Thursday, December 9, 2010

In time for the holidays

I inherited this Christmas cactus about three years ago. I've kept it in my dining room and it thrived but never bloomed.  Until this year.  This year I did something drastically different.

I left it alone.  Honest.  I put it outside on the deck (along with Mr. Rubber Plant) and didn't even water it.  It sat out there from late May until mid-October and I never even gave it a second thought.

I'm wondering if I should take this approach with all my gardening: total abandonment.  I know we mulched heavily this year and did nothing else, and guess what?  Everything thrived except the weeds.

We had this gardening "epiphany" a few years back with Mr. Rubber Plant.  A former boss at the Big Yellow Box gave everyone in the department a plant.  I don't even remember what my plant was, but a co-worker retired and didn't want her plants and I inherited them, including Mr. Rubber Plant.

Mr. Rubber Plant was not happy moving to Ivy Bend.  He sat in the dark dining room for a year or two and lost all but four leaves.  So we figured what the hell and one summer day tossed him out on the deck.  He THRIVED!  Right now Mr. Rubber Plant has about 100 leaves.  Once outside, he seems to think he's returned to his native land where it's hot, humid, and rains far too much.

About the 4th of July, Mr. Rubber Plant notices he's back outside and says "Zowie!" and grows another 5-20 leaves.   When we bring him in for the winter, he becomes depressed.  Several leaves turn orange and he drops them on the rug for me to pick up.  He doesn't understand that winter would kill him, and he pines at the window as he reaches for the deck outside his wintry prison.

Kinda makes you want to shed a tear, doesn't it?

Yes, I think I'll abandon all my house plants to the elements in the summer.  Why not if I can get gorgeous blooms like these, eh?