“Bloom where you are planted.”
The most positive meaning is Do the best you can under the circumstances in which you find yourself. Fair enough.
However, as a gardener, I know that plants require different circumstances to thrive.
Overwatering a cactus and underwatering a Peace Lily are the surest ways to kill them both.
Additionally, most cactus are fine being on their own, but many water-loving plants like cuddling up to other plants. It helps them to stay hydrated.
Many ferns also love having water sprayed all over their leaves, but African Violets and geraniums don’t. African Violets will develop spots on their leaves.
Planting a shade plant in the sun and a sun-loving plant in the shade is not optimal. Hostas burn in the sun, and zinnias get leggy in the shade.
Daylilies benefit from being divided when they’ve grown into clumps, but gardeners don’t move Hollyhocks or False Indigo. Hollyhocks have a deep taproot and they don’t like their roots being disturbed. Moving mature hollyhocks can kill them.
Climbing roses and vines of all kinds need sturdy support. It’s the only way for them to grow up. Otherwise they grow into themselves and either sprawl or get tangled up in themselves.
And there are gradations of care. Many plants enjoy a mix of sun and shade outside, but when they’re brought inside, they must be in a sunny window.
Can some plants tolerate less than optimal conditions? (It’s quite difficult to kill spider plants, except by extreme neglect…) But will most plants thrive (and bloom) under circumstances that are antithetical to their needs? No.
People are obviously even more complex than plants. We all have basic needs for food and shelter. But what activities, relationships, and self-care that helps us thrive vary considerably from person to person.
So if you’re a spider plant and only bloom when your roots are restricted or pot bound and you don’t seem to care about soil quality, well good for you-you know who you are!
But not everyone is a spider plant (no matter how we try to toughen people up). If you’re like most plants, you’ll do better and bloom better, when you discover and plant yourself in conditions that match your own nature, and your own needs. Don’t judge what your needs are. If you’re a vine, find support. If you work better alone, plant yourself in solitude. The metaphors are endless.
May we pursue our paths, creating the conditions that help us bloom and thrive,