Everything I Learned From a Fern about Life

A few years ago, I wrote a comedy monologue for my oldest daughter when she entered an acting competition. It was about a girl who was frustrated with her mother’s seasonal hobby of gardening. Every spring her mother would buy beautiful plants and they all would die by the end of summer.

In the monologue, the daughter decides to rescue one of the plants and hide it from her mother and prove that she could do better. The monologue ends by the girl saying that she hopes that her mother’s “green thumb” is not hereditary.

I am proud to say she won second place in the competition, but I am even more elated to say that two of the plants I purchased that spring are still alive and well today!

How did I do it? Well, I could just say I watered them, but then I wouldn’t be telling you of the “Pearls of Wisdom” I found along the way.

It was a journey to grow my ferns and in the end, I realized that almost everything I needed to know in life, I learned from these two plants.

Find a Mentor and Ask for Help

Access to the internet is essential, but it doesn’t take the place of good old-fashioned mentorship and guidance from someone who has been there and done that.

My mother and sister love to garden. When I told them that my ferns were dying, they both gave me sound advice about what to do.

They explained to me that there was a process behind beautiful plants. If I wanted to save my dying ferns, I had to be willing to listen and take their advice.

It takes discipline and humility to take correction and follow directions with fern planting and in life.

A Bigger Pot is Needed

Bloom where you are planted but don’t be alarmed if you require a larger pot!

When I first received my ferns, they came in cute hanging baskets that conveniently hung in my home.

I admired them in the original pots for a couple of weeks and then I noticed that they began to shed.

When my mom and sister told me that I needed to replant them, I was anxious! I didn’t want to do it! Why did I need to replant them? What they were in was nice! If I moved them, I would kill them! At least that is what I thought.

If you are doing what God asked you to do and things are going well, don’t be alarmed if eventually, you notice a few signs that changes might be needed. God may want to take you to higher places so that your roots can reach further, and your blossoms can multiply!

Don’t be afraid of bigger pots!

My poor ferns just before I took the advice of my mom and sister! Late May/June of 2019

Shake the Dirt and Pull the Dead Weight Off

My mom specifically told me to pull off the dead leaves and stems before I re-planted the fern. I asked her how would that work when I ONLY had about 2 or three green stems left? She said that the fern needed to have room to breathe, and it wouldn’t grow where those dead-looking stems were. So, I pulled the dead leaves off.

My sister told me that I also needed to shake the excess dirt off the roots. She said that shaking off the dirt would wake the roots up and get them ready to find new soil.

Matthew 10:14 says:

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town, and shake the dust off your feet. (NIV)

Everyone will not care about what you have to say. Some people will not have open arms to receive who you are or your message of hope. Shake it off and keep moving! Find good soil to plant your seeds!

Same two ferns a few months later! October 2019!

Fertilizer Stinks but You Can Use to Grow

Call me crazy, but I love the smell of fresh-cut grass and a little cow manure! It reminds me of good times growing up in the country! So, it didn’t bother me much when my mom and sister told me to buy a fertilizer called Black Cow. They told me that this fertilizer was the closest to the real thing I could get in Lowes or Home Depot.

No one likes “fertilizer” in their life. but if you use those situations and learn from them, you will come out stronger. It is important to also tell you that that same Black Cow fertilizer killed one of my indoor plants but made the rest of them grow! That taught me that a little “fertilizer” can help make you tougher but look out for the little ones in your life! They don’t need it, and even a little “fertilizer” can hurt them.

Don’t Get Thirsty

I thought I watered my ferns enough, but the more I paid attention to their tint of green, the more I realized that water was key. It got to the point that I could look at the leaves and tell when it was time to water them.

A deep forest green meant they were fine. A dustier army green meant that I needed to water them.

Whenever I go a day or two without spending time in the word, I feel dry and “thirsty”. Everything just seems a little off. Those moments in devotion are life to me. There are so many references to God being our living water. Make sure you are not thirsting for God.

By the way, the best time to water your spirit and your fern is early in the morning!

What a difference a year makes! June 2020!

The BEST Sunshine Comes After the Rain and Nature Knows Best

My two ferns now sit on my back porch and watch the sky. I continue to water them regularly and they have done better than I could have ever expected!

A few months ago, it rained overnight, and I decided to walk on the back porch and take in the beautiful sun with a cup of tea. When I looked at my ferns, I was in total shock! It looked like they had doubled in size overnight!

Now, I know that this was not possible because I did not get my ferns from the Little Shop of Horrors, but they seemed to stand taller and looked brighter! After the rain, they were READY for the sun!

Nature is best at what it does! I water my ferns faithfully, but when nature waters them, they respond in a special way. Be careful about how we treat our bodies. Watch what we take in. Multivitamins are great, but consuming the right foods regularly is probably better.

I am proud of my ferns.

They have come a long way. I have come a long way with them!

June 2020, the morning after the storm!

Little POW-wow, Pearls of Wisdom

· If I had not asked for help, my beautiful ferns would be dead right now. Are you sitting on an opportunity to learn from someone? Is pride standing in your way of opening up to someone who can help you go to the next level?

· One thing I didn’t mention was talking to the ferns. What pearl of wisdom can you draw from communicating with the fern?

· It is almost time for me to “split my ferns” and grow more. I plan to get advice and help because I have no idea what I’m doing. What is something you can “split off” and share with others? How can you leave a legacy of your strength and knowledge?

Tune My Heart…

Jamie Grace is a singer, songwriter, and actress. She has been nominated for two Grammys and is a GMA Dove Award winner. She started singing when she was only 14 years old.

“Beautiful Day”, released in 2013, is from her 2nd album, Ready to Fly. This is one of my favorite songs by Jamie Grace.

When I think back on the morning that my ferns looked so happy to have had the rain, I can imagine them singing this song with me. Enjoy!

Traci D. Fuller, Pearls and Pretty Pens © 2020


  1. notamigrant

    lovely and positive post, thank you. will give ferns a go in my humble garden remake! There’s so many different kinds of fern, it amazes me, and how little we know about them.


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