This blog originally appeared on the Roses of Prose, May 22.
|Gift of hibiscus plant, 2014|
Anyway, most of my friends and family know of this disability of mine, and they work around it. But about a year ago, I received a gorgeous hibiscus plant (see left photo) from someone close to me (who should have known better!).
After three or four months, under my well-meaning nurturing, it was near dead–droopy, mottled and infested with spider mites. (When I saw the little cobwebs between the leaves, I thought, “Wow, you really ARE a lousy housekeeper! Even your plants get cobwebs! And when I found out they were from bugs…ewwwwww.
|Photo representative of my plant’s plight|
I immediately quarantined it to keep the little bast—bugs from jumping onto its neighbor, my prized African violet…which I haven’t yet managed to kill. (Another success story I’ll tell you about another time.)
I was desolate, despondent! So I turned to Google and found a site that said the ONLY true solution to spider mites is to give the plant a bath. Yes, a bath…in the bathtub (something I hadn’t given myself, in the bathtub, that is, in years)!
So off I went to bathe my hibiscus, expecting the poor thing would die a slow and painful death. But amazingly, it worked. Now look at it. It’s growing like crazy! (Check out the yardstick measurement!)
The other day I was bemoaning the fact that although it seems really healthy now, there are still no blossoms…at which point I turned again to Google, and according to what I found, it might not be getting enough sunlight. So I put the plant on my patio during the day over the weekend, and it got a couple long days of soaking up the rays. No buds yet, but the leaves are brilliant green and shiny (and still not a “cobweb” in sight)! Maybe my plant curse has lifted, I thought!
This year I received a beautiful geranium from the same person who gave me a hibiscus. Flush (and cocky) with the success of the hibiscus, I decided to let the geranium do some sunbathing as well. After all, according to my Google research, they like the full sun, and they’re drought tolerant.
But I think I’ve struck again! After one measly afternoon sharing the patio in the sun, the plant’s buds withered, and the edges of the leaves turned a sickly yellow. Some leaves turned completely yellow. UGH. And the pot felt really light.
I immediately brought it back inside and turned to Google. It seems the yellowed leaves mean not enough water…or too much. Aaaaaaah! So I gave it some water, but I think it might be too late! So far it hasn’t recovered.
I give up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the person who gave me the plant doesn’t ask about its health. Less than a week. This is a new record for me!
If you’re the praying type, please add my plant to your list…it needs it!