For many many years I have thought of myself as having a black thumb. The list of supposedly indestructible species of plants that I have killed include the spider plant, jade plant and the philodendron (twice). I have a Christmas cactus that is still alive after about seven years, but it no longer flowers and after a near-death experience when it lost two out of its three main stalks, has shrunk to a mere fraction of its size. I just noticed a distinct listlessness and fading color recently and fear that it’s on its last legs.
I am explaining all of this because ever since I became pregnant with Chiara, absent the dying Christmas cactus, plants are growing and thriving in our home! Yes, spring is here, so it may just be a coincidence, but here is the evidence:
1. Luke’s enormous potted palm tree, which we moved into the bedroom when we began to live together, was tall and spindly. Around my 8th month of pregnancy, it suddenly grew three baby shoots at the base, and now the plant looks more robust and proportionate. The baby plants are thriving.
2. A couple years ago we bought a jalapeno pepper plant in a little paper cup that we spotted at Home Depot. The first summer, the plant began to flower with pretty little white stars. The leaves were large and healthy and the plant seemed to be thriving. But the flowers died and no peppers grew in their place, as we had expected. At the end of the summer, although the plant lost every single leaf, we kept the sad, bare stalk. A few months ago the stalk began to sprout leaves and recently, flowers. We have subsequently learned that the flowers need to “have sex” in order to produce peppers, so we have taken to poking the blossoms with our fingers, and spreading the powdery spores from one to another. As of this moment, I can count four little jalapenos growing on the plant!
3. On Luke’s birthday last September, just two weeks after Chiara was born, my mom gave him a Phalaenopsis orchid, also known as the moth orchid for its gorgeous large white blooms. I have owned several of these plants over the years and have tried unsuccessfully to keep them alive and blooming after the original flowers die off. Well, for the first time ever, an orchid plant has grown a second stem of flowers for us! So far, there are just buds forming so I can’t count my chickens yet. But I anticipate a stem full of large white moth flowers soon.
So there you have it! I feel like a fertility goddess of the houseplant variety!