By Niki Hatzidis
Stage One: Desire
You want to give love and affection to another living thing, but you’re single and allergic to cats so the logical option is a house plant. You're trying to liven up the place, so a living thing that can’t tell you when it needs something is the perfect choice! You go to your local florist or supermarket and shop around. They’re all so pretty! You immediately go for the orchid. The florist, sensing your inexperience, tries to guide you to something a little harder to kill like a succulent or pet rock. No. You’re about to discover your green thumb. You got this. You go for the orchid.
Stage Two: False confidence
You have brought Florence, yes you named the orchid because you’re going to take such good care of her and she will be in your life forever, back to your dingy apartment that receives very minimal natural light. But Florence is thriving! You water her dutifully and she is in full bloom. This plant mom thing? Piece of cake! You might get another orchid to keep Florence company!
Stage Three: Denial
Because caring for something else is new to you, you start to forget if you remembered to water her. You went on vacation for a week and did not make arrangements. Don’t be so hard on yourself, it’s hard to keep track of something you walk by every single day.
Florence’s petals are starting to wilt. But you convince yourself that this is the natural cycle of plants. She will bloom again! Orchids do that, right? You continue to water her, ignoring the fact that more petals are wilting and falling every day. This is fine. You watch as the stem starts to dry up, from the tip of the vine all the way to the root at the bottom. No amount of water or sunlight is making it stop. You move her to somewhere sunnier, the one place in your apartment that gets two hours of solid light a day. The leaves start to turn yellow. That might not be a great sign...Talk pretty to her!!!
Stage Four: Death and (sometimes) Resurrection
Florence is dead. It’s time to come to terms with it. She is dried up and brown and starting to attract bugs. You’re sad about it. Really sad. What’s worse is that you keep forgetting to throw out her corpse, so every once in a while you see her and are reminded of your failure. Poor Florence.
This doesn’t happen always, but sometimes plants have a “Jesus Moment.” You see a new green stem pop out of Florence’s pot. My God! She’s back! Maybe you were overzealous with the water? Maybe she needed some space? Maybe it’s a freakin miracle?! You should call the papers! Florence’s stem grows and starts to form buds! She’s alive! SHE’S ALIVE.
**Repeat Stages Two and Three**
Stage Five: Never Again
You throw away the now definite Florence cadaver and vow to never inflict yourself on an innocent plant again.
Image: Gardening Know How