Succulents: The Holy Grail Of All Plants

Succulents: The Holy Grail Of All Plants

Not all plants have to have big, colorful petals to be beautiful.
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I remember the first time I laid my eyes on a succulent: I was walking through Lowe's in search of some flowers to plant in my garden. The poor little fella must have been misplaced because I found him among the tigerlilies. I thought to myself, "Well, that's an odd looking cactus." Honestly, I was a little turned off by the conspicuous plant. I ended up buying some geraniums and calling it day, not even thinking twice about it. Three days later I realized that I hadn't watered my precious geraniums even once. Feeling both outraged and foolish, I tried to bring the dried flowers back from the dead by practically drowning the planters with water. Too late, they were too far gone.

Confession time: I have an awful memory. It doesn't matter how many times I try, I always end up forgetting to water my plants. I am, without a doubt, world's worst gardener. However, I don't give up easily. I went back to Lowe's where they recommended I get a low-maintenance plant. The extremely sweaty yet surprisingly chipper employee walked me over to the area of the gardening section where I found myself staring at dozens of the strange little catci I had seen earlier that week. Feeling slightly disappointed, I sighed and eyed the succulents from a distance. I really wanted something with color; a plant with big, beautiful, colorful petals that I could admire every morning while drinking my morning cup of coffee. Then I thought, "Actually, these things are pretty cute. They're a little weird-looking, but I guess I can get used to it. I guess I'll start with a couple and see how it goes."

Six months later, and I can't believe that I was ever hesitant to buy a succulent. Now I wonder why I didn't get one sooner! This is the first plant I haven't killed! Actually, I killed a few...survival of the fittest, right? Regardless, I realized the reason these plants are so easy to take care of is because they store water in their leaves. Once I got past the fact that I could actually keep my succulents alive, I became a little obsessed with them. I even started calling them my children. Before you start judging me, just hear me out.

Since I've already made it clear that these plants are practically immortal, I think that it's obvious how low-maintenance they are. All you have to do is put them in the sun and make sure to water them once a week during the summer and once every two weeks during the winter. Also, I wouldn't recommend leaving them outside when temperature gets below freezing. Succulents like warm conditions because cold temperatures will cause the water that is stored in their leaves to freeze and can result in death or mushy leaves.

Remember when I complained about wanting to have a big, beautiful, colorful plant? To my excitement, I have discovered that succulents come in all kinds of colors. Although they are most commonly shades of light green, some succulents can be shades of pink, orange, purple, and even light blue. This is due to different levels of sun exposure. When succulents aren't receiving enough sun, they tend to be dull. In contrast, succulents "blush" or turn different colors when they receive a lot of direct sunlight. When fully blushing, some succulents can even turn shades of red or almost black.

Trust me when I say that succulents are super durable. Mine have survived torrential rain, thunderstorms, 60-miles-per-hour wind, and even hail storms. My cat even chews on the leaves with his razor sharp teeth and they are seemingly unaffected. What's even cooler is that you can use their leaves or "cuttings" to grow even more succulents. It's called propagating succulents.

My absolute favorite thing about succulents is that they can live in anything. Just because they are a plant, doesn't mean they have to be put in a pot. In fact, they can go in just about any container you can imagine: a mason jar, a teacup, a mug, an old soup can, a random bowl, a repurposed wine bottle, a vintage birdcage, the list goes on and on! Moreover, succulents aren't impacted by gravity so they can be made into a unique wreath or even a vertical succulent garden.

Bottom line: Succulents are pretty much the holy grail of all plants. They are regarded in many cultures as being sacred, wise, and even bearers of prosperity. Sure, they may look a little strange upon first glance, but give one a try. Even if you do forget about it for the first week, chances are that it won't die and you'll end up enjoying the company of the little fella more than you thought!

Cover Image Credit: Mom Central

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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