Junior David Tran poses in the garden that he helps maintain with his family. (Photo courtesy of David Tran)

Plants thrive under Tran’s thumb

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Growing up, junior David Tran watched his mother work in the garden and observed her propagation of plants such as basil. She would gently plunge the old basil stems into small vases of water, and as the sunlight nourished the plant, Tran observed its growth and progress from a meager root to a flourishing swirl of leaves. 

After watching his mother work, Tran was inspired to watch Youtube videos about plant cultivation and attempted to grow them himself. Most of the plants Tran tried to grow did not survive due to his lack of experience in plant maintenance. Although it was discouraging at first, he eventually learned the correct techniques to successfully grow a plant. He is now an avid plant enthusiast and continues to add to his garden regularly.

“I think that the first plant that I tried to propagate was a lucky bamboo,” Tran said. “My parents forgot to water it for a couple of weeks, so most of the plant was dead except for a few offshoots. I didn’t learn yet that having the plants in a bright, warm environment, while replacing the water every few days, would increase the success rate of the plants surviving.” 

Though his family members question the practicality behind the plants he grows, Tran finds happiness simply in seeing his plants thrive without any intent of receiving a product in return.

“My family does not understand why I buy plants that are not edible or produce food as they think that it’s pointless,” Tran said. 

The young plant enthusiast recently created an Instagram account (@hehe.plantgram) where he solely posts pictures of his plants around the house and in his family garden. Tran initially created the account “for fun,” but after exploring more plant posts and accounts, he wanted to display his own plants. After months of exploring his aesthetic, the account has become an outlet for him to express his passion for plant cultivation to his followers. 

“I just want my Instagram account to reflect how amazing nature and plants are,” Tran said. 

For the time being, Tran’s family of plants has expanded to 10 indoor cultivars and 20 outdoor cultivars, but there will be more to come. Taking care of plants is a rewarding experience that has made Tran “more responsible and conscious of other living things” because different plants require various levels of care. Factors such as the amount of light and water demand constant attention from Tran. 

“I think that, as humans, we have evolved to love plants and admire them,” Tran said, “but the best part of taking care of plants is that you can see them change over time depending on the conditions of your home and how you take care of them. That is what separates real plants from fake plants.”

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