To be or not to be…
My gardening skills are adequate; I’ve never taken the time to really study the basics (besides what I read in the paper), but rather I usually just experiment and see what happens. Particularly when transplanting existing plants to new locations or cutting back others, I figure it doesn’t hurt to try! Most times I am successful, but other times not.
Joel says that the plants all scream in terror when they see me coming at them with my lopping tool (or hedge trimmer or other pruning device). I actually enjoy shaping up shrubs and maybe when I grow up, I’ll be a tree trimmer! I think it would be fun to climb trees and shape them gracefully.
My latest “victim” was a corn plant (dracena) from Joel’s office. He’d gotten it years and years ago from a store nearby called “Tall Plants”. Corn plants are ubiquitous standbys in many offices, because they thrive without much attention and/or light. Except his was NOT thriving, and it looked terrible! Its pot was too small, so it was root-bound and suffering mightily.
We brought it home to get some “TLC” from me. It’s always been my experience that you can’t kill a corn plant, so I confidently removed it from its existing pot, separated the three trunks, whacked off the tops of each and transplanted them into new, roomier pots with fresh dirt and pine mulch.
Then I left the pots outside to get some real sunlight (in a shady spot, mind you after being inside all those years), humidity and rain instead of tap water. I waited and watched and watered as needed. Weeks went by… and I saw nothing. I finally told Joel I thought I’d actually killed his plant.
Procrastinator that I am, I just left those pots out there with the three stumps sticking out of them. I guess I got too busy with the whirlwind of my July and August activities and travels, so it wasn’t until I got back from my latest trip up to Colorado to deliver Bert that I strolled around the garden one evening to take a look at everything (note: we’ve had an unusually rainy, cooler August, which has been a real gift to our garden!).
Guess what I saw in those pots? Lush, new growth coming up from the bottoms of each stump! I was so excited I went in to get Joel to show him. Regarding this particular plant, I had begun to doubt my usual method of “put a houseplant outside and it will thrive in our humid environment”. But it worked again! Success!
I’ll give the resulting new babies some time to establish themselves; they’ll need time to grow up and out before they can come “back inside”. In the meantime, I think Joel needs a new plant for his office, so I’d best go back to the Tall Plants! Dennis (the owner) will be happy to hear about my success story, AND I’m sure he’ll be delighted to sell me a new one.