Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Accomplishment #3: Take Care of a House Plant. (#81)

I have what I would call an "olive" thumb. It's not quite black because I don't kill EVERY plant I get, but it's not green because my plants don't exactly look all that lush. Some of them I've managed to keep alive for years, such as a monstrous Christmas cactus that is starting to look like the plant thing on "Night Gallery." (That freaked me out when I was little.) And two dracaena (Dracaenas? Dracaeni? Dracanae? Whatever), but Norman has started eating them. And honestly, I don't do too much to them. I water them when I remember, or if they look dead.

But the book says that taking care of a houseplant can enrich your life. And it will clean the environment while adding "jungle chic." Well hot damn, I want me some of that jungle chic!

So I got myself a bromeliad. Sometimes I like a challenge. (And it matched the new pot I scored at a yard sale. A girl has her priorities.) I've had one before, and I thought I killed it because it looked like a rotting flesh wound after a few months. Seriously -- it was gross. But it may, in fact, just have been in an in-between stage. I didn't know and just threw it away in disgust. The little card that came with this one says it grows PUPS. PUPS! That is scary!

The winner

My friend Enid gave me this advice:

Your Big Ol' Pink Bromeliad? It should last a long, long time...After the flower gets all shrively, cut it off and keep water in the center part of the plant. (Don't water at the dirt.) Eventually the plant will get nasty looking, too, but put it out on the porch & water every so often. A new baby plant, (a clone of it's Ma,) will sprout next to it. Good luck. This takes forever! I have these in various stages of decomposition and new growth! Just hide 'em behind something else.

Well, then. It's not just a plant; it's a PROJECT. Jon already watered it because he thought it was a regular plant, and somehow I have not given it the love and attention it deserves, because its leaves are turning decomposed-flesh-wound-yellow. Already. Stupid bromeliad. I did, however, move it away from the window. I'm trying here, people.

But the book says to talk to your plant, and it will flourish. So I tried. I can usually talk to anything or anyone -- to chairs, doors, the person on their cell phone driving too slow in front of me, homeless people who tell me I remind them of someone they knew in 1966... But I must admit -- this challenging plant with its big ol' flower made me feel shy.

And I can't think a name. I pressed Norman for help, but he was useless. He talked to me all morning, but I think the plant makes him shy, too. (Unless he's eating it when I'm not looking. Which is very possible.)

So now I have to take care of this house plant -- which will probably be more trouble than taking care of the cat -- and name it. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I'm at a loss, but I am leaning toward Zsa Zsa. It's such the prima donna plant.

I will keep you updated of its progress.

So, in a way -- 3 down, 94 to go.

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