Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brown Thumbs

I've never fancied myself as the "gardener." I enjoy seeing beautiful flowers, but am not willing to put forth time and effort towards the actual growing process. I kept a plant in middle/high school, but that was enough of a commitment. I left it in the care of my parents when I went to college and it has since gone to plant heaven. My mom isn't the best at keeping plants either; she kills cacti. So I wasn't surprised to come home and see the pot, but not the plant. I will also admit I didn't leave "Philemon" in the best of health anyway, so it's not Mom's fault (I love you)!
When I moved into my own apartment I made the goal to keep a plant. I would water it regularly and watch it grow and brighten up the boring off-white walled room. I researched the plants available at my local Wal-Mart and corner garden center. I considered the needs of the corner and bought a plant accordingly. I also got potting soil, a pot, and a collection tray for the water overrun. I carefully planted it and watered it regularly...a little TOO regularly. I noticed gnats flying around the room. I emptied the trash, cleaned the kitchen, and made sure all food was put away. The gnats were all over. I finally noticed they seemed to gather around my plant. So, I did what any young college grad would do--I put "gnats in a plant" into Google to see what would come up. Sure enough, that can happen when you over-water a plant. I tried not watering it for awhile, to let the soil dry out to no avail. I went to Lowes and bought some spray. That cured the gnat problem, but made my plant sick. When I gave it water again, the gnats came back. Finally, I took the whole plant, pot and all, put it in a garbage bag, and threw it in the dumpster. So much for my green apartment.
When we moved into this apartment, I decided to take another stab at growing plants. I considered the needs of the space and got 2 small plants for our bay window. After some frustration, figured out a watering schedule and both are thriving. Then, Adam came home with a pot of 3 different plants for Administrative Assistants Day. One I knew as a philedendron, easy. Another is what I think is a peace lily. At least I identified it! I still have no idea what the other one is though. All of our plants are doing very well, except for one. The peace lily does what I call "fake dying" and it drives me crazy! I try to remember every couple of weeks to water the plants. Mr. Peace Lily doesn't like that. So like a 4-year-old, it gets dramatic. It limps over the side of the pot and goes all wilty. Guess what happens when it gets what it wants? Pops right back up and even gets a flower or two. Who knew raising plants is this difficult?

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