I’m back! I’m back!
I do apologize for the month-long hiatus. Life has been absolutely nuts recently. My husband, once a UK citizen, has now moved here to Canada to wait out the rest of the processing time for his Canadian permanent residency application, and I went to help him pack up and say goodbye to his life in Newcastle. Since then, there has been a lot of shuffling, readjusting and settling in to be done, which meant that my plants and plant blog took last place on my list of priorities.
So, I am both sorry for the long wait for this next blog installment, but also very much not sorry, as I am very happy to have all these exciting things happening! It was very necessary to take a step back from some commitments in order to get other parts of my life sorted out.
My plants have all been fairing relatively well. My week long excursion did see a casualty, however. My peperomia rugosa bit the dust, which was entirely my own fault. Before I left I gave everything a good drink, but my Rugosa was missed and ended up rather dead when I arrived back at home. I did try to revive it with a good drink, but it was too far gone. After a few days of looking at it’s limp and sorry state on the kitchen counter, I decided to bin it.
The ordeal caused me to take a little closer look at what was going on with everything else. While nothing else seems to be dying, and I do have some plants with new growth starting, I’m afraid I’m not doing enough. Now, that’s dangerous speech when it comes to being a plant parent, because once you get that notion in your head chances are that you’re going to end up overwatering or generally smothering your plants. I’ve always taken a “when in doubt, don’t” approach to watering my plants, but I wonder if my hesitant watering techniques are the difference between “thriving” and “surviving”.
Throughout the winter it was easy enough to chalk the lack of new growth up to lack of sunlight and dormancy, but as the days get longer, I can’t help but wonder if I am being the best plant mom I can be.
It’s quite discouraging really. Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle; like despite the amount of care, attention and effort I put into this hobby, something always seems to go awry. The Thrips Invasion of 2019, for example, is an ongoing issue. I wanted to do right by my household and my plants by using more natural means of treating my plants for pests. This proved ineffective and left me with a larger problem on my hands. Now, I’m spraying pesticide weekly, wishing I had just started off this way and dealt with it at the start of the problem rather than hoping for the best with neem oil and horticultural soap.
I finally got a chance to really spend some decent time with my plants again today—the first day I’ve really had a chance to dedicate time to their upkeep since I have been home from England.
There are still things going wrong, but I watered, checked soil and roots, gave them a good inspection and treated plants that needed to be treated. Just the act of going through the mental checklists for each individual specimen’s upkeep helped me to feel more in control of their welfare.
I’m not completely over feeling a bit worried and sorry for myself when it comes to my plants not all being shining examples of houseplant care: I do still wonder what I can be doing to ensure they are all living their best lives. I know that spring is here, but I wonder, is it still too early to start fertilizing again? Does anyone have any advice for me here? This has been my first winter seriously houseplant parenting, so I’m a bit in the dark when it comes to transitioning back to warm weather and longer days. I’d also like to let some of my larger guys have some outdoors time this summer, but I’m scared of sunburn on their delicate little leaves.
Anyway, that’s all from me this week. Let me know in the comments how your over-wintering has gone. Any casualties? Will you start fertilizing now? Do you plan to take your little guys outside this summer?
I’ll be back next week (Wednesday again) for sure, and we’re going to take a little photo tour of what is happening around the jungle.