Dear Mister Motley,
How do I keep my plants alive?
Every piece of advice is welcome.
Dear Sophie, it's quite something you're asking. Only few of us can keep plants and stay free of stress and anxiety. Most of us know exactly what it feels like when branches begin to lower, the leaves shrink or when the rot starts creeping up from the roots. It's difficult not to feel guilty towards the green in your living room with whom you've shared the intimacy of oxygen regulation. Plants often have sentimental value because they were a present or because you're taking care of someone else's plant. Everyone who has seen E.T. can't stop thinking of a lost friend when they see a withered plant. Never accept plants from lovers for this reason, avoid unnecessary suffering.
A life without plants might be easier, but that life is incomplete. For that reason, Sophie, I'll give you some tips I once learned. It starts with keeping your plants satisfied. That's how Janfamily came up with the idea to take your plants outside for some fresh air. They shared this idea in the book Plans for other days. Everything from cacti to avocado plants was carried through the streets of London on a bright spring morning. It weren't just the plants that moved away from their boring place on the windowsills, all of them created a surprising park. The Janfamily also made some outfits for their plants and called the work How to spoil. All of the clothes were made of green fabric, assuming it was the plant's favourite colour.
Does this remain fruitless and are your plants still suicidal after your loving care, you could try to delay the process of dying. By holding the branches up with skewers or by simply gluing the fallen leaves back on to the plant.
If this doesn't work out, only one option remains and that's to find the beauty in death. You might feel inspired by the work of Anne Geene: parcel nr. 234, encyclopaedia of an allotment. She created a beautiful selection of dead leaves and divided them into four categories: leaves with one fold, rolled leaves, leaves with two folds and leaves that have three folds.