on Nov 23, 2008

Around March -or maybe it was February? Doesn't really matter- a friend of mine from Workplace decided the office was too grim and bought a plant to cheer her desk up. The plant was nice, and it indeed livened the place a little bit. Rachel watered, touched, fed and talked to the plant and it started to thrive. And thrive. And thrive.

One day it started to wilt, and look sort of sad and a bit cramped. The leaves drooped and turned yellow and died. Rachel and another colleague of mine sat around the plant, plotting and planning to buy more soil, and blah. Then they would forget about it for a week, until one of them noticed the plant shedding leaves, and they would plan again. You can guess where this is going. The grand potting plan never happened. It would amuse me to see them fretting over the plant, knowing they would not do anything about it, wondering just how long the poor thing was going to last.

About two months ago, Rachel got this amazing opportunity to live Latin America with her boyfriend for a year, and left the plant in the care of the colleague who had fussed the most around the plant. Andrea sort of neglected it. She would remember it once in a while, giving it sidelong chagrined glances and would then proceed to promptly over water it. (I really don't blame her, I would have probably
done the same thing) On our last day, she asked if any of the people staying in the office was willing to care for the plant. Nobody volunteered. So she decided to just leave it to die. Just like that. There would be no more soil buying, or repottting. There was no point. It was almost dying.

I don't know what came over me. I am usually very practical. I would normally have been the one to suggest we just chuck the piteous thing and put it out of its misery. But I couldn't. I couldn't just leave the poor thing to die. I don't know why.

So I brought it home with me, planning also to repot it, and care for it and make it live. But then I got sick. And the poor thing got sadder. And sadder. And sadder.

I kept glancing at it and worrying about it. I ventured unsuccesfully outside for a short while to my local shops to see if I could find a pot and more soil. Did you know nobody gardens, or plants or repots during the winter months? Of course not, why would they? Plants become dormant this time of year. It is not a good idea to repot them now. It is also not a good idea do repot a dying plant. I didn't know that, but I digress.

I named it Rupert. It is probably a she, but because I haven't the faintest idea of what kind of plant it is, and I can't even remember if it had flowers when Rachel bought it, I decided not to care. Rupert it is.

I really want to save Rupert. I have a soft spot for it.

So the first thing I did when I felt well on Friday, was find a place to buy a pot and soil to save Rupert. I didn't really have much choice of size, design etc (see above: winter) But we came home with what we could, and even got a 'salvage dying plants' solution that promised miracles.

I know nothing about plants, or potting, or winter. I just transferred as best as I could onto the new pot, watered it and asked it to hang in there, hoping come spring it will thrive. After doing this, it occurred to me I could google about it, and learned it was not a good idea to do anything to the poor plant. But I could not let it just sit there looking so pitiful. I couldn't. I can only hope it doesn't go into shock and die.

As of today, two of the three leaves are starting to yellow and I fear the worst. It's also getting quite cold here, and I don't know if it is better to just leave it to the normal temperature of our flat (which is badly insulated, and hence, very cold) or if to keep it in the living room where the radiators are warm. Also, my flat does not get much light. And the window is drafty. We'll see what happens. Cross your fingers for Rupert's sake.


Bethtastic said...

It looks to me like Rupert is a Peace Lily. I don't know the scientific name, but that's the common name...and sadly, all my efforts to repot peace lilies have turned tragic.
Mine apparently don't like to have their roots messed with...and so... I don't have any more peace lilies.
I'm cheering for Rupert.

What's the latest?

Firegirl said...

I would set it near the radiator and possibly near light. I agree with not repotting it, the poor soul couldn't take it!

As I can only keep two kinds of plants alive, I'm feeling you! (:-D

Anonymous said...

I think it is a peace lily as well. First, only water it twice a week, maybe 3 times, but don't overwater. Next, give it as much natural light as possible. It's okay if the window is drafty, as long as it gets sun. you can move it at night away from the drafty window, closer to the radiator. Lots and lots of sunlight, which i know is not too much of an option in London this time of year. Good luck Rupert!!