Friday, February 18, 2011

Mutants and House Plants

I got a gift.
I think.
Because it might actually be a challenge.
One of my best friends, the Life Raft, gave me a pot of primroses.
I haven't introduced you to the Life Raft before, but that's her name because she is completely unsinkable. When anyone else would go down with the ship she keeps floating. You'd love her!
Anyway - she knows that I am the death of all things green.
Grass dies when I move into a house.
But she gave them to me anyway. So either she has massive faith in my ability to reform my plant-murdering ways or she just gets a little kick out of watching me squirm.
Then, like a well orchestrated plot, my husband bought me potted hyacinths for V-Day.
Now if anyone knows my issues with plants, he does.
So the challenge is on.
I can do this.
I will not be beaten by a velvety petaled, sweet scented bloom.
I put them in a very sunny spot.
I poured in a little water twice a day.
I gave them thumbs up and encouraging nods.
Four days into the primroses and two days into the hyacinths, things looked promising.
So the primroses look a little wilty, but I had high hopes.

Fast forward three more days.
I gave you light! I gave you water! I exhaled carbon dioxide!
What the heck! We've got a code nine on my kitchen table. Death is imminent.

My mother, the Party Cracker, (yes, you heard me right. A party cracker. You know those fun, little party favors that you pull apart and they're colorful and loud and you never know what in the world is going to come out. Yeah. That. Says. It. Perfectly.) Anyway, the Party Cracker used to tell me that whenever you kill a bug you will have to look it in the eye in heaven and be accountable.
I just heard your brain stutter to a halt while you processed that. Same thing happened to me at age six.
Not exactly gospel doctrine. More like a weird guess. And mostly I would just cringe and think, "Ew, bug eyes! Gross!" (Remember that, Jungle Jane?)
But if the Party Cracker is right (EW! GROSS!) then I will probably also have to look many plants in the...stamen?( What is the equivalent of a eye for a plant?)

So here is proof that I have no pollen on my hands! This is not my fault. Photographic evidence of me watering the plants. Notice the beautiful sunlight streaming in.

We breed mutants over here. Someday a man in black from the government will show up with a briefcase of classified papers and we will finally know why mosquitos are seven hundred times more attracted to the Artist than any other human and why my children turn friendly family pets into rabid predators and why all things that require photosynthesis die when I get too close.
We must be part of some secret experiment.

In the meantime, sweet dreams tonight imagining all the bugs you've ever killed looking at you with judgment in their disgusting, bug eyes. I'm not gonna pass on that little gem to my girls. I will tell them "Fifty cents for any spider you kill before mommy sees it!"
I'll let them look the spiders in the eyes!


  1. My husband says the best way to save your plants would be to repot them with some rocks in the bottom and use good fertilizer. Then water them once a week or as often as the soil feels dry on top, and keep your kids away from them! Keep them in full sun for at least four hours a day. Good luck!

  2. Maybe too much water or too much sunlight or a combination of both. Good luck.

  3. I have a pot of primroses too. After a while the flower color faded and the leaves wilted while I was on vacation. So I've done some reading on them.

    When a bloom starts to droop, pinch it off at the base. A new one will take its place. Follow Tamera's suggestion of watering only when the top of the soil feels dry. Also, houses are too warm for primroses. They like it too be cooler (50-60F) with lots of light. They also like high humidity. To do that you can place small pebbles in a shallow dish/plate and fill with water to below the top of the rocks. Place the pot on top of the rocks. I read to not use fertilizer while they are in bloom.

    Hyacinth don't bloom very long anyway. Cut off the flower stalk and let the leaves grow. Plant it in your yard and next spring you can enjoy it again.