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Asserting Dominance: A Guide to Maintaining
Authority Over Your Foliage

January 21, 2024

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In the veritable wilderness that is my living room, where the ferns seem to stretch their fronds with a touch too much audacity and the spider plants regard me with what I can only describe as botanical sass, I've come to a startling realization. The foliage, it appears, may have developed amnesia about the natural order of things—namely, who is the caretaker and who is the cared for. It's a conundrum that one doesn't typically prepare for, caught as I am between being a benevolent overlord and a garden-variety tyrant. The situation calls for a strategy, a method to gently, yet firmly remind these leafy beings that, despite their silent, photosynthetic machinations towards autonomy, I am indeed the central sun in their potted universe.

Navigating this green minefield requires finesse, a touch of theatrics, and an unwavering commitment to the assertion of domestic dominance. Let us embark, then, on a journey to reclaim our rightful place at the top of the household ecosystem.

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Set Boundaries Early:

It’s essential to establish who's the boss before your monstera deliciosa decides it's the one running the show. Erect barriers if you must, to remind them of their place. There's nothing quite like a well-placed trellis to say, "Here, and no further."


Maintain a Strict Watering Schedule:

Command over water, the essence of life, is a clear indicator of who's in charge. Determine a schedule that keeps them thriving, but on your terms. It’s a liquid power play, and you’re holding all the cards.


Rotate Regularly:

Exercise your authority by controlling their very access to sunlight. A plant turned is a plant tamed. It’s a simple gesture that reinforces a complex hierarchy.


Prune with Purpose:

Pruning is not just maintenance; it's a declaration of sovereignty. Each snip is a reminder of who wields the power to give and to take away. Make each cut a lesson in humility for your leafy subjects.

Fertilize with Fanfare:

Announce your fertilizing days like state holidays. Let every application of nutrients be a grand affair, a testament to your benevolent rule and their dependence on your grace.

Talk to Them... Sternly:

Plants, they say, respond to voice. Make sure yours communicates authority. A stern talking-to can work wonders in reminding them of their place in the household hierarchy.

Occasional Neglect:

A controversial, yet undeniably effective method. A brief period of neglect reminds your green charges of their vulnerability and your control over their well-being. It's tough love at its finest.


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As we draw the curtains on this guide to botanical dominance, let us reflect on the journey undertaken. Reasserting authority over one's houseplants is not just about maintaining a well-ordered living space; it's about reestablishing a sense of control, a reminder of our place in the natural world, albeit on a microcosmic scale. This delicate balance of care and authority ensures not just the health and beauty of our plant companions, but the harmony of our coexistence.

Remember, in the grand theatre of indoor gardening, you are both the director and the star. Your plants, with all their silent grace and slow-moving drama, play a supporting role, albeit a vital one. It's a symbiotic performance, where mutual respect is key, but never forget—the spotlight is always on you, the gardener, the ruler, the sun. In this lush, leafy kingdom you've cultivated, let there be no doubt: you reign supreme.

~Michele Jaillet

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