It has been a little over a month since I got my Fiddle Leaf Fig. I strategically placed it six feet away from my east-facing window (in reality that was the only spot I could put it in without Josh or I tripping over it). However, it loves it there! I've been watering it only when the soil feels dry to the touch. I've misted the leaves a couple of times and have carefully polished them with some "Miracle Grow Leaf Shine." I have two baby leaves peeking out of the top of one of the stalks and I could not be happier.
I was very hesitant fearing I will kill the tree, but I decided to add some fertilizer to the soil I bought the fertilizer at my local greenhouse and used only a teaspoon and a half for its 14" pot. I mixed it into the top 2 inches of soil and watered the plant with about half a gallon of water. Today the weather is sunny and 76 degrees, so the tree is out on the patio draining. Lets hope it lives!
What does a plant-obsessed nurse do when the weather hits seventy degrees in February? He immediately runs to the local nursery to buy a new plant! Today, I begged Josh to ride with me to Pike's Nursery in Ballantyne in order to find a plant for my white ceramic pot. I had bad luck with a Christmas Rosemary, and it was my very first plant casualty. Cause of death: root rot and some whitish-bug-fly-thing infestation. I'm not too remorseful (my friend Anna has a gorgeous rosemary that is maybe 6" shy of being a tree; maybe she'll give me a cutting). Anyway, we get to Pike's and I'm immediately tachycardic and short of breath from all the gorgeous plants. I promised Josh he could pick out the plant he wanted so I held back from grabbing a dwarf juniper tree to contrast against the white pot, even though I made him look at it and consider buying it. His face totally says "No," so we continue walking through the many greenhouses they have there. I look over and spot a Fiddle Leaf Fig and almost die from surprise at how tall it is! I swear it's 10 feet tall and stretches about six feet (Here's a pic)
How would you even get that home without snapping it's fragile trunk? Even if you could, you'd have to fork out the $400 they are asking for it. I'll stick with my baby Fiddle Leaf Fig and hope it make it to that height. So, we continue sliding through the different rows of plants with Josh picking out something ugly and me scrunching up my nose so he quickly puts it down until he looks at a Bromeliad and wants to get it. At this point I'm sweating and thirsty from the humidity inside the greenhouse, and I'm like "Sure! But we need a filler to go around it." We get a recommendation for some 'Pilea' and head to check out. Of course after I pay the woman at the register tells me that they only live once and die! How can I buy a plant that dies!? I need one that lives forever! I look over a Josh and he's already made his connection to this already-dying plant, so we head home to plant it. I have now researched the heck out of Bromeliads, and not only do they die, but you have to raise their offspring! Where on Earth am I going to raise baby Bromeliads with the now twelve other plants in this apartment? I guess we could always get rid of the dining room table...
Nevertheless, I think he made a good decision, and the Pilea look so cute dangling from the edges of the pot. I placed rocks around the base to hold it upright and keep the soil from pouring out when I watered it. Stay tuned for the birth of baby "pups" as they are called!
Today was freezing cold with a high of only 45 degrees and windy! It was my first day off after a grueling three days in three different ICUs (I'm orienting to a new job as a float pool ICU nurse). Well, with no laundry or dishes to do, I decided to go to Home Depot to buy yet another. damn. plant. Seriously guys, I need an intervention. I talked to the staff as they were hurriedly moving plants inside due to the upcoming freeze, and I was turned down at the thoughts of planting a Juniper into a pot. Not only that, but I couldn't find a good pot to contrast with the deep blue color of the foliage. I had just about given up hope that I was buying anything, when a group of twigs caught my eye. I walked over to these bare sticks and knew I had to have one. Lo and behold, a tag with a beautiful Japanese Maple, Inaba Shidare, was attached to one of its branches. I lugged it to the checkout counter along with a 14" terra cotta pot and took it home.
It looks absolutely awful right now, but there are tons of little baby buds just waiting to burst out. I sent a picture to my friend Brittany and the response I got back was "You bought a twig." Well, you're dang right I bought a twig! You can't see it from the picture, but the trunk is very green with some rich purple coloring to it. Can it be April already?
Today my long-awaited (actually I ordered the plant two days ago) arrival of my Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata) is here! I stalked the UPS website every twenty minutes fearing the worst as my plant made its way from Fort Myers, Florida to Charlotte, North Carolina. Seeing the UPS truck pull in, my heart began to race! I opened the door to find two crushed up boxes sitting on my stoop. My heart sank. I reluctantly pulled them inside knowing that my plants - I had also ordered a jumbo fern - would be crushed to smithereens.....
Boy was I wrong! Not only did they survive the trip, they were thriving! I ripped open the boxes and got those suckers out as fast as I could! My pots needed a plant to fill them, and these were going to look amazing!
Here are a few pics of the finished product.
Now time to watch him grow!
How does one become obsessed with plants? I guess everyone has their reasons. Mine happened when my Gram, who can grow just about anything, offered to let me have one of her three ponytail palms. I was hesitant, but decided to give it a shot. This was August 6, 2016. Now I have collected nine additional plants in less than five months. Obsessed? I'd say so.
This little ponytail palm is actually a couple of years old! Its exact age is unknown. I did lots of research on caring for one, and after watching it stop producing new shoots of hair and its existing hair turn brown, I feared I had killed it. I honestly think it takes a near plant-death experience for someone to truly unlock their green thumb. I took my sad pony outside and pulled it from its caked up soil. Water was literally sitting in the bottom of the barrel (there are no drainage holes in this particular pot). I told my partner Josh that we had to buy a new pot and new soil immediately. We jumped in the car and sped off to the plant hospital, the local Home Depot. We selected a cute, but rather large, ceramic pot (with a huge drainage hole) and some Miracle Grow cactus, succulent, and citrus potting soil. I read that the bulbous base of the ponytail palm needs to sit on top of the soil, for this is where the water is held - plus that's how they look in all the pictures I had seen online. So I did just that.
You can see in the picture how much dirt is caked to the top of the ponytail palm (click on the pic for full size). It had somehow survived my torrential downpours of water for over two months (I feel terrible). Time to let this pup dry out and continue growing.