Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Christmas Story

Back when I was unemployed, I really enjoyed gardening. Well, I lived in a 3rd floor apartment so, as close to gardening as one could get anways. Since moving to Tampa though, I've had a difficult time keeping anything other than myself and the dog properly nourished. I brought 2 plants with me from Orlando, bought another from publix, and adopted one from my mother. 4 plants to love, and 4 plants to eventually die terrible, neglected deaths.

Or so I thought...

You'll remember a previous post when I finally got my garden set up: Click

My Christmas cactus hadn't just been ignored and left un-watered for prolong periods of time, it had also become subject to occasional Pepper snacking.

It looked like this- 

Well it had been a long fall and a pretty long winter with work and neighbor boys and friends and sometime in early January my mother, the only person who ever notices the poor cactus at this point said "hey the cactus is dead." 

I had figured as much but never thought to check. I did. And she was right. It appeared dead. I asked her to water the dead cactus, and like the loving woman she is, she politely watered a dead plant and left it where it was to be further ignored.

Sometime in February mom was back and tripped over the cactus. To her surprise, it looked like it developed little flower buds, but still appeared dead and withered. 

I kid you not- this is the cactus today...

I really dont want to kill it, and it really doesn't want to die. But I've got to be honest with myself and everyone out there; I just have no idea how to take care of it. My apartment is devoid of direct sunlight and the cactus sits in cold shade- even in July. I either water it too much to 100% forget the plant even exists and don't water it at all. Pepper can get up and feed herself and drink enough water to be happy. If she's not happy she squeaks at me. If she's really not happy she destroys 1 important a day thing until I figure out whats wrong and swiftly correct it. The Christmas cactus however remains depressingly silent. It doesn't even have real cactus spine thingys to poke me when I've ignored it for too long.

So thats where I'm at: looking out the sliding door at a plant that refuses to pass on while I'm pretty sure its looking back at me wishing I would drop over dead for all of the abuse I've put it though.

Outside of a blog about raising cacti, I'm pretty positive I've broken the record for mentions of half dead Christmas Cacti on a blog dedicated to complaining about things. Go me!

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