Friday, May 27, 2011

The Curse of the Black Thumb

Fact: I have a track record of killing every plant I come in contact with.

Back in March, I bought four lovely succulent plants at the Philadelphia Flower Show. I was determined to break my killing streak and prove that I could keep a plant alive just like any other normal person. Since March, I have been too afraid to move the plants from the containers they came in. I was worried that just touching them the wrong way would result in their spontaneous combustion. I'm only moderately joking, but I don't have a green thumb, I have more of a black thumb.

After months of reading up on what it takes to properly replant and keep a succulent alive, as well as gathering all the necessary materials, I finally put on my big girl pants and decided that today was the day for replanting. I had the four plants that I managed to keep alive for the past several months which is a feat in and of itself. There were a few times where I was a bit worried, but they all have pulled through like champs. I bought these three containers from Three Potato Four here in Philly. It is one of my favourite shops, and I am sure you will see other finds of mine from there in the future. If you are in the area and ever have a chance to attend one of their Barn Sales, GO. You can thank me later.

I bought some pea pebbles to put on the bottom of the containers for drainage, and some potting soil specifically for cacti and succulents. As soon as I finished setting up a workspace for myself in the porch, I dove in. I lost a few pieces off of one of the small green ones. (How bad is that, I don't even know what type of succulents they are...) I took a deep breath though and told myself that one or two "leaves" lost weren't going to kill it.

The whole process went fairly quickly and painlessly. I did everything exactly as all the instructional videos, step by step photos and tutorials on the internet told me. Once the plants were safely in their new planters and none of them showed any signs of wanting to die immediately I breathed a sigh of relief. I would like to think that they enjoy their new spaces. There is room to stretch out their roots, and lots of nutritious new dirt to explore.

Maybe I am being a bit too sentimental about it. I am just excited I not only kept my plants alive for three months, but that I also replanted them into beautiful new containers without incident. Trust me, when it comes to me and plants, there is ALWAYS room for incidents. I wonder if this means I am finally starting to break my plant killing cycle... One can hope!

Now I just need to find a good place to keep them. I watered them thoroughly after planting so they should survive when I inevitably forget to water them for two weeks. I think they will probably end up on my vanity dresser. They would bring some great color to it, and look really nice among the other items I have displayed there. Not to mention that it is conveniently placed next to a big window, so they will have all the sunshine they need.

So what do you think? Not bad for a first try at caring for a plant right? I'm thinking that my next project will be a terrarium. Terrariums share a lot of the same characteristics as succulents that I hope will allow me to be successful in keeping them alive a long time.
- They don't need to be watered all the time.
- They thrive when you ignore them and don't fuss over them too much.
- They travel well if you need to move.
- My dogs won't try and eat them.
- They grow slowly and don't need to be replanted often.
- They will survive the heat and the cold.

Looks like I might need to make another trip to Three Potato Four to find the perfect terrarium container.... Hmm...

1 comment:

in metal jewelry said...

oh a terrarium! i have been wanting to make one with my son lately. i had one what seems like a lifetime ago and it was so fun!