The Nature Report: Plant Parenting 101

Nicholas Tillinghast/The Miscellany News

I have recently become the proud parent of a pink polka dot plant. Her name is Lottie and she’s two years old in cat years. Having raised Lottie for so long, I think I’m ready to share some of my struggles as a parent and offer my personal insights into how to raise a plant. I also may or may not be selling a parenting memoir in Q3 of 2022 called “Growing Pains: Me and my Little One” so keep on the lookout for that.

   The first thing you should consider when raising a plant is being conscious of what you’re saying around your plant, because you don’t know what things you’ll say will stick with them for the rest of their lives. In considering that, I have discouraged the discussion of certain sad topics in front of Lottie such as the sinking of the Titanic or the ending of “La La Land.” Additionally, I like to leave C-SPAN on in the background so Lottie will want to be politically active later on in life. Another thing to consider is what music you play for them. I want Lottie to have a diverse musical palette so she can intelligently discuss music with other plants she’ll meet later on in life, but I normally just find myself singing “Isn’t She Lovely” to her for 20 minutes instead. That or “Tubthumping.”

It is also important to consider as a parent what kind of food you let them get into. Some parents let their kids eat Pop-Tarts and Jolly Ranchers. Personally, I only give Lottie filtered water (can’t trust the tap). A final tip I would give is to do your research on whatever it is you are raising. Whether it be an iguana, robot kid or human baby, you have to do your research and read whatever self-help books that could help guide you. I read a nice page on Lottie’s species and learned that she shouldn’t get a lot of sun, which was a day after putting her in the sun all day (bad parent alert). I’m confident she’ll forgive me with time. 

Last week was tough. I went home for Thanksgiving and I was taking the train back to Poughkeepsie so I had to leave Lottie behind with my roommate, Eli. I had him send me pictures and I reminded him every day to water her. I’m really hoping Eli didn’t do anything careless with her while I was gone, like take her bowling or show her any number of magic tricks. They don’t let magicians into Harvard.

I have high hopes for Lottie. I’ve loved watching her grow upwards and I can’t help but dream of the day when I see Lottie graduate from Harvard and/or kindergarden. They say you’ll learn much more from them than they’ll learn from you––I would agree with that. I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned from Lottie is that I am probably one of the best parents out there. Side note: I think Lottie might be dying. She’s losing a lot of her lower leaves. They’re becoming dark and papery and then just kinda falling off which is kind of concerning. That’s okay though. It happens. I might just have to buy a new plant. May all your plants grow bountiful, folks, and don’t forget about that book: Q3 2022. 

Leave a Reply

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