Friday, April 12, 2024

Please don’t murder the plants

| August 5, 2020 12:29 PM


Coeur Voice Contributor

You hear a lot of cute things now about plant people. You can be a plant mom or plant dad, a term reflecting your status as the keeper of a whole brood of plants. Or at least an aspiring brood-er of the greens.

For millennials especially, it’s an era of mass indoor plantings. Some indoor spaces are practically stuffed with jungles, healthy doses of O2 greenery.

That’s great unless you have a “black thumb” like I do. And when I say ‘black thumb’ think Black Plague or Great and Evil Scourge of all that photosynthesizes.

Not that I would ever harm a plant on purpose. I would feel guilty even weeding (unless it’s an invasive species), not that I would risk killing a garden by tending one.

I only murder on accident.

Like some clueless giant demolishing whole villages out of a fable dark enough to come from a long-lost Grimm collection, I clumsy my way into under or overwatering, or finding the exact position with too much or too little sunlight.

With best intentions, I inevitably select the worst nurturing regiment and location for each leafy victim.

I’m better with kids, I swear. If only I had babysat plants instead of nieces and nephews, maybe my track record would be a little greener.

Normally, my lack of plant domestication skills isn’t much of an issue. I’ve long since learned to stop trying to raise plants.

I won’t offer to watch them either, unless it’s only for a weekend and a scrupulously detailed care plan is left for me – in writing, with measurements.

Anyway, my precious cats (yes, those angry little gods), like to make plant survival difficult. Even if you have knack for raising happy vegetation, your trusty feline will knock it over and chew on it constantly. Which tends to agitate more sensitive green things.

So I have a good excuse to steer clear anyway.

But it is a problem when you’re responsible for watching someone’s plant children for six weeks before they can move home with them.

With my track record, I was a little apprehensive. I don’t relish the idea of killing anything, but I really don’t want to kill anything with a name and personality. (Trust me, with the way she rapidly grows and always seems to grow over into your path, your desk, whatever seems to be most in use, Louise definitely has a personality.)

“So, umm, please don’t kill my plants. They just need a little water and sun.”

Sure, it’s that easy, I thought. Just find a good window and keep water next to them. Uh-huh.

Well, actually, it is. At least as of week four.

I was left with instructions and regular watering schedules, but so far I have managed neither to kill nor maim either plant.

And, I’m smug enough to add, one of them even looks less sickly than when she was placed in my care. (She had been stuck in a hot, broken down car for half a day, after being moved from her preferred living space.)

“Don’t kill my plants.” Who, me?

I’m a pro.

But if there’s a great goddess of greenery out there, maybe give her an offering for me, just in case?