Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Remembrances of the Green Thumb

Having worked twenty-plus years as an interior plantscape maintenance tech, I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I have a green thumb! Hardly a week would go by that someone didn't ask for advice on the care of houseplants. People are naturally curious about the tech that's poking around in the plants at the doctor's office and a discussion about what they're doing is the perfect way to pass the time while waiting to be called back.

My most frequent questions were about: Watering, fertilization, repotting, and the #1 question, "How do you get the leaves so shiny?" I can still visualize amazement on the faces of onlookers when I pulled out my super, duper plant polish and started spraying the leaves and wiping to a near mirror like finish! (I personally, don't like shiny leaves, but to each his own, I guess.) The next question would always be, "Where can I get some of that?"........and there's always, "I received a plant when my grandmother died, how can I keep it alive?" That's always a tricky one because you hope that your advice doesn't lead to the demise of "grandma's plant".......

Location! Location! Location! It was most likely the cause of the majority of losses of houseplants. People tend to buy plants they like, regardless of the space that they will be occupying. Ficus, though it may be beautiful in that dark corner, won't be for long! My best advice was and is to research the requirements for a particular species and plan the location accordingly...... With research, you too can have a green thumb!


From the Heart said...

Oh, it's so good to see you posting again. Our neighbor across from us gave us a poinsetta for Christmas and she said give it a cup of water every day (she said that's what the directions said). I thought I would drown it but I've put it near a window in our living room and that thing just keeps putting out leaves. They go from brown to green and then turn red. I have never been able to keep one alive. The way this one looks it might still be here next Christmas.

FlowerLady said...

What a treat to see a posting of yours.

I have not had good luck with houseplants, but I sure enjoy working outside with my flowers.

Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady