Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Weekly Recommendations, Week 45: Watering Your Plants

I have talked to many people who claim to have a black thumb. They tell me that they can’t manage to keep any plants alive. Every plant entrusted to their care ends up dying, and they can’t figure out why. However, the reality is that they probably either just forgot to water their plants or they watered them too much. This is because most plants require very little care to keep alive, but all plants need water, some more than others. This does not constitute a black thumb, it just means that a little more vigilance is required.
I understand this issue though, because as a self-proclaimed plant nerd and an experienced plant caretaker, even I forget to water my plants sometimes, which occasionally results in a dead plant. In fact, I recently almost killed one of my favorite plants. It’s a tiny sundew (Drosera spp.) in a little pot – a carnivorous plant that my boss gave to me. I’m not sure how many days I went without watering it, but luckily I noticed, just in time, that it was looking a bit droopy. So, I drenched it with distilled water (the kind of water that carnivorous plants require) and hoped that I wasn’t too late and that it would recover. To my pleasant surprise, it sprung back and is doing just fine.
So, if you’re one of those who considers yourself a black thumb, I would recommend improved vigilance about watering your plants – not too much and not too little (this is species dependent of course, but really not that difficult to master). And if you’re like me and just forget to water your plants once in a while because life gets in the way sometimes, consider this a reminder to go water your plants. They’re nice things to have around, and it’s sad to see them go, especially when it’s due to something as simple as keeping them properly hydrated.

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