Ever since I was in school and living with my parents, I've always had a small potted plant to take care of.
Little plants with big stories to tell
I had a colocasia, a plant with big leaves, also called "elephant's ear". It barely had two or three leaves and was quite sturdy, but I did take good care of it and enjoyed seeing its vibrant green. I can't remember very well, but I think mom took it for the balcony plants once and it withered a bit soon afterwards.
Another plant I had was a small hanging plant with long stems and small leaves. It grew so long that I had to keep it in the bookcase and the wooden shelf swelled with water. I noticed an interesting trick: if I took a small piece of the stem and replanted it, it would grow roots and become a happy new plant.
Once, we were asked to bring plants to decorate the classroom. Not wanting to part with mine, I just bought a new pot and soil and planted a few stems in it. The poor thing looked tiny and everyone laughed at it. Even if I tried to explain that it would grow, they wouldn't listen. So, I took it back and brought the other pot, with the long stems. Needless to say, they still laughed at it.
One of the more intriguing plants I've had was a cactus. It was perfect, since I didn't have to water it too much. I used to keep it under the clothes drawers and, on numerous occasions, it tried to snatch my clothes away from my hands. Just as it was growing its first flower though, mom decided that she would like it for her office. And there it went.
Failure after failure?
When I moved to the big city, my mom bought me a little plant, with orange flowers. It was the first plant that had flowers (except maybe for the cactus), so I was happy. Unfortunately, the flowers withered fast and in a few months the plant itself, despite my attempts to save it.
A couple of years ago, mom and dad bought me another plant, similar to the previous one, but with yellow flowers. I tried my best to care for it, but it never bore flowers again. It did however have huge lovely leaves at one time. I used to say it was my cute giant radish. Alas... This one withered too within a few days. I was baffled.
The yellow hibiscus and plotting a new potted plant...
Our last flatmate brought his own flower to the house. It is a yellow Japanese rose, or hibiscus, as they call it. It had just one stem and had been kept in the dark, but we managed to liven it up. It even tried to have a few flowers, but they fell before blooming.
The little rose had two problems: one was the tiny pot (and I know the huge one mom kept her own Japanese rose in) and the other was the small bugs it had on it. At first, I thought I would find some repellant to get rid of them, but one day I got ambitious, armed myself with a couple of damp paper tissues and cleaned them off, leaf by leaf. I was amazed to see that after this there was no more bug in sight.
Now, our friend had to move out when mom moved in, but he left the rose in my care, saying he'd be back for it when the weather got warmer. I would love to have a house plant again and thought about using a stem from the original rose to grow my own. I'm not very sure how I should do this and, since there is just one secondary stem, I would have to do it properly the first time.
|The little hibiscus and, behind it, my poor withered "radish"...|
I wanted to ask my visitors who have had the patience to read this far to help me with some advice. Mom said I should keep the stem in water for a few days, until it grows some roots. I wonder what my chances are with this little rose...