Sad Plant Week

Low tech solutions for plant care in a busy life

Hey, you know life happens and sometimes your plants get left behind or lost in the shuffle. For my mature large tropicals this isn’t a big deal. This is why I like big plants. They can survive a delay in watering or shift in light levels far better than seedlings and small plants.

For more sensitive plants or higher demand plants, my little ones, high light, and ones in flower, delays in watering are not so great. Here’s what happens to sensitive plants that get forgotten in the shuffle of a high intensity work week(s).

Five Case Studies

Paphiopedilum: Bud Blast

Cymbidium: Wrinkled Pseudobulbs

February 3
March 3

Phalaenopsis (The Twins): A Lesson in Physics


Lipstick propagations: Victims of Neglect


Maranta: WTF

All of these are mainly issues with water. Not watering on time, low humidity, and possibly (with the maranta) a hard water issue. The solution? As a grower I always say, “Oh well. I’ll do better next time.”

The high tech modern woman in me says, “Well why don’t you just set some calendar reminders?” Sure, I’ll just add them to the long list of appointments, meetings, deadlines, alarms for waking up, going to bed, eating, exercise, taking medications, leaving for work…  Just allow my tech to control this aspect of my life too? F-That! I already have enough tech telling me what to do.

Friday and Wednesday have always been my plant days. I’ll remain with that.

Could there be other preventative measures?

Yes, I could double pot the paphiopedilum to provide better humidity and a slower dry out time. I need to repot the cymbidium because I know it’s potbound, which causes an already thirsty plant to demand more frequent watering. The phals will get heavy pot covers to prevent them from tipping over when they get dry. I’ll have to pinch pot covers from other plants because I don’t have any extras.

The lipstick is a lost cause and will be compost food. But, it’s not like I have any shortage of propagation materials (and a photobombing husband).

The Mother Plant

Finding a solution for the maranta is going to be more difficult because first I have to figure out what exactly is going on. Is it just bad watering practices, low humidity, or is this a problem with my very hard tap water?

The other bigger solution is proximity. Keep plants that need similar care together.

So it’s moving day. The Cymbidium will go over with my other high water demanding plants. I did have the Paphiopedilum with my lowlight phals. But Phals like to dry out between watering and can take a little neglect—not too much—a couple days extra being dry is not going to kill them or cause bud blast, at in my experience. But this paph clearly did not like that treatment! So, back to the oncidium group it goes, for now. Finally, the Twins are going upstairs with the other three phals, so they’ll all be on a similar water schedule. I’ll give it a month and then reassess the situation.

On the bright side, It’s snowing! YAAAY!!!


March is always iffy here. One of my biggest fears as a gardener is a dry winter to spring shift. Especially because I have young plants that are classed as zone 4 and 5 plants—I’m a zone 3. But more on that later, stay tuned.

And here’s a dog pretending he doesn’t have a shoe.


One thought on “Sad Plant Week

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  1. Aww so sorry to see the rush of life catch up – it sometimes happens! We just do what we can for our plant babies and keep on.


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