My grandma always kept African Violets. She had a brilliant green thumb and her kitchen windowsill was always lined with these pretty little plants.
The leaves are velvety and the flowers are tiny and delicate in shades of pink, white, blue and purple. They are sweet little flowers and always make me think of her.
So when I found a collection of African Violets for sale at Franklin Park Conservatory Saturday, I googled them to learn that they aren’t toxic to cats. It took just a second to decide that it might be fun to take one home.
When I asked the cashier for advice on how to keep it alive, it was kind of a joke. Sadly, I’m pretty sure the poor little thing heard me and probably died a little inside right there on the counter. Plants probably don’t get humor.
She was probably wondering what incompetent monster was kidnapping her. Why would her caregivers allow this maniac to leave with her?
They told me to let the soil dry out, to water from the bottom and to keep it in a container that seems a little too small as being slightly root bound encourages bloom.
What we didn’t talk about was how to keep it healthy on the way home when the temperature was nearly 8o degrees.
First I blasted the AC while driving. Then I abandoned the poor little thing in the hot car while I shopped. Then AC, then the greenhouse effect. This process was repeated a few times.
It was looking pekid by the time we made it home. I gave her some water in a saucer and said nice things. Maybe some kind, welcoming words will do her some good.
Some studies say that talking to plants will encourage them to grow faster – something about sound and vibrations. It’s not about the words so much as the sounds. It seems worth a shot.
If you need me, I’ll be speaking gently to my new friend and trying to reassure her that I won’t kill her. You know, lying to my plant.
Loved hearing about your new plant. My Grandma also had quite a large collection of African violets, which she kept on glass shelves in her dining room windows. I’m sure these plants were started from a leaf cutting, received from her friends. (I can’t imagine she would have paid money for anything as frivolous as a flowering plant!)
Also interesting that you mentioned the “talking to plants” theory. When I was a senior in high school (which was more than 50 years ago!) I did a senior English essay on that theory, and did my own little experiment to test the theory. I planted two flower pots, each with ‘easy to sprout’ beans. Each pot received the same sunlight and water. One pot I talked to and played the radio for….the other not.
You guessed it! The one I talked to grew significantly bigger.
Great stories!! I’m glad you did the research so now I know for sure that talking kindly to my plant will do it some good. What kind of music did you play? My gut tells me that some upbeat Motown would do it some good but a delicate little violet might prefer classical. 😉
Love hearing about your grandmother too! I bet my grandma took hers from cuttings as well. After all, why buy a plant when you can make one for free?