I have a confession to make. I am a serial killer of plants. Not intentionally, of course, but any plant that ever came to live in my home eventually died. The only reason I would ever need topsoil, would be to bury a plant and put a little “Rest in Peace” sign on top.
As a female, it seems I am expected to have the instinctive ability to bring the outdoors in, and make the leafy species flourish happily. But for some reason they all croak on me. It isn’t that I am not domesticated. I cook with passion, I am a perfectionist about cleaning, and my animals live a long time, but beware foliage!
One of the saddest slaughterings I recall was when my boss gave me a beautiful blue flowery number as a gift. (Unfortunately, I have never been able to keep flowers alive long enough to remember the name of the species.) I did not dare leave the plant on my desk, because my boss did not need to know he had given the plant a death sentence. Death by Linda Marie! I looked at the plant and gave it a two-week survival estimate, but to my own surprise, I killed that plant before I got it home that day! Record time! It was hot outside, and since my car did not have air conditioning, I had the passenger window open. When I looked at the poor plant in the back seat, all of the 50 billion little flower peddles had fallen off and scattered all over the seat and the floor. I gave the plant a quick burial in a parking lot dumpster.
Then there are the cacti varieties. “It is hard to kill cactus.” You say? Leave it to me! I know more ways to kill cactus then a US Navy SEAL. I have given them too much sun, too little sun, too little soil, too much water, and even too little water. Cacti are hardy enough to withstand sand storms, droughts, floods, and other harsh natural conditions in the desert, but bring one to my house, and it will die.
The cool thing about succulent plants is they always let you know when to water them. One day they look fine, and the next day the leaves droop down to the floor. It is like they are screaming out, “Hello Bozo! This is it! I am a goner! Please water me now!” Those are messages that I can see. That kind of plant lets me know it needs me. It speaks to my caretaker instinct. The succulent plant knows how to ask me for something. My nurturing, domesticating impulses are being nudged, but unfortunately, I have unwittingly off-ed plenty of succulents too, despite their ability to adapt to indoor living.
The longest living plant I have ever had was a bamboo branch. It was not even a whole plant with roots buried in soil, but it must count for something, right? The first bamboo branch I had lived two years in an unlit bathroom. I only needed to change the water every three months. Now there is a strong, low maintenance plant I can keep alive for a while. I just put it in a glass vase with pretty glass “stones.” I changed the water and cleaned the stones every 3 months, and it took two whole years to kill it.
Today the plant kingdom can take a sigh of relief, because I do not have any plants, and I don’t plan to get anymore. No plants are on death row. No leafy green species are living on borrowed time at my house. I live in a condo, so no trees, shrubs or grass are endangered. The closest thing to a plant that I have is in a rock filled piece of pottery on my balcony. In it are five brightly colored, decorative, metal flowers. I suppose they could rust if I get careless, but so far so good. They are still alive.