Saturday, September 15, 2012

Geeking out on plants

When we last left our hero, she had decided to go to a nursery to buy a snake plant.

The nursery I found online, and then ran out the door to get to in time, is Cactus Jungle.  How perfect!  I spent a long time there examining the gazillion plants they have that they claim I couldn't kill.  Some really pretty things.

And now I am a plant geek.  Well, just succulents.  I bought a gorgeous jade plant, which at $40 cost twice as much as the most expensive plant I've ever bought.  Then I started impulse buying, suddenly desiring more beautiful greenery in my life.

Echeveria setosa, Aeonium gomerense, and (in back) Crassula ovata.
They are even happier today than they are in this picture.

It wasn't just a shopping spree.  This place takes plants so seriously that they call the plants by their Latin names, so now I get to learn and recite these beautiful words.  I know it's a jade plant, and that's its nickname.  It's actually a Crassula ovata.  For outside my door, I bought a small Echeveria setosa and an Aeonium gomerense. (Note that Aeonium has all the vowels, awesome.)

As I picked out which Echeveria and Crassula I wanted, I asked the woman working there, "Is this a good one?" and she would say, "That's a beautiful specimen."  So not only do I have great plants, I have beautiful specimens.

Realizing I could use an office plant, I ran back in at the last minute and said, "I need a plant that can sit on a cold office windowsill that gets very indirect sunlight."  She handed me a teeny tiny pot with one of the weirdest plants I've ever seen, a string of pearls plant (another "beautiful specimen).  I actually don't know the Latin name.  It looks like the inside of a peapod, a string of peas, but it's very hardy.  You can't pull the peas/pearls off.  Like the other plants I bought, it doesn't need any attention.

Ironically, now that I've bought plants that need no attention, the geeking out comes, not only with my rolling their names around in my mouth, but with my daily checking and inspection of them to make sure they are happy.  I carefully monitor and remove dead leaves and celebrate the arrival of new ones.  I didn't want the Echeveria and Aeonium to be too cold, so I brought them in to bake in the warmth of my western window.  Yesterday, I discovered some bites taken out of the Echeveria, which luckily is not poisonous to cats, so now that poor plant is exiled to outside again until it heals.

Today I noticed that the Crassula ovata has some black spots under the leaves.  The old me would (1) not have noticed, and, if I did, (2) ignored it until the plant died.  The new succulent geek-me googled this and found that my plant may have a virus.  Since Cactus Jungle says I can bring in plants that may be ill for a consultation, that's my plan for tomorrow.

I will likely leave there with another plant, and a new Latin name, to add to my menagerie.

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