You know what they say; ‘new term, new fern’ - if you’re anything like me this is to replace the one that you accidentally let turn to compost over the holidays. Indoor plants seem like they’ll be so easy to look after, and yet require extra attention if they are to stay healthy over the winter months, just as we also do.
Welcome back to your second term or semester at university - well done for pulling yourself away from the warmth and comfort of home and for making it through that tough first month of January. New year blues are very real after the Christmas holiday break - let's acknowledge this and make a particular effort to look after our spiritual and emotional health in this season. Even the hardiest succulents have important care instructions!
1. Find a location that receives lots of natural sunlight
Long nights and short days are a recipe that can lead to a gloomy outlook, and it can be hard to stay positive. The Bible advises us to meet together with other Christians to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). Who are the people in your life with whom you are able to invest and be invested in? Making time to spend with these allows us to get that positive input - even if it means having to make the extra effort to go out to your church small group when it's cold outside.
2. Ensure that your pot allows good drainage
The first term after Christmas can be busy with assignment deadlines and exams, and having too many other commitments on top of this can lead to a completely over-saturated diary. Succulents need water to thrive, but if you water them too much they really suffer – they need space to breathe. Check out your diary - do you have time marked out to be able to rest? At the beginning of this term think about re-evaluating your commitments, you may need to let some of them go for the time being.
3. Add fertiliser so the plant is potted in good soil
The best fertiliser to help us grow as Christians is the rich truths and promises that are packed in the Bible! Keeping disciplined to read it regularly can be tricky but there are some fantastic resources out there that can help, e.g. the great Bible Project videos. If we allow our roots to go deep in Christ, we can be confident that in times of hardship our leaves will remain green and we will continue to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
This season really can be quite tough, but if we follow the correct care instructions we can ensure that we, and our succulents, will be able to make it through until warmer months!