Plant Update

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my plants. There’s not much to say, since it’s November and most of the things I planted back in–March? April? I can’t remember–have died thanks to some unseasonably cold and unseasonably warm weather (as well as it being, you know, November). So here are some words on my houseplants.

1. The Cacti

They’re doing much better now that they’re in their individual pots. Prior, they had been in one shallow dish, and one of them had been doing so poorly that it had to be propped up with a pencil. Ouch. That one hasn’t seen a significant amount of new growth since being repotted, but it definitely is more stable than it was. The other cactus, however, has been thriving. I’m really pleased with it–it has a brand new growth at the top that looks kind of silly, but is nice too see since it means that the plant’s doing well. I think the pot size works for it (even if I think the pot itself is kind of ugly), and I might end up getting a similarly sized pot for the other cactus. Given that they’re both over ten years old at this point (which is older than some of the kids in the classes I’ve been subbing in), I think this is alright.

2. Jade Plants

Here it gets not…so good. The jade plant I got from Home Depot (which actually had a fly issue when I got it) a little more than a year ago has been doing fine, despite falling out of its pot during a move and all of the other issues I’d call typical of Home Depot plants. The underside of the new growth has a great color.

That said, I just gave it a quick spray down with some organic insecticide (it’s mostly soap based) because it came into contact with my bigger jade plants, which…have not been going very well. The plants themselves I think were severely pot-bound when I got them, and even a few months later they still haven’t gotten better in their new, bigger pots. They tip over a lot. That’s not the main problem with them, though. Apparently, they have mealybugs, which are gross, and they’re currently being quarantined in my garage. They’ve been sprayed down too, but I’m going to have to do a few more rounds before I think they’ll be 100% okay.

My Ikea jade plant hasn’t been doing great. On the one hand, I think it might be a case of too many in one pot, but on the other hand–it’s a plant I got from Ikea. After spraying it down with some vinegar and water, the white film that had been on it when I got it disappeared (thank God), but it’s been dropping leaves. At first, I thought it might be lack of sunlight, but even with moving it into a sunnier location, it’s still giving me trouble. I can say that it’s growing upwards, which is nice to see. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t look like it has been infected with mealybugs. I might invest in either plant food or a day-round light to put on it to make it a little stronger.

3. Spider Plants

Daisy effectively killed the spider plant I had at school, which was a bummer. She even knocked over the pot–once when it was still a terracotta one, and then again when I switched to metal to avoid more breakage. Cats are the worst. That said, the one I’ve moved onto my desk seems to be doing alright (even with the cats treating it as their salad bar). The one across the room looks a little rougher. I think I want to trim the dead stuff off both of them soon.

4. Funerary Basket

These are plants (peace lily, pothos, and one other I can’t remember the name of) that I got a long time ago and have been sitting out of reach of the cats since then, because these will kill cats if they eat them. At first I started bringing them down to test whether or not the cats would actually go after it–they played in the dirt, but cared more about eating my spider plant–and when I realized it would probably be safe, I decided to keep it down. I had to clip a lot of it back, since there was some dead stuff on it, but since putting it in the light, it’s been doing much better. I love the look of pothos. I’m alright with this.

5. Succulent Pot

I’m not super thrilled with how the actual succulents in this have been doing. I got a couple of them, plus lithops (which, honestly, freak me out), another jade plant, and a small aloe plant. The lithops, jade plant, and aloe has been doing fine. The succulents aren’t. I’m probably going to take them out and replace them with probably another small jade, or even different succulents (if I can find them this late in the season). Or I might just leave the three that are doing well enough alone. The succulents are dying, though.

6. Venus Fly Traps

They did their job. I’m happy. One has kept much better than the other, but I think as it starts getting colder here, and since I’ve never had much luck with them to begin with, they’re probably going to have to get tossed.

I have a wishlist for the kinds of plants that I want–including new rose bushes since the once I have outside are so huge that I’m not going to be able to transport them when I do eventually move, as well as more cacti (for all that I’ve been dumping on the Ikea plants, the jade plant has shown some resiliency, and they DON’T try gluing flowers to the tops of them, unlike Home Depot, so I might try there), and some more green things. I’d really like a fig tree.

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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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