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Grow Green

Grow Green

by Anya Gupta

We’re missing and appreciating the great outdoors more than ever, thanks to the pandemic. And with the growing appreciation for greenery, we’re also witnessing more and more people turn into plant parents. It’s an activity that is grounding, makes for the perfect hobby and attunes you to nature’s ways.

Adopting house plants or growing things from scratch is a great way to create greenery around you. It will also help you understand nature’s process and what it takes to flourish and thrive. It’s easy to do and is highly pleasurable to see your efforts come to life (literally!)

Here are 3 things you can grow easily, anywhere in your home!
Herbs in Water

A lot of common herbs like Basil, Mint, Thyme, Rosemary, Tulsi and Sage can thrive in only water. All you need is glass jars or repurposed glass bottles that you can grow in, some water and sunlight.


Step 1: Do you get whiffs of fresh basil around your home? It’s time to ask for a cutting that you can use to grow your own. Getting cuttings from your friend or a neighbor, is the best way to start. Easy herbs to start with are mint, basil, oregano and thyme.

Step 2: Once you have the cuttings, retain the top 4 leaves of each stem and soak them in water. When you’re just starting out, you don’t need to keep more than 3-4 top leaves on your herb stem. In a week’s time, you’ll see small roots develop on the base of the stem - which means your stem has successfully taken off. Hooray!

Step 3: Store in water and change water every 3-4 days. The roots of these stems will continue to grow longer and stronger - and that’s a good thing. Make sure you’re constantly snipping off leaves and using these herbs in your salads, pastas or sauces to add fresh flavor. It’s like trimming hair - the more you trim, the healthier your new hair grows.


Money plant & Syngoniums

Some of the easiest plants to grow in your home, bed or bath are money plants and syngoniums. They are stunning and fairly low maintenance. These plants have strong and resilient aerial roots, that grow well and quickly in water. The best way to propagate these plants is to get cuttings of them.


Step 1: Take as long or short a cutting you want, about an inch from healthy aerial roots (the roots should be a part of the cutting you are taking). Money plants and syngoniums are common house plants. If you’re unable to find them, you can source them from your local nursery.

Step 2: Find an appropriate bottle or glass jar to give your cutting a new home. Upcycling pretty alcohol bottles has always worked well for me in the past. And they look great in the bathroom.

Step 3: Fill up your chosen glass bottle with water. Take your cuttings and submerse them in water - their roots should be soaked, but some will still be out in the air, and that’s okay. They’ll live.

Step 4: Top up water every week or so. While your plant is flourishing, it’s using up the water in the bottle, so top up your plants with fresh water. Make sure the water is at room temperature - to avoid shocking your plant with water that is too cold or hot.


Microgreens

Microgreens are extremely nutritious, super easy to grow and even look great as indoor greens. They are known for their speed of growing and the ease with which they take off.


Step 1: Collect seeds of grains and plants such as wheat grain, mustard seeds, spinach seeds, sunflower shoots. Prepare a shallow tray with a layer of well drained soil or coconut coir, that you can use to grow your microgreens in. Best to reuse take out plastic containers.

Step 2: Soak these seeds or grains overnight - it helps them sprout a bit and get ready for germination. Spread out the soaked seeds evenly on top of the containers layered with soil or coconut coir.

Step 3: Cover this layer of soaked seeds with a paper towel, and water your seeds over the paper towel. This should moisten the paper towel, seeds as well as the soil/coir.

Step 4: Wait for your microgreens to grow. They usually start to sprout on day 2, but can take up to 10 days to give you greens you can snip off and add to smoothies, salads or toasts. The microgreens will keep growing and you can keep snipping them off as and when you need them. Over time, they will become week and dwindle down. Simply start again when this happens.

Developing a green thumb is something you can do. It is so gratifying to be able to care for a plant and watching it flourish. Start with these 3 plants. Once you’ve grown these successfully, you’re ready to share knowledge with your friends and level up to growing food at home, with those new green thumbs you got there ;)

To get to know me better, you can follow my sustainable life journey here

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