Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Why? Why?! (Shaking Fist At Sky)

When I kill a plant, it is nothing short of gut wrenching. I'll return to mind's eye images of its withering leaves as I go through my day. I'll peak at it as I go about my chores. I put off composting it - for some super-strange reason. I don't really want to put it to rest, yet seeing it kills me. Just kills me.

I've had two deaths in the houseplant family this weekend. A maidenhair fern and a prayer plant.

I think when a plant needs to be kept "evenly moist" - I should stay away from terracotta and stick with something less porous.

G'bye old chums. I hardly knew ye. Sniff.

Subquestion: Should I fight or surrender to the pang that drives me back to the nursery for replacements plants?


Nancy J. Bond said...

Oh, definitely surrender to the urge to buy replacements! Always. :) I know what it feels like to lose a plant ::sniff:: I've been trying to keep a miniature rose alive long enough to re-pot it and set it outdoors when it's warm enough. Of course, at the rate we're going here in NS, that could be mid-July! :)

Anonymous said...

Get thee to a nursery!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Exactly ! .. plants that need to be kept evenly moist ..do NOT use porus terra cotta .. glazed or even the dreaded good looking plastic, yet with good drainage at the bottom.
I have kept my indoor garden of succulents alive because I do use nonglazed porus terra cotta .. it keeps me from over watering them . so it works both ways ..
I have a Maiden Hair fern in my garden I have to transplant to a shadier spot .. they are picky !
Good luck !

Jane Marie said...

I can't keep a rosemary plant going indoors. But I keep trying -- over and over again. Never give up, you might just find the magic combination that works for you and your environment.

Ann said...

I'm miserable with houseplants. But you'd never know because I joyfully trot off to the nursery and get replacements. They are to bring you positive energy not guilt and negativity!

Tracey said...

Hello friends!

I am *so* going to the nursery this weekend - guilt-free. Thanks for the encouragement. I will. I will. I will nurture a maidenhair fern for more than a month. Even if it takes me 10 years to figure it out . . .

Lonnie said...

Jane Marie,

Why not just grow your Rosemary outside? Thare are several cultivars that are hardy in Central VA (I've had good luck with "Salem")

There are also native rosemaries (Conradina) that are reportedly hardy to 5 or 6. I've found the Cumberland rosemary even has bigger flowers and a better form than the European one.

The trick to rosemary (and lavander) is that in the wild they just grow in cliffs in little to no soil at all. In other words, drainage is *critical*. If you must grow them inside, provide lots of light, a clay pot and a loose freely draining soil.

As for killing plants... I've certainly killed my share. I generally have a three-strike policy (that if I've killed it three times them i'm not allowed to try again unless I've just got a really compelling reason). That said, after getting some really good advice from Tracey on seeds I'm trying Indian Paintbrush again from seed and having more success...

missficklemedia.com said...

Ah, so it happens to the pros too.
Now I do not feel so bad, except for your anguish.