4 Motherhood Lessons I Learned From Potting Plants


In my prior blog, I recounted what my eldest daughter (Candace) taught me about the process of potting plants. Today, I wanted to share 4 motherhood lessons I learned from it all when it comes to parenting my twin daughters.

Funny, but after Candace and I potted my plant, she looked at me and said, “This (experience) would make a good blog.” She had read my mind. We smiled at each other…

Five Dollars Is No Small Thing

When I’d bought my plant at Walmart in 2018, it was just a small ordinary plant.

I’d been looking for some “greenery” to add a bit of color and height to a display table I was using at a book event.

After the event, I just let it sit in the sunniest area of our home. I never gave it a second thought, except during an occasional watering…

…and when the next book event occurred. And the next. And the next.

plants potted_2All during each event, I mentally “noted” that my plant was bigger. It looked pretty on the outside and appeared to be flourishing in my “hands off” approach to its care. No harm; no foul. “Not bad,” I thought.

However, fast-forward to my plant-potting experience and the motherhood lessons I learned. I saw that: the outward appearance of physical growth indicates a deeper need for root expansion.

Mom Pointer: Periodically check your daughter’s soil to see where her roots are.

Just because a plant costs a small amount ($5.00)

doesn’t mean its growth potential is small.

A Larger Pot Needs More Drainage

After I’d asked Candace to find me the next larger size for my plant, she came back instead with both

  • new soil and
  • a very large pot with appropriate drainage

I’d not thought to ask her to get new soil. I just assumed we would use some older soil stored in our garage.

However, Candace explained that for my particular plant, she needed to know its category. With that information, she could then determine what specific soil requirements would provide the most nourishment for growth.


How could I – as the “adult” – not have thought of that?

Mom Pointer: Recognize that it’s impossible for a mom to know or think of everything. (Wait, I’m not “all-knowing?”)

Rather than beat myself up for “not knowing,” I decided to relish in the fact that…

At different points in her development,

my daughter’s input is going to be crucial.

And if I collaboratively involve my daughter – pause to consider and receive her input –in the process of my mothering her, then the end results will have more potential to bloom.

This means that, as she grows and develops, I can (& have to) trust her to learn and implement things to aid in her own growth.

Preparation Happens In Stages

Candace was quite insistent on the steps for actually putting my plant into new soil.

The whole process of first adding new soil into half of the new pot and digging a hole in it didn’t make sense to me initially.

But, when we got to the part of removing my plant from its old pot, the wisdom became clearer.

Mom Pointer: Have their later life experiences in mind when addressing current life experiences.

A plant being removed

from an old pot

is a messy process.

The current process of removing my plant from its old pot was a messy and involved process [NOTE: made messier because I’d not attended to its roots earlier in its growth process].

And when things are messy, to then leave my plant exposed on the ground while I turned my attention to the larger pot of its future seemed an unnecessarily risky approach.  It was easier (and less messy) to have the larger pot generally ready first, and then transfer my plant into it second.

Get Assistance With Owning Any Neglect.

When Candace and I removed my plant from its old pot, the sight of the dense scrunched up roots was shocking…off-putting…yucky!

I was faced with the reality of my neglect of my plant.

Had I watered it? Yes.

Had I placed it somewhere where it could get sunlight? Yes.

Was I mean to it? No.

Did I go out of my way to hurt it intentionally? No.

Did I check its growth? Well, I’d noticed and made a mental note of it.

Had I checked (in with) its roots? No.

For my particular plant, it needed to be checked in on at certain times in a particular way.

Different plants


different kinds of growth checks.

Mom Pointer: Don’t blame yourself for what you didn’t/don’t know to do. Roll with the new knowledge and get assistance.

I was glad that Candace was there to give me a hand in holding my plant as I negotiated the process of unraveling its intertwined overgrown root system.


So the (first set of) motherhood lessons I learned from my potting plant experience are:

  1. Five dollars is no small thing.
  2. A larger pot needs more drainage.
  3. Preparation happens in stages.
  4. Get assistance with owning any neglect.

Next week, I’ll cover 4 more lessons I learned from my wonderful plant.


Would you like a good book to give you some additional perspective on motherhood lessons?

Then download your FREE CHAPTER from my best-selling book, What Mothers Never Tell Their Daughters. Download it HERE for FREE!



©Dr. Michelle Deering



  • Anita McLaurin
    What wonderful insight! How much more diligent should we be to notice what's going on with and in our daughters. Thank you and I'm looking forward to the next few blog posts.
    • Dr. Michelle Deering
      So glad to hear that, Anita! Yes, noticing is important:)

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