‘OF POTTED PLANTS AND GROWTH LIMITATION’ By Mwangi Ndegwa

I love nature especially the lush green plants and I will do anything to be around such an environment. The challenge comes when you are living in...


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I love nature especially the lush green plants and I will do anything to be around such an environment. The challenge comes when you are living in the urban areas aptly nicknamed the concrete jungle. Here brick and mortar way outnumber the number of trees. This has pushed lovers of nature like myself to create our own Eco zones in our houses. Indeed, it’s also common to see plants hanging on window sills and balconies. This same scenario is repeated inside houses.

This reminds me of some years back then when a house without potted plants was never considered complete. There was one particular plant which was very popular. It’s a climbing vein with some wide luxuriant leaves. In the right environment, it produces numerous shoots from all it nodes. This plant was nicknamed “the money plant.” How it connected with money was something more of a fairytale than scientific evidence. It was believed that if the plant was doing well, then financially you were doing well. If the leaves started turning yellowish and finally drying and falling off, then your books of account were not in a good position. This is just a myth but this memory made me have an interest in potted plants and why the don’t seem to do well as their similar species in the wild. My findings were very simple: The moment you plant anything botanical(all plants) in a pot, you have denied it some vital things necessary for its growth. You’ve denied it the chance to search for nutrients, water, growth of its root network, reproduction and  most importantly, its stability. When planted in a pot, the plant has to depend on the owner of that house for all that it requires. If he/she forgets to water it, then it will just dry up. If you don’t give it fertilizer or manure, it will become stunted. In a nutshell, a potted plant is limited in its every aspect.

This may sound crazy but most of us are such similar situations. We may not be in earthen pots but there are so many other figurative earthen pots. Few of us are living up to our true potential. We have allowed our backgrounds and history to lock us in a cave where we’ve resigned ourselves to fate. To some, it’s the financial position, to others, its our race, tribe, religion or traditional beliefs and cultures. We’ve been made to believe that we can only do some things but not others. We’ve been locked in these cocoons where even turning is a challenge. Many of us are struggling not because we are not that educated or because the economy is bad, but rather, it’s often because we’ve allowed the things mentioned above and many more to limit us. Being born in a marginalized environment cannot and should not determine our destiny unless we allow it. As I finish, I would like to pose a question to all of us: What is your earthen pot and what are you doing now to break out of its grip? Remember that you have the capacity and capability to break out of it but you have to purpose it in your heart and mind, that you are breaking out so that your roots and shoots can spread out.  To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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