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Green pinkie?

December 14, 2008

As a dorm-warming gift my first semester at Vanderbilt, my dad gave me a Christmas cactus that I affectionately named Ester. She was wonderful… she only needed water twice a week, she grew quickly under my fluorescent desk lamp, and she even bloomed my favorite color red during December final exams. I couldn’t ask for a better plant.

My success with Ester gave me more confidence to try new plants. Most notably, the jade plants at my office. I turned one fertile jade into four different plants in a year. I was so excited to see it’s success (yes, I’m a dork).

 Alas, eight years later, after living in nine different of places (dorms and homes), Ester has died. It was truly my fault. I neglected her quite a bit in the September heat at our new house. She was parched, and I didn’t listen.

Thankfully, last year, I took a few pinches from her branches and repotted them into a new planter. Now, Ester’s spawn (really!) is alive and well, blooming in my office window. After the sad realization that Ester had died, I was glad that I was able to at least keep the growth going, but in a different pot.


Lately, I’ve noticed that my green thumb that I thought I had may not be as strong as I once thought. The new fig tree houseplant that I bought in September is officially dead. The autumn mum that I bought at the Farmer’s Market bit the dust when I left it out too long in the new winter frost. And apparently I didn’t prune away some of my front yard foliage early enough, and I might have a poor showing this spring.

I’m wondering if this is a sign that I’m not paying attention to important things in my life. Or, if I need to reevaluate my watering habits… Hopefully, I can keep this wonderful poinsettia alive.


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