A Green-ish Thumb

May 19, 2010

I don’t even remember all the plants I’ve killed. For years we lived under the impression that I had brown thumb, and that any plant I was given would die a slow death under my less than adequate care. My husband was reminding me of that and wondering what happened to change it. How is it that now my plants are all surviving, no matter how many I accumulate? How? Water and light and space, I guess.

I eventually realized that plants don’t like to be neglected for weeks, only to be given a sip of water on their death beds when their veins are all collapsing. Through trial and error I realized that some plants will burn under the noon sun, just like I do. I also found that most plants do best if there’s room to grow and fresh soil in which to do it. Water and light and space.

I’m by no means a plant expert. I am much too lazy to learn too much about the intricacies of horticulture. I still kill things on occasion. But, more and more, plants under my care are surviving and occasionally thriving when given some measure of water, light, and space.

A nice thing… finding out that some successes aren’t nearly as complicated as we thought

7 Responses to “A Green-ish Thumb”

  1. kenhoney said

    Yes. Like writing. I mean, just open a vein and it all comes pouring out.

    PS: Once when I was in college, I killed a cactus. I believe I watered it with tonic water, figuring that was just as good as anything.

  2. Annie said

    light, water, and space … me too.

  3. I think I mentioned to you before that it’s especially galling to see things that grow as weeds in tropical climates that we’ve paid good money to kill at home.

    I’ve yet to grow healthy decent herbs or even catnip in the kitchen window…ah well.

    Congrats on your found abilities.


  4. mattpaw said

    Do you talk to them, thus giving them extra carbon dioxide (which stones them and makes them happy). This was my theory when I grew some tomatoes from seeds that had been on a space shuttle. They grew bigger and more bountiful than plants grown from store-bought seeds.

    I’d obtained the “space seeds” from NASA for a newspaper story. The column I wrote explaining the difference offered my theory that by my spending more time fussing over the space plants I gave them a larger share of reportorial gas. No one ever contradicted me, but then, probly no one read the column.

  5. Michelle said

    I’m a corny gardener. I send my plants love all the time. Right now the Rhododendrons are blooming, our state flower, and they are gorgeous.

    Me and the Rhodies – we give each other love.

    I’m glad we both have an appreciation of these oxygen loving beings.

  6. Dale said

    Congratulations! Personally, I’m still in the brown thumb department, though . . .

  7. Laura said

    Great self-discovery – you weren’t killing the plants just be standing around with your brown thumb, and you can keep them alive if you do it right! I too have that perennial brown thumb. I had really just given up until I got a small plant from a co-worker for my office. It’s been several weeks, and the thing looks pretty good. Amazing how that works when you actually water!

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