Monday, February 9, 2009

January 2009 Martha | The Root of the Matter

I've killed more plants than I'd like to admit. By no means do I know the first thing about keeping life flowing through green veins. Despite the fact that my mom is one of the most dedicated gardeners I know, somehow I think her green thumb skipped a generation.

As a killer of plants, the Gardening section of January's Martha Stewart Living appealed to me, presenting several cures for what ails our houseplants with simple illustrated diagnoses. One plant I've managed to keep alive is an ivy I've had for about a year now. I know: HUGE deal. Absolutely amazing. Since bringing it inside this winter after a summer of wonderful growth, however, I literally fear for its life. I expected a slowing of growth, but it's starting to discolor a bit and has some tiny springs shooting up from its based, something I've determined to be a last ditch effort on my ivy's part to not kick the bucket. My diagnosis: pot/root bound.

It's hardly rocket science, but the article encouraged me to actually do something about my dear plant, rather than walking by it every day, casting a bitter, confused look in its direction, and wondering if the problem would magically correct itself without my help.

The article reads, "Pot Bound Symptoms Growth slows, and flowering may stop (although some plants, such as cacti, flower best when slightly pot bound). Roots protrude from drainage hole. Plant or plantlets fill entire pot. Solutions Remove from pot; separate any offshoots if necessary. Place into one larger pot, or, if divided, several smaller pots."

What do you think? Like I said, not rocket science. I had a larger pot that matched the small one, so now I think there is plenty of room for it to grow and hopefully flourish. Tomorrow's temperature is supposed to be a whopping 60 degrees, so I think I'll let my little ivy out for some fresh air. Stay with me, you sweet thing, and I'll try my hardest not to kill you. It will mean the world to me if you can survive.

9 comments:

Melissa said...

Sounds like you and I - and our gardener mothers - have something in common. I cannot keep a plant alive for anything in the world, though I'm sure it's simply that I don't understand the basics about what each unique plant needs to thrive. Here's hoping your ivy hangs on and flourishes under your care!

Jen said...

The only time I've ever been able to keep plants alive is when I had a roommate who grew up in the plant nursery her father ran. I really want to have an actual garden one day, hopefully I'll do better with that than with houseplants.

Noodles said...

OMG. I'm like some kind of serial, patholical plant murderer. What's that, botanscide? Anyway, props to you!

Amy and Andrew said...

I just think it's great to be thinking about plants and green, living things in February! I hope your ivy enjoys the fresh air tomorrow!

Amy said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Keep us updated.

Erika said...

I'm also extremely proud of the plant I've managed to keep alive for a year. I hope this is a sign of things to come because I just planted 7 herbs and veggies yesterday that I hope to not kill long enough to actually use them.

carol said...

60 degrees!?

what kind of nonsense is this? i want 60!

The Lindahl News said...

You GROW, Girl!

Barb Hungerford said...

I have one I suspect is root bound, but I would have to break the pot to get it out. It is a hand-made pot and I love it. Help?!