Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I think "green." Aside from conserving water, paper, recycling, and using the swirly energy-saver bulbs -- though they don't illuminate reading material as well as old fashioned bulbs do -- I have a "green" thumb.

Oh dear, alas ... the Bonsai plant that the producers gave my husband, John, on the opening night of his show, is sitting on the bench in my hallway, under the bright fluorescent in the ceiling. It is not doing well. It probably had a bad trip when John brought it home from the theater last week in a plastic grocery bag.

The soil was dry. Some of the tiny dark green leaves had already turned brown.

I've been greeting it in the morning. I feel the soil and RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO WATER IT. (Over watering is a plant Mother's greatest weakness.)

I use my fingers to brush the dead leaves away from the slender trunk, and flick -- oh, ever so lightly -- at any leaf that looks suspiciously tired.

Midday, when I go upstairs for more coffee, because I need a break, I spray it lightly, very minimally, but where spray is needed. A plant needs tender love and care.

I'll be tender loving, caring for it for a year or so. And even when it gets bedraggled, and its days are numbered, I won't throw it out. It's part of my life -- like the fish in our fish tanks. When a fish died, I missed it, mourned it for days. (I still miss George, our pike, and Goldy our year-old goldfish. )

What should I do?


Ty said...

I understand your concern...but it looks in good health to me.
The soil should be kept a little damp...not overwatered and never allowed to sit with its feet in water.

They like to be fed rainwater and sprayed with a fine mist of rainwater on the leaves dailyif you can and kept in a window but out of direct sunlight usually... They do like to spend some time outside too you know....( you could take it for a walk! lol)

What kind of plant is it..an Azalea maybe? You can tweak out any of the longer stems to keep the tree compact and they need to be re potted every year or so have their roots trimmed as well and given some new soil....there are lots of books on Bonsai...As you love to hover over your plants you are a PERFECT bonsai keeper... you just need to have more of them so you can spread the love.
Happy bonsaiing Emily xx TY

Kevin Daly said...

The only plant my mother was ever interested in keeping was cactus. She hasn't a green thumb, doesn't care for the azaleas or crocus in the front lawn. But she likes a cactus and has had several over the past 20 years (I think it's because they are low maintenance).

Right now her current one is about seven years old. She waters it every so often and only gets upset if anyone moves it away from its own lamp.

I think there's hope for your Bonsai yet. I hope you get some expert opinions on how to take care of it!

Linda Phillips said...

Two of my favorite and most caring people Em and Ty!!!!! Love you both dearly.

I used to have a gazzillion plants but now I am down to a handful and all are very, very resitent.... I also have fantastic light in my living room where all but one plant dwells.

I would love a Bonsai, but a plant requiring that much care is now out of my repetiore. I have 2 hanging Hoyas that I have had for about 25 years and a few other very undemadnding plants.

Succulents are tricky..ie: Cactus...lots of light and very little watering....

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