Gardening is no easy feat. Taking care of your plants takes as much effort as rearing your own child. You need to make sure they are well fed with water and manure, get enough sunlight but not too much either, watch out for diseases or parasites, take preventive measures and if they do get infested, get the timely treatment with medicinal sprays and/or pruning done. It requires constant supervision, love and care.
As a complete layman in gardening, I learned everything from my mistakes and hit and trials that ended up killing many plants by either overwatering or under-watering, burning them or freezing them to death. In this entire process, I learnt a couple of valuable lessons that sort of enlightened me and changed my outlook towards life. This post is about the lesson on “Perserverance” that I learnt from my four Hibiscus plants.
Hibiscus plants are perennials, which means they live for several years. I realized this only after a certain experience which I will talk about in a separate post. Coming back to the point, since Hibiscus is a perennial plant, I knew they will last year after year if I took proper care of them. However, they are extremely prone to the wretched “Aphids”! These little notorious bugs hide under the leaves, especially the baby leaves and even flowers and slowly, or rather in a few days, eat away the entire plant!
I am extremely fond of hibiscus flowers and having a couple of plants lost to these Aphids, I became very cautious and attentive. Initially, Neem Spray helped a lot to prevent this infestation and even control the spread but my lesson was about to start when this spray got finished and Aphids began to take over. I did everything from washing them with soapy water and even physically removing each and every one of them but they would always come back and spread almost overnight.
It all happened during the lockdown due to Covid pandemic when there was no way of getting that Neem Spray to save them. Watching them getting nibbled away broke my heart and I was heading towards despair. But just like you should support your children but let them fight their own battles, I had no option but to leave the plants to deal with this menace on their own. I kept watering them regularly and provided them appropriate sunlight as I watching those bugs nibble my plants away.
Soon, all the leaves of all my Hibiscus plants disappeared and all that was left behind was a mere skeleton of my once exuberant foliage. Since, there was nothing left to eat, soon, Aphids too left the plant. One might think its game over for the plant and at one point I did too! However, I still kept watering it in a faint hope that it might survive and thank God that I did! It was after a month or so that I noticed tiny shoots sprout up on the branches and I literally jumped with joy! Within a few days the entire plant was covered in newly sprouted leaves!That moment made me so happy and filled me with a lot of positivity, hope and faith. These plants fought with those Aphids and with all the leaves gone ands when things looked gloomy, they still endured and bounced back with life. Its been more than six months now and there hasn’t been an Aphid infestation since!
This whole thing taught me that its okay to fall sometimes, to fail but its not okay to give up. Even if you have a terrible fall, you can still stand back up! No matter how difficult it becomes, no matter how many times you fail, if you keep the effort going, you will always rise up. We should always fight our own battles and similarly let our children fight their own battles too. We can’t protect them forever, instead we can make them stronger to face all the adversities they could face in their life. We must Learn and Teach Perseverance and that will come from will, determination and faith in yourself. Every problem comes with it’s solution, we must have the will power to seek it and faith in ourselves to endure the hardships in the process. We won’t just survive, we’ll thrive!