Once considered an “old wives' tale,” recent studies prove that simply talking to your plants helps them grow. Consider these tips the next time your fern or philodendron needs a little TLC.

Issue: Golden Pothos with yellowing leaves
Dirty Talk: “What a sweet little pot you have, but you've gotten all rootbound, and now you need a bigger one. I've got a nice big one for you. I'll lean you over this utility sink and repot you right here.”

Issue: Spider Plant sending out sprouts
Dirty Talk: “Who do we have here? Some people say three's a crowd, but not me. I'm into the throuple scene. But first, I'm going to pluck off your little friend and stick him in this pot with some root stimulating hormone. Not that he needs it.”

Issue: Dumb Cane leaves turning pale
Dirty Talk: “Somebody needs a dose of nitrogen. He's about to get a hot nitrogen injection. Do you want it water-soluble or spiked straight into your soil? Or how about I spray it all over your foliage?”

Issue: Philodendron covered in spider mites
Dirty Talk: “You dirty little thing. I'm gonna clean you up. First, I'm going to wash your leaves with insecticidal soap. Then I'm going to rinse the dead bugs off and rub your thick stem down with neem oil to smother the eggs.”

Issue: Snake Plant has leaf scarring
Dirty Talk: “Is it too cold for you? I know how you like it: hot and steamy like the tropical jungle where you evolved. I'm using my little green thumb to turn up the thermostat and the humidifier at the same time. Now I'm using both hands.”

Issue: Peace Lily has drooping leaves
Dirty Talk: “Oh, are you all dried out? Here's some leftover water from the bottle in my purse. Oh, my! I've spilled it all over both of us, but I don't have a towel. Let me take off this ‘Dog Is My Co-Pilot' tee-shirt and use it to wipe off your leaves.”

Issue: Umbrella Tree leaning toward the window
Dirty Talk: “We'll put you right here by the window, so everybody can see you. Don't be shy. I know how you like it when the neighbors watch you photosynthesize.”

Issue: Ficus Plant leaves dropping
Dirty Talk: “Oh, did I move you back inside the house too fast? My little Ficy likes his temperature changes nice and slow. Here, I'll put you back on the front porch, now back inside, now out again, now back inside. That's the spot.”

Remember, as long as you are both comfortable, there is no right or wrong way to speak erotically to your houseplants. So have fun with it!

Disclaimer: Please wait until you get new plants home before implementing these techniques. The sexually repressed managers at most garden centers and Lowe's have no hesitation about imposing lifetime bans. Ditto for all the community gardens, horticultural associations, farmers' markets, arboretums, pea patches, greenhouses, elementary school plant sales, Facebook gardening groups, and co-operative extension offices in the Raleigh-Durham Area.

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