Plant Parents and Garden Geeks

#329: Josué has a growing hyperfixation: plants. The buds talk about their experiences with caring for plants, and all the fruitful metaphors that can bloom from such a rich topic. And of course, they can’t leaf without a few good recommendations of some garden-variety media.


Marc Cuiriz 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network. Here at Geek Therapy. We believe that the best way to understand ourselves and each other is through the media we care about. My name is Marc Cuiriz and I am joined by link Keller.

Link Keller 0:23

Marc Cuiriz 0:25
Lara Taylor.

Lara Taylor 0:27

Marc Cuiriz 0:28
And Josué Cardona.

Josué Cardona 0:29
Hello, hello, hello.

Marc Cuiriz 0:32
Josué it is finally your turn this week

Josué Cardona 0:35

Marc Cuiriz 0:36
Yeah, so please enlighten us. What is your topic?

Josué Cardona 0:39
Yeah. So I, I really like it when we get a chance to do workshops for GT, Geek Therapy 101, or we teach like introduction to Geek Therapy. We’ve done them many, many times. And I always ask at the beginning, what is one of your fandoms or hobbies? Like, what is something? If you could, you know, what’s your favorite pastime? And, you know, we get usual like, oh, like, we’re doing comics and video games and cosplay, movies, blah blah. And somebody always says gardening. And every time I just know it, I know, somebody’s gonna say gardening. So I jumped in. I’m like, oh, gardening. That’s great. That’s great. Awesome. Like, tell me a few things about gardening. I don’t know anything about gardening than the like, tools and the different things I don’t know. I’m like, Oh, I’m sure you know, a lot about gardening. And you can see, like, some of the things that happen, you know, with your plants, you’re you think about them. And there’s probably metaphors that you connect to in in real life. And then they’re probably helpful. It’s like, Yeah, perfect. So it’s like gardening and sports, or to like my, and religion, like those are like the three like super, the ones that we never talk about. But that helped frame it for people who kind of don’t understand what we’re talking about. Depending on the person, one of those three, will get them. And then and then it’s easy to explain. So, I moved recently, and I’m a plant parent now. I’m one I’m now I think I’ve clicked checked off all of the stereotypical millennial things, I think, I think I’ve completed the bingo card. And now I’m now my plant parent. And it was like, some of the stuff is just, I don’t know, it’s, it’s, it’s fun. I’m enjoying it. But also, it’s just a good, like, all that stuff that I talked about at the workshops, it’s true, like, the metaphors are there, they’re very clear. And if you’re doing something like messing with plants all the time, there’s certain ideas that kind of come through your mind that are that may be relevant in other parts of your life. So today, I want to talk about that about taking care of plants about gardening, and also a few video games that have to do with plants. Because this is this is it’s very, it’s very, very topical. And so some things are kind of obvious. So I’ll start with asking all of you, what is your current level of knowledge regarding the plant kingdom? How many of you have plants you have a house Marc? Do you have plants?

Marc Cuiriz 3:22
I do have a house. And I do actually have a few plants. However, they are not my plants. They’re my wife’s plants. However, she’s actually leaving for Sweden, with her mom, they’re going on vacation for about 10 days. So

Josué Cardona 3:36
rest in peace plants

Marc Cuiriz 3:37
I am now in charge of taking care of the plants. And she made sure to go through in detail. This is how you water them. This is when they need to be watered. And this is how you’re supposed to take care of them. All these things. So

Josué Cardona 3:49
what do you think of that? Were you surprised by the level of detail and instruction required?

Marc Cuiriz 3:59
No, because I, I have friends and I have I know people that are plant parents, and are very knowledgeable when it comes to plants. So I know like there’s a lot that goes into it. I don’t think my attention span would allow me to be able to do that. So that’s why personally, I don’t think I could ever get into gardening. Although there have been times when my hyperfixation is like, I want to grow strawberries. Does that ever happen? No. But it’s one of those things were like, it seems interesting to me. I just feel like I don’t I don’t think I’d have the the amount of attention span or like the amount of like motivation. Motivation is probably the wrong word. But just like, I just know me and I know I’d end up forgetting about them, or I just like wouldn’t be able to take the best care of them. But for her like she’s doing pretty well with all of them. And I mean, it’s 10 days, I can keep them alive for 10 days.

Josué Cardona 4:55
Yeah, this is my current hyperfixation.

Lara Taylor 4:58
it can go downhill very quickly, Marc.

Josué Cardona 5:00
very quickly,

Marc Cuiriz 5:00
I’m, I’m sure. And, you know, I will gladly take the blame for that if if for whatever reason, even if I follow those instructions to a tee, they somehow still die on my watch.

Josué Cardona 5:12
It’s your fault, for sure.

Marc Cuiriz 5:14
You know, I’m just gonna take it as a sign that I should just never take care of plants ever. You should never touch anything green ever again.

Josué Cardona 5:22
So, so yeah, this definitely my current hyper fixation. And I wish I wouldn’t have followed through, but I have, until now I have quite a few plants. And one thing that you said is one of the first thing that I’ve recognized that is a challenge for me. And it’s like, there’s no instant gratification here. Like, they don’t just pop like this. Video games have lied to me. You know, just wake up in the morning and you know, they’re flowered, and they don’t have a regular schedule.

Lara Taylor 5:54
Depends on the flower

Josué Cardona 5:56
what, what?

Lara Taylor 5:56
depends on the flower.

Lara Taylor 5:57
That’s true. I was about to say, I have one flower that every other day, it is as flowered. And I’m like, okay, okay, I see the pattern. And so that has been a really good exercise for me to to commit to something that is very slow, very, very slow process, and you kind of do the things and you cannot wait to see what happens. That has been, that has been a a good exercise for me. And, and that was one of the first things where I was like, oh, oh, this is challenging, but like I see, I see the benefits here. And actually, in one of the things one of the reasons why I wanted to do it was because I saw a video that said that most there was like only three out of 10 House plans to get purchased like survive the first two months or something like that? I don’t think so. So like, how, how was that possible? I don’t know. Like that stayed in my mind. And I have I was as a housewarming present. I was gifted a plant and I started taking care of it. And so I started thinking about like I can I can do more of these like this one thing. I’m doing all right. Yeah, so Okay, interesting. Keep us updated. Marc on how many plants you kill?

Marc Cuiriz 7:22
Well, I hope none. However, I will say

Josué Cardona 7:26
we hope none

Marc Cuiriz 7:27
but I will say I am very proud of the fact that like on Mother’s Day, my when we had like my mom and like her mom and my grandma over my mom had bought all the moms and Alyssa like these rose bushes like small rose bushes. And so she decided okay, like we’re gonna buy a big plot like a bigger pot and like replant repot it I can’t speak today apparently. And even though like it was like starting to die because it took us a little bit to like repot it Now like with with our constant like watering at all, like every day and like taking care of it like it’s actually started to like re bloom and everything so it’s been it’s been pretty cool to like see those things like that’s

Lara Taylor 8:12
that’s an accomplishment Marc roses are really hard to transplant.

Marc Cuiriz 8:16
Exactly. And the fact is that like yeah, like they’ll die out but like one like it’ll occasionally just like bring back a couple more a couple roses. So like I think it’s pretty cool. I think it honestly needs to get pruned a little bit.

Josué Cardona 8:29
Look at you

Marc Cuiriz 8:30
I know, I I’m learning just gotta help it a little bit. But other than that, like, she’s she’s been doing it so hopefully I don’t fuck it up.

Josué Cardona 8:42
Hopefully. Good luck. Good luck, Marc. All right, Lara, you you know about roses apparently do you have do you have plants?

Lara Taylor 8:51
I have. I have a house. I have a yard. I have. I am currently in a battle with trees that are invasive, and taking over and growing out of our foundation. And they put like, they, they, like, secrete this like toxic stuff into the soil so plants won’t grow. That’s been fun. But Nina and I, until we moved here could not keep a plant alive. We got one of those things at like a science museum where you just are supposed to. It tells you how much to water it and it’s gonna grow mint out of the little jar. It died immediately.

Link Keller 8:59
That’s so funny.

Lara Taylor 9:04
it’s so sad.

Lara Taylor 9:11
mint is, like so resilient and you’re like not here. Not my house

Lara Taylor 9:36
it drowned. We kept a few succulents alive for a while but that was also difficult. We had a friend had centerpieces at her wedding with like it was like a metal tin with a whole bunch of different succulents, and all of them died except for like two. And those died last year. So they lasted a few years. But we have found plants that we haven’t killed yet. I planted marigolds in the front yard. And all of them except one that had a little one of those trees underneath it that secretes the poison is doing great. And I’ve learned a lot about removing the dead heads off the flowers, and they’re blooming, they’re thriving. And it’s kind of getting me back to I used to garden with my grandfather when I was a kid all the time. And not that I remember all the things that he told me but like, I do have some experience and it’s nice. But the hibiscus plant we bought the flower immediately fell off the plant is still alive, but the blooms that keep trying to pop up. Yeah. they’re dying they just fell off.

Josué Cardona 11:07
You’ve mentioned toxicity, and I had not realized how toxic plants are. Most of them I think every single plant I own is like that. Don’t Don’t eat it. Don’t let dogs eat it. it’s toxic to everybody

Lara Taylor 11:24
There are so many plants I’ve had in the house and didn’t realize that is they’re bad for cats. And we grew up having them in the house. But like my mom knew where to put them so the cats couldn’t get to them and things like that. But yeah, a lot of them are toxic. And every time we buy something we have to Google it it’s okay to have around the cats especially since our neighbor’s cat is an outdoor cat and we don’t want to hurt her so

Josué Cardona 11:50
that was that was surprising to me. alright, Link, what do you know about what do you know about plants?

Link Keller 11:55
uhh. some some stuff I don’t

Lara Taylor 12:00
water. soil.

Link Keller 12:02
sunlight. Sometimes I talk to them give him a little of my carbon dioxide. That seems nice. I I got as a housewarming gift. When I first moved out on my own at 19 18-19 My uncle gave me a cutting of a jade plant from where he lived at the time in Seattle. And I kept it alive and I kept moving it with me and it kept growing and so I hack off a chunk of it and put it in a new pot and I gave it to other people and the the original cutting that I got I ended up planting at my friend’s house in Santa Cruz because they had a big opening in the yard and I was like my jade plant is happy here Can I can I plant some of it there but I took some smaller cuttings with me when I moved up here. uhhh they all died. They did not turns out if they’re not like in the ground, which they weren’t, they were in pots. They don’t like being in the snow, which it did here. And so they dropped all of their leaves and shriveled up and died and it was very sad but I know that the the original cutting that I got is still alive in Santa Cruz which I’m pleased about but I do have some other plants. You can see some of them behind me. And then you can’t see it in the window but I have a couple of Pothos cuttings in water. I’m not great at keeping them alive, but I live with somebody who is a plant person and is very good at keeping things alive, well. Much better than me. I’ll say that she does still kill plants but um less frequently I think. so there are there are a lot of plants in my house. I don’t know what most of them are. I do not know how to take care of most of them but they are very pretty and it’s nice to have lots of greenery in the living space and our front window and everything. And then there is a gorgeous hydrangea bush in the backyard that is just starting to put out blooms and they are like this really deep indigo color right now which is so cool. That’s probably one of my one of my faves but yeah, I like plants. I don’t like to have too many because once it starts feeling like a chore I am like I’m not I’m not doing that. I know you need water I’m not doing that is not happening sorry but Just you know, just a couple that I’m responsible for I can I can hang with that. Yeah, I love learning about plants. And I love that tik tok shows me lots of things. And I like taking care of plants in video games.

Josué Cardona 15:15
We’ll get to that. We’ll get to that. Yeah, I think I think you, you all know more about plants than I did two weeks ago. Today, it’s another story, I have gone down a rabbit hole,

Link Keller 15:27
new special interest unlocked.

Josué Cardona 15:31
You have no idea. You have no idea you

Link Keller 15:33
have named any of your plants yet?

Josué Cardona 15:35
I have. I’ve also named the locations, the sights of the plants as well. Different names, because I’m using an app called Planta. And this thing I have, it has a record of each of my plants. And it reminds me what to do. And if it’s like hey, today, water it, but check it and then it very detailed instructions of like, the soil is like this, or it’s not like that, or it should be here. I have a light meter, I have a moisture meter. I’m not messing around here. I’m, I’ve gotten deep, I’m going deep. But it is like a game. Right? Like that’s it. That’s how I started doing it. Actually, so a friend gave me the joke was that my the my, the place where I moved in, it’s like, ah, had some kind of maybe not good vibes. So we were joking about like, we need some sage here for when I move in. So she gave me a sage plant. But before that, I because of that, because of the joke about the sage, I bought a kit on Amazon to grow. Like my own sage and I was I was trying to grow sage. And it did not go very well. But But now, I mean, there’s, there’s a couple of them that are growing. And then the one that my friend gave me is actually also that one’s doing very well. And so that was like the beginning I was like, oh, wait a minute, like, I’m trying to germinate the seeds, and I’ve got different ones. And I was like, it was just like a big I was just, I was just experimenting. I want to try, I’m gonna do I’m gonna plan four different types of sage, I’m gonna see what happens. And I would do slightly different things with each pot and so that I started enjoying that a little too much. And now Now we’re you know, we’re, we’re pretty deep into, into the plant thing. And so that app is super helpful. And I’m and I am learning a lot and I’ve gotten very, very into it. And but it does feel like a game. It was like a challenge that I that I finally wanted to unlock or like tap into or like just raise the difficulty level a little bit. I thought okay, I’ll take on a new challenge. And, and I wanted some kind of greenery in the house to feel better. And really that’s the, I think I think that’s a big part of this. So one is like how to make a space look more comfortable or more inviting. Yeah, I like plants. I’ve never, I’ve never really done that. And there’s nobody else here right now to complain. So I can I decided like I’m gonna, I’m gonna grow a jungle in here. And nobody’s gonna say no. So that’s going to take some dedication and some big plants, but I’m on my way. It’s gone. It’s gone. Alright, so far. That’s getting big plants. And I think when I moved to this area, proximity to nature was the main thing that that I wanted. But then like, I want some inside too. So I think that has been something that I guess when I was thinking about how do I make my space more comfortable? I haven’t really thought about plants until now. It’s kind of obvious, but it’s good. But you’re right. I mean, there is this thing about like, oh, it becomes a chore. And sure, you know, I’m keeping track of like 30 plants now on my plants app and it’s like, you know,

Link Keller 19:00
I mean having an app definitely helps.

Josué Cardona 19:03
It does I have a friend who’s like a pro and she tried to and she’s like saying a stupid it’s telling me to plant and on you know on the on the wrong days. I’m like, but that’s not what I like. But for people like me who are learning that’s that’s perfect. And it’s telling me like don’t check it the check if you should water today. Don’t just don’t just water it

Link Keller 19:23
you gotta jam your fingers in there.

Josué Cardona 19:25
Yeah, yeah

Link Keller 19:26
how moist is it

Josué Cardona 19:27
exactly, exactly. Well, I like I said I have a water meter. So you know, I don’t even have to. I can I can just go in and check. But of course now I can like oh, that’s what moist is. Oh, that’s what dry is. I see I understand. The one thing that’s missing from that app is that it didn’t it doesn’t give you like points or anything like that.

Link Keller 19:45
No achievements unlocked

Josué Cardona 19:47
no achievements. Which is why Link I don’t know if you saw but I started playing Pikmin Bloom couple days ago

Link Keller 19:56
did I did see that notification pop up but I just I was doing something else so I swiped it, but it’s like my brain was like, I think that said Josué.

Josué Cardona 20:04
Yep. Yep. Yep,

Link Keller 20:07
you walkin your lil pikmins around?

Josué Cardona 20:09
I can walk around and I can I can I can grow Pikmin it’s it’s great. It’s, it’s great.

Link Keller 20:16

Josué Cardona 20:17
And I think it’s been it’s interesting how I never really thought about how to take care of plants again like this is something I never really thought like we had fake plants in my house when I was a kid, we had plastic ones, taking care of them meant like dusting them off and because the plastic was, was covered in dust. But the one thing that surprised me was the complexity of having to take care of plants because of video games. Because even though do you remember the episode where we recorded when Brandon said that he suggested Stardew Valley to a friend for who was dealing with anxiety?

Lara Taylor 21:01
and we we’re like, no

Josué Cardona 21:03
Oh, no, no.

Marc Cuiriz 21:05
Oh, yeah, I remember that.

Josué Cardona 21:06
That one’s pretty stressful. And it is. I mean, it’s kind of like has a lot of steps right like you have to prepare the ground you have to put the seeds in yeah to water it and like and then there’s crops and the crops on the you know, like you have to collect them or that one’s pretty pretty elaborate. And then in Animal Crossing, it’s not super elaborate but to get the like different colors and stuff right there’s some some tricks and some randomness to it that in a way is just kind of you know, kind of accurate nothing’s guaranteed with with real plants but it is it is funny that what’s that what’s the flower also not very realistic did y’all play flower? Yeah, yeah, like is it flow so but video can plants like they can be like they’re relaxing for me I remember an Animal Crossing especially like there have had flowers all over the place in that game and I watered all of it like that was actually harder and more time consuming to water than than my real plants are because of the way that like you keep missing with with water and Animal Crossing because of the controls.

Link Keller 22:26
Thank you for bringing up Animal Crossing because today today good I got my first Lily of the Valley flower which you get one just shows up on your island when you have a five star Island and so heheehee

Josué Cardona 22:42
whoa I’m so far from a five star island

Lara Taylor 22:49
I haven’t logged in in like two years we will see

Marc Cuiriz 22:53
yeah my my

Link Keller 22:55
100 Weeds gold star and weeds which is actually it’s really funny because you have to pick the weeds to get a five star island but I think that the weeds look really pretty

Josué Cardona 23:05
some of them look really good!

Link Keller 23:07
Can we leave some so it’s just like like gather up some and I wait and like okay now that I have a five star Island and I got my my lily of the valley it’s like I’m gonna go plant my my grass around

Marc Cuiriz 23:19
my my islands both of the ones that I made are long gone my wife has

Josué Cardona 23:25
they died? The whole island?

Marc Cuiriz 23:26
no, I gave her permission to I gave her permission to start from scratch so she

Lara Taylor 23:31
she killed all the plants.

Marc Cuiriz 23:33
Yeah, so she killed She killed my islands while she killed my second island because I killed my first one because I didn’t like my first one like

Link Keller 23:39
it sunk into the ocean.

Marc Cuiriz 23:40
started. Exactly. And then I started the second one because I my hyper fixation returned to Animal Crossing. And I was like I’m determined this time around I’m going to get every single flower variation and did not accomplish that I started losing interest dropped off the bandwagon then she picked it up and then she wanted to do everything from scratch so I was like alright, yeah, sure fine. Go ahead. I don’t mind I’m I’m I’m done playing it for right now anyway, but I remember in my very first island, like the flower aspect of things was like the one thing that kept me going because I had a goal and I was dead set on it and then like every time I got flowers that like I had extra of like extra colors or just ones that like they produce and it just wasn’t the one I was looking for. I like threw them all in the back but I had them all organized. And it was just like this beautiful like floral garden in the back of the island that was really just like this is your these are just my trash flowers but it looks nice. It looks pretty. It’s nice and organized by color. So

Link Keller 24:43
the villagers like it it’s fine.

Marc Cuiriz 24:45
Exactly like it was it was really cute thing. But I remember when I finally got my first blue rose, I was like it was the most ecstatic I ever was in my entire life. I had to work so hard for it. so hard. But then I remember my friend gave me her gold like she gave me her golden pail so that I was able to get the golden roses. And it just made watering so much easier. But then when they added the bushes everything changed for me. I was like, the hydrangea bushes.

Link Keller 25:19
They’re so pretty!

Marc Cuiriz 25:21
they are so pretty.

Lara Taylor 25:22
poisonous to cats

Josué Cardona 25:25
every plant that we’ve talkec about I think is is poisonous. Toxic?

Lara Taylor 25:30
I don’t think roses are

Link Keller 25:32
roses are okay. Lilies.

Lara Taylor 25:35

Link Keller 25:36
not okay for cats.

Marc Cuiriz 25:37

Link Keller 25:38
not okay for in the space of cats

Lara Taylor 25:40
not even the pollen.

Link Keller 25:41
Well, that’s That’s it. I think it’s a shuts down their kidneys? liver? one of it shuts down in Organ, it turns an Organ off which you need to be on to keep the cat alive. So no lilies if you have cats.

Marc Cuiriz 25:57
So, but But no, those those those bushes and everything just changed it for me. And I was like, that’s what got me back into it. And I wanted to make the islands there’s like so pretty. I was all about the aesthetics of like bushes and flowers and everything. But then hyper fixation tore me away from it. And I have yet to return to Animal Crossing one day, one day, I’ll go back and have to redo everything all over again.

Josué Cardona 26:22
do you have any gyroids?

Marc Cuiriz 26:25
oh, no, I did. I had I had I had a bunch of those too. And those are all just like, I just had those like I like tried to like have them all. So I just had them like scattered. Like if I had to repeat what I just kind of threw it plant it just plop it down somewhere in front of someone house someone’s house. And if it was one I didn’t like I put in front of the one villager I didn’t like house.

Link Keller 26:43
This is a threat.

Marc Cuiriz 26:44
like here you go basically. But no, I had all those but again, like I just just lost interest. And then I moved on to the next thing which I think was I think it went back to Assassin’s Creed

Link Keller 26:57
no that tracks

Josué Cardona 26:58
sounds about right. Yeah. So when when I was when I was doing Animal Crossing, my goal was not to get all the flowers it was to get all the orange ones. And then I went I went overboard, like have orange trees and pumpkins and the orange bushes and every type of orange flower. So then when I started doing it in real life, I started looking for all the orange points that I can that I could find. Yeah, I found some very cool ones. It sounds like

Link Keller 27:29
do you have out outside space at your house, for Garden?

Josué Cardona 27:35
i Not really. I have I have a small mini yard out front. And I do have a balcony.

Link Keller 27:43
I was gonna say nasturtiums would be really fun because they have orange flowers. And also you can eat them.

Lara Taylor 27:50

Link Keller 27:50
they’re spicy. Tastes good. I used to graze on them as a kid

Lara Taylor 27:53
yummy salad.

Link Keller 27:56
foraging, it’s fun. I don’t know how well they would do in Chicago, but they are cool flowers

Lara Taylor 28:04
there. At least in California, you plant them, they’re very hard to get rid of

Link Keller 28:09
very happy here.

Josué Cardona 28:14
Alright, so I think you know, we all know what plants are

Marc Cuiriz 28:19

Josué Cardona 28:19
we’ve established that they were doing the thing, we did a good job there. So there was right, so So the point of most of our episodes, right is to still look at how can we use these things that we like to talk about other things or make other things make sense. And so maybe some of these things are kind of obvious to someone who, you know, messes with plants. But I think there’s some that are that are very helpful that can be used for just talking about different things to actually before we were recording. We were talking about haircuts. And and that was that was that’s an interesting one that I’ve been thinking about. And Marc, you mentioned pruning, right? Did like I didn’t I didn’t understand this. Regarding plants. remember, I’m, I’m like, I’m a newbie here. And so I did not like it makes perfect sense now, but when you know I’m learning about about how to take care of these plants and like oh, I wanted to grow more in one place or another. So you cut off one leaf or one area and then the plants like okay, Message received. I’m going to focus all my energy on growing over here. And it’s like that one out that one that that’s a life lesson for you right there. You only have so much energy. You can’t you can’t grow in every direction all the time. Sometimes you got it sometimes you got to prune things out of your life so that you can Some focus energy on other stuff.

Link Keller 30:01
something i like I remember from my cognitive, developmental psych course, a million years ago is talking about, like, babies go through a couple of stages where they learn a ton. And then they go through a pruning time, where a whole bunch of brain connections are like, oh, actually, this isn’t useful, we’re gonna chop that out

Lara Taylor 30:22
teenagers too

Link Keller 30:24
and just focus on the actual useful pathways that we’re, we’re still using here. I, it happens in adulthood, but it’s not, it’s not the same like mass event, it’s like smaller and consistent,

Lara Taylor 30:37
I learned that it is toddlers, and then teenagers have the big mass pruning, there’s always the smaller pruning, but they have a mass pruning. And that is why sometimes they act very similarly.

Link Keller 30:53
Yeah, no, that tracks.

Lara Taylor 30:56
They just have more language,

Link Keller 30:57
it’s really doing a soft resetting.

Josué Cardona 31:01
I mean, in terms of how the brain works, it just, it actually does that. A lot, right, like in different ways, for example. There’s a lot of sounds in other languages that we can’t really understand very well or make sense of, and other. Because your brain is like, Oh, you’ve never used that sound. We don’t know we can ignore that. And literally, that you just you don’t hear it anymore, because your brain is kind of just filtering it out. And I’m not going to focus any energy on on that particular sound. And that that was something that was very surprising to me when I was learning about different languages. It’s like, oh, like, it sounds like I’m saying, like, it sounds like you’re saying the same thing. But we can’t tell we can’t tell. Yeah. And it takes a lot of training for your brain to then come back and be like, Oh, I guess we got to reconnect those wires.

Link Keller 31:54
Oh, you do want me to save that information? Fine.

Josué Cardona 31:57
I know. I know. But like, it’s both things, right? It’s like, I mean, every night, your brain kind of defrags and moves, moves things around. And there’s a lot of information that we don’t remember, but even just the optimization of it to do one thing better than another. So I don’t know, it was something that was like so like, it was just so clear with the plants, because I’m like, oh, no, like, I have I see 10 different branches here. 10 different leaves, I can cut what like I can move things and there’s shaping and there’s all these different things. I started learning about bonsais, like hundreds of years of bonsai, I think they get passed down by generations and and it’s like all this. It’s amazing.

Link Keller 32:41
There is a bonsai Museum, like 20 minutes from me on on the water. And it is

Josué Cardona 32:49
link, you gotta take me there.

Link Keller 32:51
Yeah, absolutely. I would love to go back again. I went last summer, it was great. It’s like a father, son, duo. And it’s like, the dad’s really into bonsais. And he started collecting them. And so he basically put his collection out and his son is a sculptor. And so it’s sculptures and beautiful bonsai is a lot of them are in the, like, 100 ish age range, but they have one that’s like, I want to say like close to 1000 years old, and they found it. Like, it was in like, a crevice of rocks. So it was like it was sort of like nature’s bonsai is like I made this guy’s like, I need you in my collection. And so cool to see that stuff. And think about like, generations of people has spent time caring for these pruning them shaping them doing the wire wrapping, so they grow a certain direction, making sure to feed them on their cycle. So it’s like they get the nutrients that they need when they need them. And it’s it’s impressive to think about this, like multi generational mission that people have committed to I think that’s cool as hell.

Josué Cardona 34:08
So there’s at least like three metaphors that I want to that I want to touch on there. Because

Link Keller 34:12
it’s thick, it’s juicy.

Josué Cardona 34:13
that was good. That was good. One is like nature’s bonsai Oh, it was in a crevasse, it just didn’t have room to grow. So that’s how big it stayed. Right. And, and one of the bigger things and I was thinking about was the Carl Rogers theory of like, you know, everybody, like we’re wired for growth, like we’re always moving towards improvement and betterment. But if the environment isn’t adequate, it just, it just doesn’t happen. So you need to, you need to have the right conditions. So there needs to be space and this idea of like, how big do you want the plant to be? I’m like, What do you mean how big do I want the plant to be? thing if you want it bigger? You got to do these things. If you want it smaller, you can do these things like how the bonsai art is keeping them like miniature like they’re trying to grow and you’re like, Nope, we’re growing this way, we’re doing this

Link Keller 35:04
seeing bonsai fruiting trees that will still produce, like normal sized fruit on a teeny tiny tree? oh my god. That’s joy. I love that shit, mm!

Josué Cardona 35:17
It’s amazing. So there’s that that one, right? So it’s like, the space the conditions that oh, that, two is like you talked about the shaping of it, right? Like, sometimes it needs support, like you need to, like you need to pull it in in one direction or another, you need to wait for it. You know, you need to position it and then help it kind of move in the direction that you want. Like, you’re picturing something like, okay, okay, like yeah. But like, we need that we need supports, we need all sorts of things

Link Keller 35:43
appropriately applied pressure.

Josué Cardona 35:48
Yep, it’s like, oh, okay, I gotta bend this one a little bit this way. But it’s like, Okay, I gotta challenge myself. I’m gonna move over here, because this is what I want to do. And then the third thing, like, yeah, like some of these. And I’ve seen YouTube videos of people talking about this, where it’s like, oh, yeah, no, like, this is generational, right? Like, I’m never going to see like, the final version of what I’m trying to build. A future generation will do that. I’m just contributing to it. Just like I contributed to it and. So in that sense, it’s like, change takes time, you know, like to get where you want to go. It’s one of those things that I know, I’ve brought it up in the past, but it’s the one thing that I always forget, I lose patience. And then it’s something it’s either you know, a TV show or, or a video game. And this time it’s plants. It’s like, all right, things don’t just happen. It takes time it takes doing it over and over again. And sometimes you fuck up. And then you, you know, you, you fix it, and you get another chance. And you can and you can do all these different things like you can chop it a little bit over here. You can report it you can change this you can change that you can put it in a different location. Even just turning it a little bit so it gets light from a different angle. Artificial grow lights and you know, sunlight like the there’s options out there to do stuff, but it’s not immediate. Yeah, all that all that in that one. One story. I want to see this museum

Marc Cuiriz 37:15
Well, Josué

Josué Cardona 37:17

Marc Cuiriz 37:17
there is actually in The Morton Arboretum here in like Chicago. I think it’s a little bit more North actually.

Josué Cardona 37:24
I want to go with Link, I don’t want to go with you.

Link Keller 37:27

Marc Cuiriz 37:29
That is fair. That mean by all means, but I’m just saying like if you’d like to you cannot simply wait to go see bonsais and you want to go see them right now. There’s a little section in The Morton Arboretum where they have like a little section for bonsais and like they have like, it’s like people that donated like their Bonsais. And then like it has like, how roughly how old they are. So there’s a couple that’s like, in like the 100 years range, there’s a couple that are a little under 100. And then there’s like a few that are like two to 300 400 years old. But I thought that was really cool when I went and saw them. And I honestly think like, if I were to dedicate my time to plants, I’d want a bonsai tree.

Josué Cardona 38:07

Marc Cuiriz 38:08
just because I I liked their aesthetic, I like how I just liked the way like the overall like design of them and like just like the amount of time and attention and like that you would need for something like that. And I feel like if I was gonna dedicate my time to plants, I would, I would feel a lot less overwhelmed with it being just like one and like paying like extra attention to it. Rather than having like 30-40 Plus plants scattered throughout my home. And I’m just like, you know, frantically trying to be like, I gotta make sure I’m watering all of these things and checking all these things.

Josué Cardona 38:44
But I mean, I mean, you’re the way you’re wired probably do better with this scattered plants all over the place than focusing on one.

Marc Cuiriz 38:53
See, here’s the thing though, I have a feeling like at that point, if there’s a lot, I’m bound to forget one. And then if that if I forget that one and it dies, then the self defeating like thoughts are just going to come into my head and then I was like, well I can’t clearly take care of anything and then just the rest of them just die because I’m just so sad that one died.

Lara Taylor 39:13
But that’s a chance for you mark to think about that and like challenge that negative thought and that cognitive distortion because there’s a bunch of other plants that are still alive that still need you.

Link Keller 39:25
Yeah, also sometimes plants look very dead and they’re not

Lara Taylor 39:29
and they’re not dead.

Link Keller 39:31

Marc Cuiriz 39:31
that is true that is true

Link Keller 39:33
not not my oldest jade plant but pretty soon after that I got a succulent and I love succulents because they don’t need a lot of attention. And I think they’re beautiful. They don’t do well up here. It gets too cold but I have one succulent that I got when it was about hand size. And it grew and it grew and it grew and it was really big and then I moved up here and it got too cold and it dropped a bunch of leaves. But the middle is still okay. It’s still alive it’s smaller than when I started, but it is still alive. I Yeah. Sioni had, I don’t even know what kind of plant it is, but it looks, it looks like a dead stick. It just, it’s just like for half a forearm length stick. And she just put it in the case with the other plants where they get, you know, the right temperature and humidity in there. And it is popping off. It’s got a ton of leaves on it now and I thought for sure that that was like, that’s just a stick. That is not a living thing. But it grew. It grew back. I think that that’s really good metaphor for sometimes people people do look in just wrecked destroyed. They’re not You’re not gonna make it through this. And

Josué Cardona 40:56
it feels hopeless. And it’s like, actually,

Link Keller 40:58
you can recover. You can still you can still grow from that state.

Josué Cardona 41:03
Yeah, yeah. What, what kills most plants other than Marc

Link Keller 41:09
too much.

Josué Cardona 41:11
Too much. Too much water. Too much. Sun. Too much cold.

Link Keller 41:18
too much cold, too much hot.

Josué Cardona 41:21
Right. There’s this there’s

Link Keller 41:23
too much bugs.

Josué Cardona 41:23
Too much bugs. Yeah, yeah. But there’s something about apparently, it’s just most people just over water their plants. It’s just, it’s just a give them too much. And I think again, that that’s, that’s something, right? it’s like, you know, if I had a client, who, you know, I knew, like plants and and I thought that they were, you know, maybe over indulging in some unhealthy behaviors or some things that were kind of taking over their life, or they were prioritizing things that, you know, wasn’t leading to good outcomes. I might, I might, you know, ask them, you know, if they if they watered their plants the way they did something else. How would the plants be? Yeah, it’s, um, it’s, it’s so I guess we’re more resilient. But, but it’s something also that I’ve been, I’ve been reflecting on it also surprised me. Like, Marc, you mentioned that your wife was, you know, like, oh, watering it every day. I’m like, oh, like, you can’t do that. With all plants. Like some plants? You can. You gotta let them dry out. And then and then you water them and also the way I’ve learned to water plants now I have no idea. I had no idea. I didn’t know how to water plants.

Link Keller 42:35
Are you watering from the bottom? You giving them a little bath?

Josué Cardona 42:38
No, but the thing is, like, you know, the key is I’m doing I’m doing all sorts of it depends on the plant

Link Keller 42:44
it does

Josué Cardona 42:44
depends on the plant. And

Marc Cuiriz 42:46
well, I will say that like, especially with the ones that are outside, she’s been watering those everyday just because it has been like really hot and dry around here. So like that those like get but like she like monitors, like how much water she’s giving. So that way it isn’t that much because like she’ll test the dirt and like or the soil and it’s like, pretty damn dry. So it’s like, all right, you know, give them something. But you know, she’s usually she’s, so far, she’s been pretty careful, then there’s no signs of them dying. So you seem to be doing pretty well. So I imagined

Josué Cardona 43:17
that’s good.

Link Keller 43:19
it’s also like when you water them, right? If they’re outside, it’s like you have to take into account like if you’re watering them when it’s full sunlight hot out, like a lot of that water is going to evaporate before it ever gets to the plant. So it’s like you want to water in the early morning or in the evenings so that it actually gets to soak in down to where the plant needs the water.

Marc Cuiriz 43:42
yeah she told me she’s like, the best time to water them is any time before, like she said before 10 o’clock. Because after 10 o’clock, that’s when it starts to really warm up around here. So just like anytime before that, you’re good. Just make sure you do it before that time other than that, like, unless it’s like most it’s like not that hot of a day. They’re going to be in for a rough time.

Josué Cardona 44:04

Marc Cuiriz 44:04
so I on top of

Lara Taylor 44:06
you have to do it before 10 o’clock.

Marc Cuiriz 44:10
Well, that’s gonna suck because on the days I have to have to go to work then it’s like I gotta take care of the dog that we’re sitting for for her. For her brother. I got the two cats. I have to do all the plants. I gotta take care of myself. I gotta make sure I’m eating breakfast because I don’t

Link Keller 44:26
everyone needs breakfast

Lara Taylor 44:28
that is what happens when you’re a parent marc.

Josué Cardona 44:30
I wouldn’t be surprised if the plants and the pets don’t make it

Link Keller 44:39
you stinker

Marc Cuiriz 44:41
Wow, at least have some faith in me for that

Josué Cardona 44:44
I think you will survive. I think you’ll you will survive.

Link Keller 44:47
She’s gonna come back and everything is gonna be thriving and Marc is gonna be a mummy.

Marc Cuiriz 44:54
I think that’s probably what she’s the most afraid of, honestly.

Josué Cardona 44:58
We’ll take some bets.

Marc Cuiriz 44:59
That’s probably What she’s the most afraid of is that I’m going to be able to take care of everything else. Except for myself,

Josué Cardona 45:04
I can see this as well, I can see this as a possibility. Um,

Marc Cuiriz 45:08
listen, I already struggle to eat breakfast in the morning as it is, if I had to take care of all that in the morning, you know.

Josué Cardona 45:16
So when one thing about this, right, you’re taking care of these plants, each one of them requires something different, like when I was saying, like, oh, like, you can’t just water all of them. It is, it is so funny to like, hear people talking about plants. So like, again, like I’m deep in plant tik tok and plant YouTube, right? It’s like I’m, and you hear people talking with such clarity on the, how these different plants are. So like, they’re so different from each other, they have different needs and requirements, and you can’t just do the same thing for everyone. And then like, socially, we, right, like we treat, we don’t apply those same things. It’s like, oh, you know, we make all these generalizations. And we think that one thing applies to everybody. And not just like that you can the easiest analogies are diet and exercise and medicine and things like that, right? It’s like no, like, these things do not the reason why there’s no one universal is because not everything works for everyone. People react differently to different things. And then you take that to the next, you know, you take that to another level. Anything, right, that makes a person a person, from their identity to their, to their, to their ethnicity, to their where they grew up, what the culture is, like, so many things like nothing is just 100% Universal and applicable. And so it is just so funny. Like to not understand that when it comes to the people, but then have such clarity on it when it comes to not people. Ah, now, well, two more that, that I think I think we’d be good go twos are this whole thing about repotting a plant that you can’t, you can’t really like report into, like a much bigger plant might not have pots of all sorts of different sizes. I don’t understand this. It’s like if it’s in a little thing like this, you can’t just put it in a big thing like this. The average in a little slightly bigger one. And like duh. Like you can’t just jump someone up two or three difficulty levels. You just can’t skip a few grades, right? Like, oh, no, like there’s a there’s an there’s a there’s a transition period. Like you’re slowly as you literally these plants are growing, right? They it’s like the I mean, we use this terminology all the time. I say, oh, no, like you need to you need to establish those roots before you can. You can keep growing. And I don’t know, it’s like it’s drowning in the soil. Like there’s all these different things. And now it’s so obvious of why okay, you don’t repot it in something that’s bigger. But like, same thing for us. Like, that’s like, don’t make that such a big leap. You know, like, take it little by little, you know, that in counseling. That’s something you do a lot where people take on too much and like now let’s cut this into more manageable pieces. And who, who, who knew?

Link Keller 48:19
Who knew?

Josué Cardona 48:19
Nature? Nature’s just wired that way. Unbelievable. It’s like a universal law of nature.

Link Keller 48:24
We think that we’re so special and we’re not like everything else. But we are we are just

Josué Cardona 48:28

Link Keller 48:29
Fancy needy plants.

Josué Cardona 48:32
We are we are

Lara Taylor 48:33
basically. And then we decompose and become plants!

Link Keller 48:40

Josué Cardona 48:40
Yep, that’s right. We all plants. The last one. And this one surprised me as well. But I’m probably the surprising to most people that plants need, like an acclamation period. You can’t just like, you bring them home. You can’t just you can’t just repot them. You can’t just throw them you know, in direct sunlight. You can’t just start watering them like crazy. It’s like they actually got to leave alone, you got to give them some time to acclimate to the to the new space. That’s, I think that’s also a reason why a lot of plants die because they’re brand new, you bring it home. It’s like if you brought home a baby and you’re like you sent them to work on the subway. It’s like it’s like, they didn’t know how to walk yet. They don’t know how to do nothing like they, you know, it’s a process.

Lara Taylor 49:31
a friend of a friend of mine, her dad loves to go to like the Home Depot or the Lowe’s, go to the gardening center and go to the clearance section and buy the almost dead plants that they have there and bring them back to life and take that care and help them acclimate and help them get what they and assess what they need and help help them flourish and like, come back from the brink.

Josué Cardona 49:58
Look, I know that it’s different I know that it’s not the same thing whatsoever, but I have a better understanding of people who foster now, right? Where it’s like, you’re not choosing right? You’re like, no, no, like, whatever comes to that door, I’m gonna take care of them. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna do right by them. Again, very, very different. But like, I was like, I’m going to try this out. I just bought basically like a variety pack on Amazon of live plants. And I was like, I don’t know what’s going to show up. I don’t know what condition they’re going to be in. But I’m going to take care of them. And there is something like I get, I get why that person would go. It’s like, again, it’s it’s a challenge. It’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s like a boss. It’s like the Dark Souls of gardening. You’re like, Okay, I want the hard ones. I’m gonna I’m gonna think just boss encounter after boss encounter. You’re just, yeah, I get the satisfaction. It’s like this, how good it feels that you brought it from, like, the brink of death or just it being or just the idea that like, oh, it’s in the clearance section, because nobody wants this thing. It’s like, oh, yeah, I’m gonna show you can do this. And you go through a training montage. And then at the end of it, they’re, they’re doing great. Yeah, that’s very satisfying. Yeah. Well, I hope a lot of these examples are, are helpful when you’re when you’re working with plant aficionado clients,

Link Keller 51:36
or people who should not own plants

Josué Cardona 51:45
favorite plant video games before we go, or and or plan movies. Favorite plant media? What’s your favorite plant media? Other than, than plants?

Link Keller 51:54
I was just

Josué Cardona 51:55
you didn’t come prepared for this?

Link Keller 51:56
I was just thinking about games. But then you said other media like oh my gosh, one of my favorite movies. French kiss Meg Ryan, there’s a whole plot about smuggling in a grape vine to start a new vineyard. I love that movie. God, that’s great. No, the game I want to talk about it’s called kinder world is in an mobile game. And it is all about like relaxation and self kindness. And they did a Kickstarter gosh last year, I think. And they like hit triple their goal, which I was so excited about. And I’ve gotten to see as they’ve added in more stuff into the game. But one of the first things that they did is they had all of the community send in like nice messages. And so when you water your plants, when you like start the day you water your plant and you get a little note and it is from someone out there in the world and they say such sweet things and funny stuff. And the art is very cute. And I think they just added in like pets. I think you can get a pet cat in your in your little space now and you get to like, put up like design stuff. Fancy pots and everything is very cute. kinder world is very cute game.

Josué Cardona 53:23
Okay. Okay. Lara do you have, oh, Marc go for it.

Marc Cuiriz 53:31
Well, whoa, whoa, okay. Well, I was gonna make a joke and say Farmville, but

Josué Cardona 53:36
why would that be a joke? That’s, uh,

Marc Cuiriz 53:39
don’t I haven’t I haven’t played Farmville in years. So I really can’t

Josué Cardona 53:43
if it was, it would count.

Marc Cuiriz 53:44
If it Yeah, if I was still playing it, it definitely would count. But actually, no, there’s actually a song that it’s, it’s like, it uses like, a metaphor for four plants about in the song is called Growing Pains. And it’s like, one of those songs for like, adolescence, and it’s like, hey, like, understand that, like, you like, like, some of the lyrics is like, you know, you’re just like a flower, you’re starting in the dirt. But like, everybody has like, their own special, like, their own different needs to grow. And that’s why they’re called Growing Pains because sometimes it sucks sometimes it it’s not going to be great sometimes you’re not always going to get those things however, like but everybody goes through it and that’s why people know it because that’s just kind of how it goes. But I’m remember when the song came out. I like I was listening to and I was like, Oh, this is really catchy. And then I remember playing it for like my kids that you know for like their mindfulness in the morning and then like I had him listen to it and then I had them like speak a few words about it. A lot of them are like no I kind of liked the metaphor like kind of like how like we’re all like flowers and like plants and like obviously the ones that like started like but knew a little bit about plants were like going more in depth with it and they like really appreciated the metaphor. But like I think right now like that’s aside from Animal Crossing, that’s like the biggest plant type media But I would say it’s okay for me. So I liked it. I think it’s a nice little feel good song.

Josué Cardona 55:05
All right, we got a game and a song. what do you got Lara?

Lara Taylor 55:09
I was trying to think of a movie or something.

Josué Cardona 55:12

Lara Taylor 55:12
but I got I got I got nothing there. Except when we were talking about plant games, I thought of Littlewood and being able to you can garden it’s like, like we talked about in the episode about it. It’s a lot like Stardew Valley, but more chill. But you can make different foods that give you different power ups and abilities from the different plants and thinking about what happens if you mix a whatever berry with a carrot. Yeah, I like that. And there’s different kinds of wood and like trees that you can chop down and like, some of them are magical. I love it so much. Nice chill game. Yeah, chill gardening vibes, that you can’t really mess up. Because you plant it, and then it grows and then get planted again. And it grows.

Josué Cardona 56:08
That’s not realistic. But I like it. Very relaxing. No stress. I think my my favorite would be Plants vs. Zombies.

Lara Taylor 56:19
I was wondering when that was going to come up.

Josué Cardona 56:21
It just I mean, for a long time. That was my go to focusing game. Because I like I mean, the lesson there that that’s always helpful as well is I really like these. I don’t know if how much it’s a lesson. It’s more like a revelation, or an epiphany that I like tower defense games. I like this idea of like, Oh, you’ve got these resources and you’re setting it up. And then you’re preparing for what’s coming, right? You’re always preparing and then like, there’s a wave and you’re like, Okay, I see. And then you you learn a little bit more than you kind of like have some insight and you’re like, Okay, this next wave, I’m going to do things a little bit differently. And I love those games and, and Plants vs Zombies is probably one of the first like, tower defense games that I’ve ever played. It’s very, it’s very, it’s a unique style. But I have but I love those types of games. And yeah, I mean, just thematically. It’s relevant. Otherwise it’s it’s also not realistic.

Lara Taylor 57:37

Josué Cardona 57:38
Yeah. I wonder how many people have only played the first person shooter games of Plants versus Zombies, which are extremely popular. Now probably more popular than the original.

Link Keller 57:50
That’s so weird to me. Oh my gosh

Josué Cardona 57:53
isn’t it right?

Marc Cuiriz 57:53
yeah thats

Josué Cardona 57:55
We’re like on the third. Plants vs. Zombies first person shooter now.

Link Keller 58:00

Josué Cardona 58:01
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Link Keller 58:04
Well, you never know what’s going to take root.

Josué Cardona 58:07
That’s good. That’s good. That’s good. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you, Link.

Link Keller 58:12
Tell Nina I did good.

Lara Taylor 58:16
I will. She’ll be proud of you too.

Marc Cuiriz 58:20
I refuse to laugh.

Josué Cardona 58:22
Because you won our prize today. Like you get to you get to take us home.

Link Keller 58:28
Okay, well, this has been GT Radio. Thank you so much for joining us. You can find our social media in the shownotes you can check out other podcasts on Geek therapy.org We have a forum that you can you can post away in

Josué Cardona 58:51
posts your plant pictures

Link Keller 58:52
post your pictures, please! check us out on Discord. That’s where I am most of the time. I’m definitely going to post some of those bonsai pictures from the museum to the discord. Thank you so much for joining us and remember to geek out and do good and we will be back next week.

Marc Cuiriz 59:13

Josué Cardona 59:14
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • Planta – plant care app
  • Pikmin Bloom (2021)
  • Stardew Valley (2016)
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020)
  • Flower (2009)
  • Dark Souls series
  • French Kiss (1995)
  • Kinder World (2022)
  • Farmville (2009)
  • Growing Pains – Alessia Cara
  • Littlewood (2020)
  • Plants vs. Zombies (2009)
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (2014)
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Carl Roger’s Humanistic Theory of Personality Development
* Patience
* Environmental Factors
* Personalized Care
* Growth Mindset
* (Plant) Death
* Making new (plant) friends
* Mental Health Services
* Problem Solving
* Resilience
* Trust
* Taking responsibility for one’s actions
* Working with others

Relatable Experience:

* Clarity/Understanding
* Cognitive Distortion
* Death (of a houseplant)
* Fear/Anxiety
* Foster Care
* Moving
* New Life Event (New Rules)
* Growing

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

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