House Plants Hate Me
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where nary a green thumb is to be found! For someone who loves the plant world so much, I have a terrible time when it comes to growing anything containing a cell wall.
Just before Christmas, a posh box arrived from my sister-in-law. She's in the chips and always sends a thoughtful gift. This year it was an amaryllis bulb, with potting soil, directions, and a cute little basket to grow it in.
I followed the directions, except I was confused about the sunlight. What is "diffused sunlight," anyway? So I looked up pictures of amaryllis on the Web, and they were almost all sitting in windowsills (or growing outside). So I sat mine next to my bed, watered it a bit, and waited for the pretty flower.
To my astonishment, the thing actually did start to grow, which in and of itself was a miracle.
Almost eight weeks later, it's still growing. And growing. And growing. The leaves are about 18 inches long, some longer. A stalk has appeared with a bud on it. This stalk is also about 18 inches tall -- and growing. And not opening.
The plant is in a sunny window. I put it by my bed because otherwise it would meet the same fate as every other house plant I've ever brought home -- a slow death from dehydration. At the same time I feel like I'm being sized up for the kill by a Plantzilla. The long, sharp leaves are reaching out toward me. The stubborn stem is shut tight as an angry clam.
I just looked again at Google images, and there's a sadist out there who watered his amaryllis with nothing but vodka. And the thing bloomed.
Why do house plants hate me? If it wasn't for silk arrangements, there would be no flowers in my life at all.