You might have been wondering how those houseplants I bought a few months ago are doing. And if you were, I hope you’re not a member of the Society Against Cruelty to Houseplants.
The fronds on this palm kept turning brown and dying for several weeks. Then one day I walked into my bedroom and felt like I’d discovered a plant suicide. It went from bad to beyond hope in about 24 hours. There’s still some green, so it could probably be saved by the hands of someone who actually knew what they were doing, who is obviously not me. This situation makes me think of how the human body will shut down less vital systems when its starved, like an anorexic girl who doesn’t get her period. The palms kept throwing off fronds in an attempt to keep the plant as a whole alive, until it passed a terminal point. It makes me feel like a plant sadist, quite frankly, and I hope plants don’t feel I guess living with chronic pain makes me more sympathetic to any kind of suffering.
As for the fern, one day I walked into my office and noticed it had suddenly wilted. I thought it might be too far gone, but I poured some water and it and amazingly enough it had perked up by the end of the day. I guess H20 treatment is like plant CPR.
The spider plant is doing alright, though some of its leaves have turned brown. I was encouraged when it shot out the little feeler with baby spider plants on it over a month ago, but there hasn’t been much growth since then. I might need to transfer it to a bigger pot if I want it to grow.
I still haven’t bought proper pots for the plants, which probably displays a lack of commitment on my part or just my reluctance to spend more money when I’m getting by with what I have.
How do you get rid of a houseplant? I’d feel bad just chucking it in the dumpster. The Orange County trash and sanitation department might get mad if I do that too, since it’s clearly marked as illegal on the dumpster. Perhaps I can drop them off on the front door of a greenhouse, ring the bell, and run away like I was dropping off an unwanted baby at a church.
You can do the equivalent by dropping at the corner of your parking lot.
Mary Jean says
If you cut all the dead off the palm, water it well and keep it near light, it should come back. The Spider Plant won’t put off baby plants (which you can nest on a pot of soil and it will grow roots if you keep the soil wet enough) and the fern does need lots of water. Or you can take them out of their pots, chop them up in smaller pieces and just chuck them in your regular trash. But they are still salvageable. Also, did you name them? That helps too.
About the only thing I don’t kill is philodendrons. They are very very hardy. I have thrown lots and lots of plants in the trash–maybe they’re not so picky around here, but you can always put them in a big black trash bag and put a twist tie around the top and nobody is the wiser!
Do you use fertilizer? Plants need food just like people do. A little goes a long way. If you really need to chuck them, a nearby river or stream is not a bad place to put them out of their misery.
Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says
I no longer have real plant. I have trouble planting things period. The few things i’ve tried outside have failed miserably. I like the idea of dropping them off at a river bed or something. Then they can die with their own. 🙂
I don’t know what the rules are where you are, but here in Australia you would probably get put in jail for dumping houseplants in bushland or next to a river. An “exotic” (not local plant) could unexpectedly thrive and overtake the whole area, killing all the native plants and so all the local insects die and then the things that eat the insects die and all the native wildlife and then the whole world runs out of food and it’s all over for the human race. Because of YOU.
Oh, and if the spider plant put out babies when it was already looking sick, it was probably its last ditch attempt to reproduce before it died. Terminally ill fruit trees will do that too — give a bumper crop of fruit then keel over.
On behalf of People for Ethical Relationships with Vegetables (http://www.crankyfitness.com/2009/02/people-for-ethical-relationships-with.html), I just want you to know… We’re watching you…
This just popped up from Lifehacker…ironically…
I recommend a rubber tree or “cast iron” (it’s a real plant) plant as your big plant. They’re harder to kill. Diffenbachia is also hard to kill. Hardy plants are more forgiving.
Teehee…don’t feel so bad…I have a black thumb too. All of my houseplants die not matter what I do.
There was some sort of plant growing like crazy all over a pile of bricks in my parents’ driveway so my dad potted some of it and it thrived in the pot too. He gave it to me, thinking that it was pretty hardy, but within a month or two it was totally brown and shrivelled. I brought it back to my parents’ house and it perked right up and started thriving again! Every Aloe plant I’ve ever owned has exploded and oozed black goo all over the place, and the Jade plant I had looked fine until one day it just flopped over and died.
Humph! I wish I could have houseplants but it seems they’re all doomed with me 😛
Those palms are impossible to keep alive. Spider plants are pretty easy so are Christmas cactus. I also have a rubber tree and long as you keep it watered it seems happy.
Hi, Jennette! No comment about the plants. Just hoping that you’re okay and that the evil headache hasn’t been keeping you away. Take care.
@Debby – Thanks for checking in on me. The headache hasn’t been that bad lately. I’m just buried in all the work that built up when the headache was bad. It’s been very, very busy and I’m still trying to catch up on everything.
Don’t give up hope! My grandmother has had a spider plant for almost 40 years!
Have you ever seen The Happening? I hope that’s not why you haven’t posted! Treat your plants well or they will get you!
Please don’t put your plants in garbage bags or throw them in the wild! Put unwanted plants out by the sidewalk with a little sign that says SAVE ME and I guarantee somebody like me will take it home if it has any green at all!
@Davy – I hadn’t thought of that, but it sounds like a good idea!