Plants I Have Been Keeping

A while ago (like, a month), I bought a gardening kit because I was furious about the snow and I really needed green things in my life. When you’re used to grey and white, it becomes something you need for survival. We all want the promise of life after a long winter.

Well, I have some good news! The only one of the three plants that haven’t sprouted up has been lavender—and even that has one single, solitary sprout. The chamomile and lemon balm have been popping up without any sign of stopping, and I think pretty soon (probably when I’ve settled back home, away from my dorm, I’m going to put them into their own pots since they’ve been doing well. I’m worried about it, since I’ve read that sometimes plants don’t do as well as one would hope when transplanting them into new containers, but I have pretty good faith in these ones. They’ve been doing well considering that my window sill doesn’t get half as much sunlight as they should be getting, and there really isn’t a good drainage system for the container they’re in.

I also have a jade plant, which I’ve had since September, which has been doing extremely well (especially considering it was really buggy when I got it), and it’s even gotten bigger, which wasn’t something I was expecting. I haven’t had great success with plants in the past in general, so I’m glad that these ones are still alive. The only plant I have from September that hasn’t done so well has been an ornamental pepper plant, but I’m pretty sure it was pot-bound, and also apparently pepper plants can be difficult to raise anyway, so I don’t feel too much of a loss about it. The spider-plant in my dorm has done a lot better than the one at home—presumably because the one in my dorm doesn’t have a cat eating it and sitting in the pot. At this point, I figure it’s probably not going to make much difference either way, and I can just put the healthy spider-plant in a hanging container when I bring it to my house to keep it out of the cat’s way. As long as she doesn’t notice it, all will be well.

There were a few seeds that I planted back before April’s snow storm, and despite that, they’ve been sprouting up, too. I’m incredibly surprised, since they were in an outdoor greenhouse when the snow happened, but they’re alive, and they’re green, and the only one that’s looking particularly bad is a strawberry plant (which I should have expected anyway, since I’ve never had a lot of success with them in the first place). Things are growing, which means I might even be able to have my own homegrown spices for my food in the summer. This is cool for me—I wanted to go organic, and I wanted to be a little more self-reliant, and so far, it looks like that’s a real possibility. Even the catnip is growing, so I’ll be able to sew cat toys for my pets.

The whole point to this post though, besides bragging about the fact that my plants are still alive and well, is to mention that I got an aloe plant on Friday. It looks like it’s in a bad way, even after I’ve trimmed the very obviously dead parts. It has pill bugs, which aren’t harmful so much as they are kind of ugly (my best guess is that they had been using compost to fertilize the plant—it’s huge) and gross, and if I’m going to keep the plant inside, I definitely would prefer not to have bugs on it. From what I’ve learned, re-potting it should help—which is something I had planned on doing anyway—but so will reducing the water content of the soil. It looked really damp, which could be another thing to be worried about. The leaves are sunburned and I might end up needing to take off more of it, which isn’t something I necessarily want to do, but will do if it needs to be done.

If the aloe plant survives, though, I’ll end up lucky. It was free, and also, I tend to get sunburns during the summer even when I do wear sunscreen—which I’ve started doing more and more as I’ve gotten older, but there might be some irreversible damage left from when I was a kid and refused to wear it, and I’m getting more and more anxious about the possibility of skin cancer since it’s something that other members of my family have had. That’s digressing; in any case, I have a free plant, I’m actually capable of keeping plants alive now, and maybe in a few years I’ll be able to keep myself alive when living entirely on my own.

In the future, since they’re much more popular during the summer, I think I’m going to try to get a few more succulents—I like the way they look a lot—and hopefully my good luck with plants continues.

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Author: jillboger

Part time writer. Editor-in-Chief for the Bridge volume 13, former EIC for The Odyssey at BSU. My glasses protect my secret identity.

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