You might be that green-thumbed person who has an array of thriving houseplants and a beautiful outdoor garden, or perhaps you’re someone who has yet to find a plant you couldn’t kill.
Believe it or not, some gardening pros don’t believe in the “green thumb” phenomenon.
“We’ve come to realize that the green thumb thing is a myth,” Chantal Aida Gordon of gardening blog The Horticult told Real Simple.
“It’s all about how much time you spend really researching and just getting to know your plants and being attentive to them,” said Ryan Benoit, also of The Horticult. “A lot of it’s about awareness, looking at them, and being responsive to little changes.”
Gordon and Beniot said that some people simply develop a knack for gardening more quickly than others.
“Some people are — I won’t say there’s a green thumb — but some people are just very intuitive,” Benoit said. “They’re just good at it. I don’t know what it is: Some people can learn it quicker than others.”
If you’re not a natural, Gordon and Beniot offered some advice. First, they recommended that beginning gardeners do their research before purchasing a new plant.
“When you don’t know anything about a plant … it can sometimes be confusing,” Benoit said. “A lot of people have failures mostly because of a lack of light, and then they compound the problem by adding water because they think adding water helps. The less light you have, the less water you need: Those go hand-in-hand. A lot of this is understanding some basics about plants, knowing what plants you have so you know their needs. Once you figure that out, you should have more success.”
The key is to identify plants that will thrive in your space and fit with your lifestyle.
“That might be succulents if you’re not into watering, if you’re more into loving neglect,” Gordon said. “If you’re more of a helicopter plant parent [and your space doesn’t have] a lot of light, maybe your succulents might die, and you’ll realize that you and ferns are a match made in heaven.”
Finding the right plant match might take some trial and error, but that will only help develop your gardening intuition and ultimately lead to a life filled with flourishing greenery and flowering friends.
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