whatever you can or nothing at all…

Because you are more important.

That is hard to hear sometimes for passionate plant lovers like myself.

But it’s true. Our mental and physical well-being are more important.

Here’s my own recent story:

I was a few weeks post-birth with my youngest, when my wife had a massive health crisis. It took all that I had to keep myself, my newborn, my older daughter, and my wife cared for and above water.

Our house became a dump. Everything, including my houseplants, began to decline.

It was devastating, but I was so busy doing the bare minimum that there wasn’t any time or effort to do more.

I did very little plant care. I remember it as occasionally running by with a watering can and hoping water landed on the plants.

Life outside of caring for my family more or less stopped. The days became a blur and my body was in survival mode.

I threw away so many plants because I chose my mental health over watching the plants decline further. It was too hard to watch them go downhill.

Eventually my wife got better, my newborn aged, and life began to improve.

I survived. My family survived. Some of my plants survived, too. Many plants did not, and that’s okay. Sometimes I feel a little sad about a particular plant that I miss though.

But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have done it any differently. It was more important to take care of me and my family.

Take care of yourself. You are important. I wish you well.


A Houseplant Collector’s Dilemma: Own Every Plant or Have a Beautiful Home?

Here’s a Cheap & Easy Tip to Caring for Plants that are Sensitive to Tap Water

Are the Chemicals We Use to Control Houseplant Pests Safe for People and Pets?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *