Last week I wrote a column where I maybe came off like the Mother Teresa of house plants, like I’ve never thrown away a pot of sickly violets in my life. The truth is, my mate says he’s afraid to get sick around here for fear he too will get carted to the dump. So OK at one point in my life I did throw sick plants away, but it was years ago when I first started following the teachings of Thalassa Cruso, here pictured, who out and out recommended such measures: “Your gardenia will only disappoint past their bloomtime,” she’d say. “Treat the plant as cut flowers and toss it.”
So I did toss my gardenia plant, and other plants too. But now I can’t throw anything alive away. These days my sick houseplants come to what I call the ‘infirmary,’ which is any place in the house I walk by often, so I can see them and tend to them.
Last week all 30 plants came in from the porch for the winter. Two of the palms have spider mites and the gardenia plant, which by the way is is almost three years old and blossoms every spring is experiencing ‘leaf drop’ as it pines for the humid outdoors. I’m keeping it in the bathroom where I see it five times a day. As for the palms, they’re right here in the kitchen until I can take soap and water to every last inch of each little frond. Who knows though? They make the place look pretty cool right? Maybe they’ll stay here til spring! Anyway here are the sick palms as they look today just waiting for me and some Thursday night TV! (just out of sight to the left)