Saturday, July 26, 2008

#28: Keep a potted plant alive for at least one year

Unfortunately for the plants, I'm kind of limping across the finish line on this one. I was given two gorgeous plants as housewarming gifts last July: an aloe and a beautiful flowering plant (front left; hibiscus, maybe? who knows...). In the early eagerness of domesticity, I bought the third plant (front right).

Knowing how living-plant-challenged I am, my friend who gave me the aloe assured me they are hardy, nearly impossible to kill. Thank goodness, because as you can see, the poor, not-so-hardy mystery flowering plant only has about five leaves left, and one of them isn't looking too hot.

I haven't had blooms on either of the flowering plants since last August, a fact I was told could be remedied by repotting them with some fertilized soil or miracle grow or some such. I consider that to be level II care; I was concerned with level I care: water the correct amount in order to keep alive.

I nursed them through the winter, and when sunny skies and warm weather again arrived in central Texas, I happily moved them to the front porch, prematurely delighting in the mistaken assumption I had guided them through the toughest stretch. They were all promptly burnt to a crisp (literally--they were blackened), and I thought I (they? task #28?) was/were doomed for sure.

They've spent the remaining time since that ill-fated first warm-weather spate on our kitchen table. I feel like they are in an assisted-living plant ward--not too much sun, not any fresh air, no excitement. What do I do now? Continue to nurse them through a premature old age? Is that any life for a plant?

Maybe I'll plant them in our little shrub-bed in front of our front porch--this will give them the chance to flourish as they were meant to...and if it means they die, well, at least they'll die under the wild blue wonder of the great outdoors instead of cooped up in my kitchen.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

After plants have been an inside for a long time (especially winter) you have to ease them back into being outdoors. You just take them out for a few hours at a time(partial sun at first). You increase by an hour or so each day until they can reacclimatize. Hope that helps out you plant friends :)