8 Plants and How to Kill Them - Part 2
A love of gardening doesn’t necessarily translate into a green thumb. In fact, sometimes the greatest lovers of the flora are actually serial murderers when it comes to the plants in their care. Buckle up for the exciting conclusion and to learn from Meghan and Elyse’s mistakes!
Aloe - E
My grandmother had so many of these she would repot them and give them away as gifts whenever she had the chance. She taught me to “soak” the plant once a month, i.e., just leaving them in the sink for 20 minutes with water running to get them nice and hydrated without worrying about spillage. When they are finished dripping, you put them back in their plant hangers and voila, a happy aloe plant with heavy leaves that grandma would break off to use on your sunburn after a day in the pool. After killing several of my own aloe plants this way, I attempted to water them in a regular manner. When that didn’t work, I tried full on neglect, which interestingly, has kept them alive the longest! I still have some hanging on for dear life in too-small pots and I can’t remember when they were last watered. I’m scared to even touch them.
Fig Tree - M
Anyone who has ever walked the grounds at Historic Kenmore has probably noticed the huge fig trees that grow there. Those trees are a favorite of mine, so I decided to try growing one. 7 years later, I had produced exactly one fig. And while the tree was not actually dead, it was tiny and very close to its end. In this case, I know exactly what the problem was: groundhogs. A family of them moved in under my garden shed, and apparently they love figs as much as I do. Not so much the fruit, but the leaves and even the branches. I tried building a fence, then a cage, then covering in netting. Nothing could dissuade these furry invaders. But they sure are cute. So in the end, it was my soft spot for cute animals that killed my fig tree.
Philodendrons - E
This one is embarrassing, on multiple levels. One big, beautiful philodendron was gifted to me by a friend who had several and wanted to pare down. This plant was in great shape. I thought, “You know, such an established plant might be able to survive my brown thumb, let’s give it a shot”. That was until I left it outside for some rain and sunshine in August like good plant parents do. However, good plant parents usually don’t leave them out there until November. Sorry Judy…
In conclusion: If you aren’t killing plants, you aren’t gardening hard enough! If at first you don’t succeed…
Meghan Budinger and Elyse Adams are shameless plant murderers and do not work at Downtown Greens for obvious reasons.
This article was published in the March 2023 edition of Front Porch Magazine. To view the full publication use the link below.