Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On My Mind: Confessions Of A House Plant Killer

This was Begonia when I brought her home from the Greenmarket in April, and this is Begonia today:She bloomed her last bloom in July, and she's been all leaves and stem since. I've been watering her faithfully, thinking she might reward my effort with an encore, but alas, the fall is upon us, and now I believe there is no hope for us. I really thought there was a chance for us, Begonia and I. I thought she would bloom her heart out all summer, and I would somehow keep her tuber safe and warm throughout the cold winter months, and we would meet again next spring.

But now, I am grappling with a difficult decision: admit she's looking sickly and throw her down the trash chute to join the ranks of numerous orchids, bromeliads, african violets, and cyclamens I have killed in my lifetme (not counting the plants I killed on purpose for my 8th grade science fair project) or marshall all my resources to save her in the hopes that she'll flower again next spring?

What should I do? Is there any way to save her, or is she just a casualty of the changing of the seasons? Do other people struggle with keeping plant life alive in this City? With limited light exposures and moisture-sucking, temperature-variable air conditioning and heating, no ordinary flowering plant stands a chance. At least not under my care. I have failed again! Arghhh!

In any case, thank you, Begonia. At least for a while, it was lovely to wake up and see you blooming. When I bought you, I desperately needed a reminder of the miracle of natural life in this city full of concrete, and you did your duty.

P.S. Begonia, I have decided I can't bear to throw you away. I don't know if you're too far gone to re-flower next spring, but I've done some research on the Interwebs, and there's hope! I'm going to dry you out, so you don't rot, cut back your stem and store you in a cool, dry place over the winter. Sleep tight and see you in March.

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