Saturday, April 07, 2012

My lack of a green thumb

If you have a minute, could you say a prayer for my friend George? George is a plant. Jason bought George for me my very first birthday after we were married, so he has been a part of our family for 15 years. I'm not sure how he has survived that long here. He's been through four moves and is being cared for by someone who's thumb is pink or red, or any other color other than green. While we've lived in Houston, he has presided in our window above the kitchen sink. It seems to be designed for plants, at least that's what it appears to be designed for. But it gets really hot there in the summer from the direct sun. And because I tend to forget to water George, he has been on the brink of death many times and has somehow hung on until I watered him and then miraculously come back to life. But, alas, this may be the end of George.

We've had an ant problem in our kitchen for awhile, and we couldn't figure out where they were coming from. For some reason yesterday, I decided to do the twice a year pruning of George and saw an ant in him. Concerned, I took George outside to get a closer inspection, and realized to my horror that he had become a hotel for an ant colony. Poor George. So for only the second time in his life, he was re-potted. That's not really the right term, because he went back into the same pot. But he was removed, and left sadly on the concrete while his pot was washed completely. I was completely grossed out by the number of ants crawling all over him. My kids were horrified. "The ants are eating George!" He then was severely pruned, like 75% of him went in the trash. There were so many roots that were connected to dead stuff. And what was left was re-potted into fresh soil in the same pot, and watered. So we wait. Its touch and grow for George. (Yes, I know that's a bad joke.)

This is George (He's very patriotic)

But George is not alone. I also have Susan. Susan is a plant that I was given as a gift by some of my babies I kept in weekday five years ago. Susan was my teaching partner so that's where she got her name. (George has no namesake, I just like that name for a plant.) Poor Susan has never been re-potted, she still lived in the same TINY ceramic cute pot with the names of my babies on it. But since I had gotten out the soil and gardening gloves, I ran and bought a 96 cent plastic pot and re-potted Susan. POOR Susan. I was shocked at the number of roots she had crammed in that tiny pot. I can't believe she has lived this long in such terrible conditions. I have better hopes for her since she had more roots to plant and no ants.

My newest plant that may have no hope is Monica, given to me by my birthday by my friend Monica. (Real creative name). I don't know what kind of plant she is because she didn't have one of those plastic labels stuck into her. She did have flowers when I received her, but they only lasted a few days and there have been no more flower sightings. I know I'm not taking good care of her, but I have no idea what to do with her. She's in a big pot, but I bet she's supposed to be planted in a flower bed, and I don't own one of those! I saw my friend Monica and she was shocked that she was still alive, so I was relieved to know that she didn't expect me to take great care of her. But I would like to. Maybe she could somehow survive 15 years in terrible conditions too!


Scuba Girl said...

You need to post pictures of the plants, and/or their names. Then, maybe, we could help you or offer guidance! (or tell George to rest in peace)

Christy said...

Thanks. Here's pictures. Maybe someone can tell me what Monica is so she'll have a chance.

Scuba Girl said...

OK, so the good news: George & Susan are both basic ivy, which means that you can't really kill them! They're the kind that you can cut off a bit, root it in water, and it'll live forever! With George & his ant family, you could un-pot him again, completely rinse off all the soil (and then ants, of course)then re-pot him in new soil. He'll be fine with this treatment.
Susan was just root-bound. When you re-potted her, did you break loose all those bound up roots? If you've done that, she'll be fine as well. IF you haven't, do that now - until those roots get completely loosened up, she won't know that she has room to grow, and she'll continue to grow as if she's in the same confinement. It won't hurt her - you can even cut through the roots, and it still works.
Now Monica: did she have white flowers, kind-of like one-sided lilies (the calla lilies)?

Scuba Girl said...

flowers like this?

here's the site with a description of the plant - it's a peace lily, and loves to live in houses

Christy said...

I did break up the roots, so hopefully she'll be fine.
The flower wasn't that big, and had some purple in it, but after looking at pictures, I do this it is a cala lily. What I read says its better if the soil is really damp, so I'm probably not watering it enough. And it needs more sun then I'm giving it. Thanks for your help!

Scuba Girl said...

Not a problem - I'm an EXPERT at killing plants! I mean well, but then......