Anything Lime

My green thumb is looking a little brown these days

During their mid-October visit, my good friends Aimee and Christine took notice to all the outrageous things on my dream board. We bonded over the fact that the Magic Bullet is obviously the greatest thing EVER created and it’s impossible to watch the infomercial and not want it.

So for my birthday, Aimee sent me something she knew had been on their for months – a sarracenia leucophylla, more commonly known as a pitcher plant.

When I got my little seedling in the mail, it seemed easy enough. I planted her in a shimmery turquoise bowl in some healthy potting soil. Strike one.

Actually, maybe strike one was giving her too powerful a name. I chose to call her Pomona Jubilee. Pomona because it means “powers that protect orchards and gardens” because, duh, she eats bugs. And Jubilee because I tend to come up with extravagant names for my plants and they’ve grown incredibly well, so I wanted to stick with what works. I’m not certain she started wilting because of her name, but I admit I could have gone with Jill or something. Ok, not Jill, but you get it.


I also decided that the climate control system in place with this plant was my sense of hot and cold and my impulsive decisions as to when she should go out, when she should come in, where she should be displayed, and so on. Little did I know that she is a finicky plant that needs to be slowly acclimated to the changes in temperature. What a fricken baby.

Apparently what Princess needs is extremely moist moss, not potting soil. In fact, potting soil is packed full of nutrients. AND THIS PLANT HATES NUTRIENTS! Nothing like nutrients to ruin your day. Needless to say, we have nothing in common. But I’ve continued singing to her with the hope that she’ll forget about our differences and just be a good plant. One that doesn’t need to live in a rare form of long moss cut into one-centimeter pieces. And the bottom of her habitat, she prefers sand. WITH ALL THE SALT REMOVED. She drinks only rain water and needs 16 to 18 hours of sunlight each day. Going back to the point of the name, I’m considering “Snob.” I think it suits her.

So last night Patrick and I ventured out and spent hours looking for a terrarium, yes, you heard me, A FRICKEN TERRARIUM to house my innocent little Snob. Her beautiful color has faded and she’s begun growing brown patches. I’ve spent the past two days sitting at my desk poring over all the research I can find about sarracenia leucophylla plants er… doing my work… and I discovered that the brown patches might be because of fungus. Not only does she prefer water with NO minerals or gases, but her pot has to have an ample drainage system so the water doesn’t sit. Apparently my breed of plant is more susceptible to fungus and root rot than any other carnivorous plant. Had I paid better attention to the shipping label, I would have seen that she came from

Two hardware stores and a few closed nurseries later, we settled for one bag full of moss and another full of sand. We headed to Whole Foods to pick up dinner, and I spotted a whole congregation of pitcher plants potted outside the store. They looked huge and happy and healthy. Rather than spend money experimenting with glass enclosures and mirrors and anti-fungal spray, I decided to take a different route. I decided to surround her with a family of plants that was obviously harboring positive energy.

I pulled her out of the poison potting soil and gave her roots a bath. Her rhizome, or root base, looked a little brownish in color, but still felt firm. I nicked off a little piece and saw that it was bright white underneath. She was alive. After potting her with the moss and her new family (which believe it or not remains nameless) she looks as though she’s doing better.

Watching my plant gives me a strange perspective about life and a sense of peace. I feel like an observer always examining her and learning to understand the stages of her development. I hope this is the first of many years I can watch her continue to grow. Because, yes, it takes her years to reach maturity. Four to six years. Weirdest plant ever.


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  1. * samza says:

    I like julibee-diamond verymuch

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 5 months ago

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