Plants Are Dope Link Roundup 11/1/19

Many gardeners already know the uplifting feeling you get from being muddied of hand, nurturing plants from seed to bloom and watching the seasons change. It is something the NHS is increasingly taking notice of, too, as a way to improve and manage mental health, along with other conditions.

A GP surgery – Cornbrook medical practice in Hulme, Manchester – has started prescribing gardening to people with anxiety and depression. Patients are given plants to care for, which are later planted in the surgery’s communal garden – a place where they can join in an activity with others and strengthen social connections.

I used to say I liked houseplants, but maybe I’ll start saying I’m in ecotherapy? This sounds like a pretty cool program Emine Saner wrote about for The Guardian.


The Germany-based search engine Ecosia claims to use its profits to plant trees around the world. Its home page even carries a tally of the number of trees that have reportedly been planted by Ecosia users.

For many people, this business model may seem “too good to be true” and has led to some skepticism about the legitimacy of this company. A search on Google, for instance, results in several articles and blog posts questioning the legitimacy of the search engine and asking whether Ecosia is a scam.

As far as we can tell, Ecosia is a legitimate search engine that truly uses a portion of its profits to help plant trees around the world. 

After reading this Snopes page, I’m tempted to start using Ecosia instead of Google for my searches.


There are many ways that plants can be propagated. One of the quickest and easiest ways to propagate many houseplants is by separating or dividing the parent plant. Houseplants like ferns, prayer plant, snake plant, and African violets can be easily divided. When dividing a plant, simply remove the plant from its container and gently pry apart the roots of the plant so that you have two or more clumps of the plant. Take each clump and re-pot in a new container. You may have to stake some plants until the plant’s roots take hold in the soil.

So, I want to fill my apartment with dozens of houseplants. I have a few, but the issue is, I can’t really afford to buy a whole bunch more. It looks like I’ve found another option…I can buy a few plants that are easy to propagate and then, well, propagate them.


We all like to save a little money when we can, and if we can reduce waste at the same time, that’s even better. Perhaps that’s why the idea of using food prep leftovers on your houseplants is such an appealing one. Of course, composting is a great way to do this, but you may have come across advice for adding certain common kitchen waste items like banana peels directly to your indoor garden. Or maybe you’ve seen Grandma place eggshells or citrus peels around her peace lilies. While some of these may provide important nutrients and other benefits to houseplants, others may do more harm than good. Here’s a look at a few food waste products you’re likely to have in your kitchen and how to use them effectively on your plants.

I had no clue you could put some food items directly on houseplant soil and actually do good. Thanks to this older Yahoo! Lifestyle article by Jenny Krane for enlightening me.


A story that proves truth really is stranger than fiction: a stranger caught on camera doing a chore no one asked him to in the early hours of the morning.

MK Stalder received a notification from her doorbell camera, telling her someone was at her door.

When she looked, she was left with more questions than answers.

“I looked at it and was like oh my gosh, this guy was on my porch,” Stalder told News 4.

An uninvited stranger showed up on her doorstep around 5 a.m. Monday, turned on the water hose and got to work.

“He got up and started watering my plants. Just really weird. I have a bunch of plants out there,” Stalder said.

The man was there for about 30 minutes. The hard work even causing him to break a sweat.

A couple months ago, a man in St. Louis watered his neighbor’s plants in the middle of the night. What I want to know is, were they on the verge of dying?


“So are you vegan now?”

So many people have asked me a variation of this question — friends, coworkers, relatives. In all fairness, I have not made any kind of formal announcement, any dietary-reveal. I like things to come up organically, and I like even better for things to not come up at all. Generally, the question is prompted by my asking a waiter to hold the cheese, or checking a box on a wedding invitation. Often, people ask because they’re also vegan and excited, they’re vegan voyeurs and excited, or because they love the easy punchlines veganism provides.

But when my parents asked me this question, it had a different tenor. The subtext of their inquiry was: “should we be worried about you?”

What Going Vegan for the Environment Means for My Eating Disorder” by Caitlin Troutman in Teen Vogue brings another perspective to the plant-based diet discussion.


Much of the world’s soil is already too salty for agriculture, while existing cropland is becoming ever-saltier with repeated irrigation/evaporation cycles. There could be hope, though, as scientists have developed a method of growing plants in what would otherwise be “unusable” soil.

I didn’t realize soil was becoming saltier in places. It sounds like it’s because of factory farming practices, but I can’t pretend I fully understand it. The idea is scary, but it’s nice to know that there might be a work-around.

I can’t help but wonder though, is the best route to change plants so they can grow in salty soil? Aren’t there efforts that can be taken to prevent the increased salination? If anyone knows (I don’t!), leave a comment.


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