Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Easy Care! Duh! I Killed a Plant ( Get a Free Plant from your neighbors: Ottawa Plant Cycle)

The Art of Killing a Houseplant (over water it!)

Kalanchoe (from the Crassulacea Family)

Many plant labels at the big box store has labels like "easy care", or even tons of internet information tells you it is an easy plant. 
And when you went and buy one, it lasted few weeks and it died on you. 
Now, so much for that easy care, huh? Maybe it was my black nails or black thumb?

Actually, it is not. I am a crazy gardener, and I have killed lots of voilets.It is never easy to restrain yourself from over watering your plant. At the end of the day, you have this routine of checking out your plant and since the morning water evaporated already, there you are with a watering can. (ops! I did it again! ) And of course, you forgot that while you were having coffee this morning, you look at your plant, and you said " oh, i got a minute to water this baby!".

Another one too is adaptation. Plant are grown in warm greenhouses, and shipped or delivered to walmart where it is nice and cool. It may look nice for days, but plant will wilt eventually trying to cope with change. And seem to be sneezing and coughing too with cooler weather in fall? Sounds familiar?

Plant need to adopt to the new environment (temperature and light), and if not, they die. As you bring that baby from Walmart,Home Depot, Loblaws, and then your plant look sleepy and droppy, it's probably sensing it's new home.  You think, " gee I need to water it. " Oh yeah, (ops! you did that again! ) If the plant you bring home is from the Crassulacea family - from warm sandy humid dessert, you are slowly moving that plant to the compost bin. 

The plant is sleepy, sort of jet lagged, and NO NO NO, the plant do not need water, put that watering can down! The plant is trying to adopt to your home temperature after being shipped from warm greenhouse, cool Walmart and your nice cozy home. 
Leave the plant to adjust, and do not water. Talk to the plant and welcome him/her to the home, introduce family members, and soon the plant will perk up to life. 
Crassula Ovata ( Common name: Jade plant, money tree)

 So here are the tips if you care: 
1. do not over water your plant. It enjoys conversation about the weather, but it will rot with too much water. 
2. easy on a new plant. let it adjust to your home, and put that watering can down. 
But I really want to have a houseplant? is the good news. You can have it for free, if you promise me you won't over water the poor plant. 

If you live in Ottawa ( that's right, Canada's capital city if you please),  or nearby Ottawa, ON, we have a local Ottawa Gardening Friends (OGF)group, some people have too much plant (like me), or are redesigning their landscape. Contact me to join, we also give away seeds for the season.
You will get lucky and become the owner of a plant .....and let me know how i goes. 

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