Last November after my grandma’s funeral, my family had several plants that we needed to figure out homes for. We divided the flowers, but when all was said and done there was a large leafy plant that nobody wanted to take. My aunt lives in another state part of the year and wouldn’t be able to take care of it. My parents explained they didn’t have any room for another large plant at their house. Both my parents turned to look at me.
“Do you want this one?” Mom asked me, gesturing to the big plant.
I stared at her, pretty sure she had suddenly confused me with someone else.
“You can take it,” my dad said. “We don’t have room for it.”
“This is ME,” I reminded them. “I don’t do plants.”
“You did good with the ones you had last summer,” my mom said.
“Yeah, but I’m not sure how that happened,” I said. They both stared at me silently, waiting for me to cave in. Which I did.
“I guess I could take it,” I said, offering a silent apology to my latest victim.
So, still feeling guilty for sentencing this poor plant to death, I took it home. I found what I hoped was a good spot for it and made sure to water it. Then I waited for it to wither and die, as all plants tend to do in my presence.
See, I’ve never had much of a green thumb. Years ago, someone gave me a cactus. I killed it. Not sure how that happened to this day, but yes, I killed a cactus. I had another plant that I left with my mom when I moved to Arizona. It did so well while I was 1800 miles away that she had to split it in to two pots. I’ve been asked not to go to a local greenhouse because I wilted a whole section of flowers just by walking past them.
Anyway, for reasons beyond my ability to comprehend, the leafy plant from grandma’s funeral is doing fabulous. It’s growing and getting flowers and I have no idea how this has happened. I water it, I cut off the dead leaves when they appear and I talk nice to it. Those are the only things I know to do. And I’m the only one who thinks that talking nice to it works.
This week, I was gifted a beautiful new plant with purple flowers. I explained to it on the ride home that I wasn’t real good with plants but I would do my best. Evidently, the plant wasn’t fussed by my confession. It’s doing just fine so far.
I’ve checked my thumbs for a hint of green, but they look the same. Since I have no idea how I made amends with the plant god and was granted the ability to keep these things alive, I’m going to keep doing the things I know to do and hope for the best. But yes, I still think talking nice to the plants has helped.

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