Writings from my little corner of modern domesticity.

The Windowsill of Shame

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m a horticulture major. That means that at this point I’ve got nearly a complete bachelor’s degree in keeping plants alive and happy. But this is my front window:

Left to right: an African Violet, a Golden Shrimp Plant, another violet, mums, a mixed succulent pot, coleus, green onions, and a (barely-visible)spider plant.

Well, part of it. I was going to take a panorama of the whole thing, but the reflection/glare from the gigantic pile of snow we got last night mucked up that whole operation. (A casualty of Michigan having finally figured out it’s winter.)

But what you see there is about every second or third plant is dead or on its way out. This happens every winter, and I refer to it as the culling of the herd. I have too many plants (not pictured are also a happy poinsettia and elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) ), though not nearly as many as I would if we had more space. They have begun overflowing, however…the poinsettia’s home is in the kitchen by the turtle, where I’m amazed our lights get it what it needs. So the culling is necessary, but embarrassing.

A mum. Yes...I killed mums. ACK!

I know why it happens- when the heat comes on for the winter, they cook, and I never seem able to keep them wet enough. Also, they often have leaves pressed up against the cold, cold glass, and that window is terribly sealed, so they endure heavily-fluctuating temperatures, as well. I mean, I watered the spider plant to saturation yesterday, and that pot is light as a feather now! It’s just an embarrassing irony to me- the plants in the window of a horticulture major are half dead.

*sigh* Now I just need to bite the bullet and toss the ones that are dead and past resurrection. It’s just such an awkward, mess-creating job that I put it off and put it off until I have to find a home for more plants up there. Which I need to do soon, because I’m bringing home a hyacinth shortly from a class, and probably some more stuff later in the semester…though the stuff later on will be stashed in temporary homes (possibly outside, weather pending) until we move after graduation.

There are some neat residents of the windowsill of shame I’ve kept alive, though:

An African Violet rescue I made- poor thing was dying on a shelf in my boss’s office this summer, and has made a remarkable recovery, including one bloom and the new leaves you can see coming up in the middle. Not entirely sure what’s up with the leaves…they seem to be supposed to have that weird variegated margin.

Green onions I’ve kept alive from the grocery store. You wouldn’t believe how fast these guys get their roots out and get those tops up. Every couple days I’ve been trimming them down and freezing the choppings for later use, and they keep springing right back up. (Yes, I know- I’m not supposed to eat many of them. So I don’t, but I do still put about half the asked-for amount in recipes for the flavor)







Over on the right here is the only spider plant I’ve ever owned. Was a propagation from my intro to hort class, and it has never in all of its three years in my care produced baby spiders. And I’m not sure why. It has produced new leaves, as you can see by the one uncurling in the middle here.

Cut flowers, though- those I can keep alive for weeks and weeks. Guess my specialty is more care of the dying than maintenance of the healthy! I should just open a houseplant hospice; I’ve resurrected enough friends’ plants to know there’s a market for it.


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