As I’ve mentioned in the last several posts, I have been struggling with the remains of some sort of sinus/bronchial illness since December 22. When I am “under the weather”, as the colloquialism goes, I tend to be less careful about all the personal hygiene routines. Okay, don’t freak – I shower and brush my teeth. *grin* I mean all those little extras in which some of us indulge: moisturizer routines, manicures, pedicures. I also tend to neglect my plants’ personal hygiene as well. I noticed yesterday morning that the plants in the kitchen window looked thirsty. That’s easily remedied. I put them all in the sink and ‘rained’ on them for a while with the sink spray. Today I realized that I’d also neglected the areca palms in the breakfast room. They’d been surviving there in the winter, but today I saw that two of the leaves had turned yellow. That’s not good. 😦 I watered them and made a note to myself (yes, a physical note up on the wall) to water them tomorrow. I hope I haven’t done irrevocable damage to them. I’d really like them to survive until I can move them back to the porch in May. The information I found online claims they can weather a little drought. I hope 2-3 weeks in a house with humidifiers counts as “little”.
I’ve been concerned about the palm tree I brought inside a few weeks ago. It does not look healthy. I’m not sure if it is getting too much light (from the grow lamp) or not enough light, not enough water, too much water, too cold near the window. It doesn’t look healthy and I’m not really sure what to do about it.
My first guess is not enough water because I water the plants inside maybe once a week, if that. The succulents seem fine with that schedule but maybe the palm needs more. They all got MUCH more water outside over the summer. I decided to take the pot and water it thoroughly and see if that was the issue. To do that I had to move the pot from where it is and put it into the sink or outside, because otherwise I’d flood the room. I managed to get it across the room and up and into the sink. Once there I watered it until the water ran out the bottom. It is sitting there now, draining.
I’m not sure I’m going to be able to get it OUT of the sink. 😦 Getting it up and over the counter and down into the sink was not simple – the pot weighs so much. I’m looking at it sitting there, and trying to figure out how I’m going to hoist it UP and back over the counter. It’s not looking promising.
As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I love my garden. I love flowers, I love growing herbs for cooking, I love the smell of greenery. I know that I have many bulbs I could dig up and winter-over, but it’s all too much effort at this point. At the same time I’m very happy come the fall and I can stop taking care of all of the plants. 🙂 Maybe some day (that oft-referenced, never-actioned retirement) I’ll be the kind of person to dig up bulbs and store them in the basement. That day is not today. I do, however, attempt to winter over the succulents. They are interesting and comparatively tidy. Even more relevant, however, is the fact that the cats appear to be uninterested in them. This year I also brought in one of the palm trees from the front porch. I’m not sure which species it is exactly, but I checked all of the ones that look like what I have and they were all okay for cats. I bought it at Home Depot so if anyone can put a better identification on it, that would be helpful.
When I had the kitchen updated a bit approximately 12 years ago, I added grow lights to the bay window. I had visions of starting plants from seeds, and growing herbs in the winter. I did some of that but not very much. Instead I’ve been using that area to winter-over the succulents. I started with succulents a few years ago after seeing the beautiful arrangements my sister made. I had one pot, and it was small enough that I could bring it in and out. Last year I expanded to another pot, a big one that was on a roller out front. It weighs a ton. My husband brought it in for me and we had it on the floor by the door to the deck. This year that location is no longer available so we had to lift it up to the window seat in the breakfast room bay window. Oh my, that thing is HEAVY. Two of the three palms had already died by the time we were moving the plants inside, but one of them still appeared to be salvageable. I pruned off all of the obviously brown and broken fronds and we brought that in as well.
The major problem with bringing the plants inside is the water. First I need to remember to water them. Second I need to remember not to over-water them and flood the shelf underneath. The pot in the kitchen is easy – not too big, not too heavy. The other 2 pots are extremely heavy and I thought they might crack anything that wasn’t metal or soft plastic. They are sitting on platters that function but are not aesthetically pleasing. My new kitchen and breakfast room are definitely about aesthetically pleasing. I’m on the hunt for some platter that is attractive, of the correct depth, and waterproof. And THAT’S why there is no picture of the base of the pots! I also moved a grow light into the breakfast room – you can see the pinkish light in the photo. I’m not sure that will be sufficient light for the succulents, but I hope it works. My memory tells me that the palm does NOT need direct sunlight (it was on the porch, after all), so I am hoping that it will have sufficient light from the window and what it gets from the grow light.
Many of my herbs winter-over with no assistance from me. The mint has been coming back for a few years as do the chives. Last year the thyme also managed to save a bit of itself. I take all of the big pots, take the flowers out and put them in the compost (or in the leaf bags) and put the now plant-less pots on the porch. Then I take whichever herbs have survived the frost and cold and place those pots as the second row. They line the railing so they can get whatever sun and rain comes their way. The chives seem to manage on this benign neglect so I put them in the corner where I hope they will get the most sun and rain. We’ll see how the others do. The pot with the rosemary and bay leaves is way too heavy to move. I’ve considered digging up those 2 plants and bringing them inside simply for the lovely smell. Maybe if I get super ambitious this weekend I’ll do that. But if past performance is any indicator of future earnings – probably not that likely. 🙂
And now for the obligatory cat photo. GC was all curled up on the couch. She meowed a few times but obliged me by staying in that spot. She’s such a sweet girl.