Confessions of a Plant Killer

March 31, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans  

I started a post about my grandmother’s garden and as I began to edit I decided I had to come clean: I am a plant killer. I never planned on a plant killing lifestyle but I just can’t seem to help myself. A few years ago I even killed an artificial plant (my cat helped).  

In truth I really love plants every few years I will try to grow one. Most recently, I received a rosemary; as I am pulling out of the parking spot I think I see the plant move closer to the door. It must be my imagination. I’m almost home and I look back again, while at a traffic light and catch the poor plant as its about to jump out the window. I sigh, because I know the plant would rather take its chances on tar in the Florida sun than go home with me.

I get my plant home, I water it, I nurture it, I do everything my research tells me to do. My cat even loves this plant. She does not eat it but rather curls her body around it and cuddles. This plant is getting water and love and everything I can possibly give it. Week four rolls around and this plant is on its last leg.

I can’t figure out for the life of me what I could have done wrong. During this period I was also attending a gardening volunteer class. I thought I would learn not to be a plant killer and help my community with my new found plant knowledge. I enjoyed the class except all they talked about was plants. I’m used to writers talking about writing and teachers talking about teaching but I felt outside of my comfort zone in the plant cult.

They kept torturing me by asking about my plants; If I didn’t get out of there soon I would break. I knew any minuet they would all rise, start chanting, “plant killer, plant killer” and start poking me with gardening tools. I tried but I’m never going to be a volunteer gardener. I also may never become a plant owner. I lament my fate as I prepare to throw out a pygmy date palm I’ve had since 2004. I’ve tried those so called hard to kill plants; believe me it’s not that hard. I find solace in having the ability to write about plants.    










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