I Decide Who Dies

Stan installed shelving upstairs and is going to buy some fluorescent lighting so that we can overwinter our coleus. I’ll put the babies (cuttings I took) nearest the light, followed by the adult plants that don’t seem to be making it in the cutting stage, followed by ones I like the best, on down the line to the ones that I appear to have duplicates of, which can perish.

I feel bad for deciding who gets to die, like I’m some monster commander in a war deciding which prisoners get to live and who gets killed. I don’t want any of the plants to die, and inevitably, some will, not by my choice but because they succumb to rot or stress from insufficient lighting. This is why we took cuttings, so that we can keep small clone plants clustered together easier than the large potted ones. But other plants, the duplicates and the ones whose clones/cuttings seem to be thriving well, will get the lowest light areas.

I already have one casualty, it never grew much, and got root rot. I took a cutting, but it’s not dong all that well either.

Edited to add:

Now I really feel like The Plant Nazi. Not only do I get to decide who dies, but I’m giving them humiliating and degrading haircuts so they will fit in their poor little plant prison. It’s the equivalent of shaving a head. Bye bye pretty leaves. Hope to see you again next spring.

Some time in the future, scientists will invent a cryonic chamber that overwinter plants like coleus. The gardener can place a small plant in this “fridge”, and it will save it until the spring when you take it out, fresh as a daisy, and unharmed. It can’t be too soon, if this is ever invented. I’ll buy 100.

Seriously, I figure I have about 70 odd coleus (and some bloodleaf and some other…thing) that I’m stuffing in the shelves. Poor babies.

About Ann

Painter, jewelry-maker, graphic designer, dingbat font creator, imagineer, progressive, liberal, Wisconsinite by birth and later by choice, dog and cat mom, sushi-lover and foodie.

2 thoughts on “I Decide Who Dies

  1. Most of the older plants will die no matter what we do, but having cuttings are the ones that should live. It’s like trying to figure out which ones have the best chance if all conditions were even. I’m excited to see how well they do with the addition of a larger plant light system. It’s only a 4′ 3 bulb hanging light, but it should make a huge difference from the one small bulb and limited window space.

  2. Hard to think of you as some Nazi General barking out orders on which little plant gets the least light. Maybe you’d do better as a dominatrix torturing the wee defenseless organisms, which it will nonetheless be, torture as they slowly wither away in their small, dark chambers. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Just goofing. I’d like to make my living environment like a jungle. Gotta get the oldsters on their way, first.

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