The Curse Of A Green Thumb

Each spring I go through the prodigious task of repotting all my house plants.  Many plants were gifts, many were bought on a whim and a few were inherited from my Mom.  A part of me says to throw them all out as they each have special needs, take up too much space and must be kept out of the reach of canine and feline teeth.  Not to mention that when I leave for a dog show I worry that they will die without my daily attention.


The Aloe Vera plants were easy to repot.  But their table mates have turned into a full time job.  Over time I’ve forgotten the name of the biggest array of plants.  They have tubers so they are easy to divide, which is the root of my problem, so to speak.  The plant was originally a gift from a friend after I had my hysterectomy in 1999.  It’s the kind of plant that is almost impossible to kill, my favorite.  To prove the point it survived a journey across the United States in the back of my Subaru.  But each time it’s repotted it requires dividing the tubers.  So it’s like owning a female, unspayed cat whose babies grow and have kittens and they grow and have kittens, etc.  That’s when I discovered that houseplants aren’t as popular as they used to be.  I can’t rehome the “kittens” even though they are free to any home.

repotting 2015

Yesterday I took four pots of these overgrown plants and divided them while sitting in the hot garage on the cement floor.  After an hour I realized I had twenty new plants.  That means, if my math is correct, that next year my twenty plants could end up being one-hundred plants.  Someone, please take some of these beautiful, can’t-kill plants off my hands.  By the way, if you recognize what these beauties are I’d appreciate the information.

Just when I thought I was done I walked into the sun room and saw that I’d forgotten one overgrown plant bulging over its pot. Great.  I’ll bet that I can get 4-5 more plants from it too.  Help!

Next on the agenda is repotting and dividing several pots of Mother in Law’s Tongue .  Even though they spend seven months of the year outside in the hot Florida sun they also can’t be killed.  If you’d like some of their babies let me know.  If no one steps forward I’ll have to add another room onto the sunroom next spring to hold all these plants.

There are two huge, overgrown Rabbit’s Foot Ferns that I have to divide and repot.  They CAN be killed as they need filtered sun, daily watering and kind words.  But they were my Mom’s favorites so they will stay in the sunroom as long as I am able to care for them.

African violet

My African Violet collection is complete.  I have red, blue (or dark purple), pink and white flowered plants.  Even with them the cuttings are now huge and I need to divide them again, which is very easy. I use a razor blade to cut a leaf and stick the leaf into a small cup with vermiculite and water.  In a short time it takes root and little leaves start growing off the side.  Then I repot it in special soil but usually clip off the original leaf so all the new growth is the same.

south window1

Maybe what I need are more south facing windows to display the fruit of my repotting labors.  Or more friends who like houseplants.  Suggestions?

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