Plant lovers know plants make the best gifts. You simply cannot have enough plants and there is always room to add “just one more” plant to the mix. This can drive the non-plant people in your life up the wall. Dodging bags of soil, large pots that don’t quite fit where we want them and that little matter of dealing with watering them in the winter – especially those really big pots that no one wants to move – is challenging to say the least. Usually I put saucers under my pots – but some of my pots – especially the larger or odd-shaped ones – are a bit harder to find saucers for. These require that someone move them into the bathtub at least once a month so I can shower them down.
Yes, I use the shower on my plants. It removes dust from their leaves, adds humidity for a short time and does a very good job of hydrating the soil. After I drench them for about 10 minutes four to six times, I allow the pots to sit in the tub for several hours to drain. I always end up tracking drops of water through the house when I get ready to move them back into their winter home, but those drops of water are easy to wipe up because I have a wood floor.
Yesterday another box of plants arrived. A friend had told me that another friend had the Heliconia ‘Lobster Claw’ that I so adore. I had this plant once, then lost it when my greenhouse was damaged by hail. I was so upset that I gave up trying to replace my lost plants. I was heartbroken because all the rare plants I loved and had worked so hard to keep alive died. In that one night I lost various bananas, heliconias, gingers, the true nutmeg, clove, a vanilla orchid, my Theobroma plants, a dwarf ylang-ylang and so much more. The only plants that survived were the ones in the house.
I kept those plants going but never stopped longing for the ones I used to have. I tried to focus on plants that would thrive here in Indiana but it just wasn’t the same. Winters were awful without my greenhouse – and I missed the fragrant, often brightly colored blooms. I was lost – and so – last spring I began to propagate a few seeds of tropical plants once again. Growing plants from seed takes time and patience, but I knew if I could get them into large pots and outside this summer they would take off – and they did – but – what about those plants I didn’t have seeds for? Well – ordering plants is very expensive – and if you live in the right climate many of these plants multiply quickly – so I needed to locate some of my friends again and see what they would be willing to share.
I drug my feet. Fall came. Then I started going back over my old blog posts, updating the information, changing the photos and sharing the links on social media. This was how I found out that Robert had the Heliconia I wanted. The next step was to contact him and see if he would be willing to send me a start – which he was – and he sent a whole box of cool plants to go along with it! Opening that box made my day yesterday! I can’t thank him enough! From one plant lover to another – plants make the best gifts!