Houseplant assassination

January 28, 2010


This is the tale of three houseplants. Two have been around for a long time and the third was traumatized by Robbin Rabbit a couple of years ago.

Robbin is a free-range rabbit, and he’s highly motivated by food and also very athletic. Maybe it’s because he grew up with two cats that he feels it’s only natural to scale piles of boxes and get where he really oughtn’t be. The combination of hunger and fearlessness led to his assassination of a perfectly lovely spider plant on the windowsill next to my desk. How can I be sure it was Robbin? Because not long after I got home, I caught him going back for seconds. I’m thankful that the irresistible allure of some fresh greens before I dispensed his legitimate supper didn’t lead to any dire consequences. For the rabbit, at least.

I put the sawed-off plant in my sunny front window and it eventually made a valiant effort at recovery. The leaves are now about twice as leggy as before, but it’s once again a reasonably respectable houseplant. Only now it must contend with being the favored gnashing subject of my cats, particularly Dasie. I don’t think they set out to eat it, exactly, but in the course of their teething on it, some of it disappears. But it perseveres under adversity.

All of my philodendrons (four at my office and six at home) can trace their roots, so to speak, back to a handful of cuttings that I snipped from my former employer’s office over 15 years ago when Jim, Rob, and I worked together. Those things kind of grow like weeds and they don’t mind at all medium-strength, diffuse light. I keep mine trimmed so that they can put their energy into being full and bushy rather than sending out long runners of leaves.

My oldest plants, though, are the pointy ones. I have no idea what they’re call. But I do know that the original shoots came from plants that our nextdoor neighbors the Dawsons had. My mom started some new plants before we moved in 1978, and all six of my plants are descended from the first offshoot she gave me way back when. These, too, grow prolifically and are tolerant of varying conditions. Several of mine are in need of dividing and replanting. If anybody knows what they’re called, please leave a comment below.


One Response to “Houseplant assassination”

  1. Garr Says:

    I think the one on the bottom left is called Golden Pothos

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