Death becomes me

It’s only November, and I am already killing my houseplants. Or make that, any plants that venture indoors. The lovely, lush, luxurious almost unkillable ‘Gartenmeister’ Fuchsia that has given me pleasure on the front steps all summer long is now crisp and littering my living room. (Amend that: with guests coming this evening, it is now back outside littering my deck.)

The plants I chose for my summer containers are all relatively drought-tolerant: the aforementioned fuchsia (be careful how you type that), a large-leaf ivy with wonderful red-brown stems, a lemon-lime licorice plant. But they’re not *that* drought-tolerant.

Plants are like people; they can live weeks without food – but only days without water. Not the other way around.

Sigh. It’s easy to get distracted from watering. And then: Behold, I am become Shiva, Destroyer of Plants.

I have killed many indestructible garden plants. Invasive plants. The kind of plants people say to never put in your garden. I have killed goutweed, for heaven’s sake. And Prunella. And Houttinya. I have made obedient plant shrivel. And too many more to mention. Blame it on my dry, dry shady garden and my tendency to over-plant – I just love plants too much.

However, I specialize in killing houseplants.

Those that have survived owe nothing to my care. A 25-year-old Hoya that has never bloomed. A stubborn Christmas cactus. (Last summer, for a change of pace, I obliterated whole generations of red-ribbon-winning Amaryllis. Death by slugs is not pretty.)

Now what I have to do is hurry up and salvage the strings of ivy that are still managing to cling to life, chop them off and pop them in water to root. Right by the sink.

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