Monday, January 7, 2013

A Very Special Plant

 We spent a lot of time with my grandmother growing up.  She loved to go fishing with grandpa and could fry up a catfish that is unbelievable.  I can still smell that wonderful aroma filling the house on a Sunday evening.  She enjoyed quilting.  Even won several ribbons for her beautiful designs.  I'm fortunate enough to be in possession of one of those special treasures.  She loved the garden too.  She composed some great dishes with those home grown crops.

She enjoyed having birds around too.  She loved to hear them singing in the mornings. She raised a family and remained strong even when things seemed to be hopeless.  I like to think I've got a little something of her in me.  I know my mom does.  Mom's a remarkable cook and still loves to garden.  I think they are inherent qualities.

The Chlorophytum Comosum, more typically referred to as a spider plant, is the first plant I ever received. I must have been in my early twenties when I received what would be the beginning of many generations and start overs for this common beauty.

When I set up house on my own I had no plants.  Grandma figured that wasn't proper so she donated a handful of transplants so I could start my own home grown house plants.  The spider plant is an excellent choice for a new beginner.  Not only is this plant a gorgeous color, but it is about the easiest plant I know to get started.
Every one of those little sprouts flying out of the middle of the plant actually develops it's own strong healthy roots.  Simply clip a the sprout slightly above the wing   All you need is a good pot, potting soil and some healthy fertilizer.  I have to caution though.  This plant will grow fast, and the bigger they get the more pleasant they are to have around.  Be prepared to get a much larger pot and transplant it soon. (see Transplanting Plants for more information).   These are a tropical plant and do not tolerate hot temperatures very well.  They do, however enjoy lots of indirect sunlight.

On a couple of  occasions I have opted to to give my spider plant a fresh start.  I clipped a handful of starts and produced a  new plant. I personally have three full grown plants growing in my living room right now.  My daughters have received there own share of starts from this plant.  It will always be grandma's plant and it's like I'm passing on a part of her to them.  I still see her when I look at my plant.  When I know my plant is reaching signs of distress I react quickly.  It wouldn't do me any good to let grandmas plant phase away to nothing.  It's one small way I can keep her close to me.