Is it possible to have too many plants?
Photo by Huy Phan on Pexels
We love that indoor plants are having a moment in the spotlight. As feng shui practitioners, we often recommend bringing plants into a space to uplift the qi and add more wood energy, and it’s been wonderful to see so many people adding more plants to their homes over the last couple of years.
However, if you’re spending your whole weekend watering your plants, or if your plant care routine is starting to feel like a second job, it’s possible you may have gone a bit overboard. Caring for a lot of plants takes significant time and energy, especially when a plant gets sick. It’s important to pay attention to what you are actually able to care for, and to notice what your feelings about your plants might be telling you.
Why do we have so many plants?
There are a few reasons why you may have collected an abundance of new plant friends during the last few years. If you’ve been spending more time indoors and entertaining less, you’ve likely been experiencing more yin qi (energy). Yin qi is passive and quiet, and it also represents what is unknown and hidden. Bringing in plants, which add more active, yang energy to a space, could be a way that you’ve been energetically working with your circumstances to create more balance.
What your plant collection says about you
If your plant-related responsibilities are causing stress and overwhelm, you may want to take a moment to consider what this feeling may have to teach you. Are you also feeling overwhelmed in other areas of your life? If you are, what could you do about that?
You might also notice that you have plants that you’re not suited to take care of, and this can be an invitation to reflect on what else you may be outgrowing in your life. How can you create more spaciousness? What can you let go of?
What to do if you feel overwhelmed by your plants
If you do have plants that you don’t feel like you can care for, it may be time to let some of them go. As with any meaningful object, we wouldn’t recommend tossing your excess plants in the garbage. Instead, you could offer some of your plants to someone who has the time and space to help them thrive. Plants can teach us a lot about generosity and abundance, especially when they invite us to share what we’ve cultivated with others. It may feel sad to let go of some plants, but by giving your plants to people you love, you are creating a beautiful gift for them.
What to do with sick plants
It’s also easy to get overwhelmed by your plant collection when you have plants that are getting sick. It can be stressful to be constantly confronted with a sad, wilting plant, and it also requires extra care and attention to resolve the issue.
Plants that aren’t doing very well are an opportunity to reflect on the resources you actually have to take care of these living beings. Maybe you got a little overzealous and bought a lot of plants at once, but you don’t really have the time to nurture them. Or, your home may not have the right lighting conditions for the plants that you chose. This doesn’t mean you need to be hard on yourself if you misgauged your ability to take care of a certain plant; instead, it’s an opportunity to learn more about what your plants need and what you are able to give.
If you do have a plant that is sick, it’s important to be mindful of how you deal with it. Often you can do a quick online search and find an easy remedy, but some pests and diseases can be very contagious. In this case, it can be a good idea to let go of one plant for the sake of the rest of your indoor garden. Make sure you do some research before disposing of an infected plant, since it may not be appropriate to put it in the compost depending on your climate or your local composting facility’s guidelines.
Whatever your plant situation is, it is okay and normal to feel overwhelmed at times. Instead of feeling badly that you are overwhelmed, we would encourage you to be curious about the teachings your plants can offer you, and practice cultivating generosity by sharing any extra plants with people in your life.