Posted by: Erin | August 12, 2009

I Am A Bad Plant Mama

So, I went away for a week and left my plants outside. I did consider bringing them inside before I left, but I found a white spider on my zinnias, and decided I could not handle the idea of potentially bringing bugs into my apartment. (I’ve already killed three creepy-crawlies in the last few days, so I didn’t want to bring in any more.) I did bring the basil inside, though, and left it to hang out in my bathroom sink because that I knew would never make it, regardless of the one predicted day of ridiculous heat/humidity.

I watered the plants as best I could before I left (indoor and out), including the basil that was inside, and prayed. When I got home yesterday, I discovered some very sick looking plants. My moonflower looked like it normally does after a hot day, just a bit droopy and sad. The sunflowers were looking a little worse than droopy. The Burpee zinnias looked awful, but potentially salvageable, with a lot of water. The Ferry Morse zinnias, on the other hand, I thought might be bad: the top leaves were totally droopy, and the bottom leaves were looking a bit crispy. I watered them all profusely and went about my business. (And yes, I really did walk in the door, drop my stuff, then go check on my plants.) The daylily was, of course, totally fine and still flowering.

Fortunately, after a few hours, most of the plants seemed to perk up. The moonflower was first, followed by the sunflowers. The Burpee zinnias looked okay a little after that, but the Ferry Morse ones were still looking bad. I figured if I only lost one planter while I was gone, that wasn’t a bad track record, though they looked as if they’d been close to flowering, so I was hoping they’d be okay. We got a good bout of rain last night, too, so I think between my watering and that, the plants revived. By this morning, the Ferry Morse zinnias looked much better. The bottom leaves still look a little fried, but on the whole, I think they’ll make it.

The basil was okay, as it had been inside. Since this is my fourth basil planting this summer and the first one to start to resemble actual basil, I didn’t want to chance it being outside. But as pleased as I was to see the basil doing okay when I got in, I was shocked at how truly awful my smaller peace lily looked. The peace lilies live inside, and I watered them (and all my other indoor plants) really well before I left, so this was a surprise. The bigger one looked only vaguely droopy, so I couldn’t figure out why the small one looked so wretched. I swear, it looked at me as if to say “WHY?! WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME!?” After two heavy waterings and a night, it’s back to normal now. I just don’t understand why it looked so bad and then why it took so long to bounce back. All the other indoor plants are fine, mercifully.

The pothos appears to have even more new growth, so I think perhaps this weekend, I will try to take a cutting from it. I’ve been meaning to try that, but I didn’t want to start a new planting right before being gone for a few days. The pink/orange Christmas cactus is showing signs of new leaves, too. I wish the yellow one would – it’s still alive, but it seems so blah.

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