My sad, unresponsive and defiant house plant.
I don't think I have a horrible green thumb, but my plants have never thrived. I can bring them to the brink of death and then back to life, which is sort of psychopathic, if you ask me.
Sometimes I teeter with the thought of just chucking all of my green living things in the trash, but I can't bring myself to do it. It's against my religion. I think. They are alive, even if momentarily.
A little over eight years ago, I embarked on a new adventure. I've blogged about it here . Awhile back, I was given an opportunity to offer a give-away where a lucky reader won a gift certificate so she could get some of her own. She was thrilled. Speaking of that winner, I just ran across her blog awhile back and found out that she has suffered a great tragedy in the last year or so. Please head over to her blog and offer her some sweet hugs.
So, back to my dying-a-slow-death plants. Ahem.
For the past several months I've been thinking about why my plants hate me. Do I give them too much water? Not enough? Should I talk to them
more? Am I supposed to feed them some sort of plant food in addition to water? Can't I just open up the blinds so they can eat the sun? Are plants really that complicated?
I've repotted this particular plant (above photo) with new potting soil and moved it around the house so many times trying to find the perfect spot. It's a rather difficult plant to please. In fact, one day, when I had it sitting by the open front door, I swear it tried to reach up and open the door so it could run away. It hates me with as much passion as a plant can have.
So, two months ago I decided to try a new feeding method. I've heard that plants like nitrogen. Like, alot. Then it dawned on me that there is uber amounts of nitrogen in blood and where could I get blood on a regular basis?
This isn't rocket science, people. Without cutting myself and dripping blood onto the leaves of my dying plant, where can I (a woman) get the red stuff?
My menstrual pads, that's where. You aren't shocked, are you?
For those of you still reading, I'll have you know that it's not gross at all. I've lived with my own blood since I was eleven. You would assume I would be used to be it now. I am. I'd also assume that other women should be used to it by now, too. However, I will not jump on my soap box and preach the greatness of thy wonderful cloth menstural pads. No I will not. If you want to stick to paper then so be it. Personally, I prefer to have soft cotton against my girly bits. Cotton velour, sherpa and silky soft micro-fleece beat out sticky, smelly, chemical filled paper at least 100, 000, 000 to 1. Or something like that.
I have never tried the soaking method for my cloth menstrual pads because I wasn't really into saving the water or, you know, dealing with it more than I needed to. Normally, I would just rinse them out as I used them and then throw them in the wash.
This time, instead of doing the whole rinse & wash thing, I grabbed a cute watering can (because cute matters!) and began stuffing my pads into the opening. Then I filled it just enough to cover the pads. The next morning, I poured the murky water onto the unsuspecting plant and then refilled the watering can with fresh agua.
I almost felt a little naughty for doing such a thing. I've heard about it before, but actually trying it wasn't on my "To Do" list. Over the next few days, I watched as my once sad plant, perked up. I figured it was just because I watered it. Plants like water, you know. A week or so later, I noticed my other plants wilting again. Typical. However, I noticed something magical, almost unreal. It would seem that while the naughty plants needed to be refreshed my blood-fed plant was thriving. Boldly standing high, it's leaves deep green and absolutely no dead, dried or yellowing limbs.
Seymour sitting next to my husbands plant (the naughty one). They were once the same size.
I decided to water it a little anyway and within a day my plant looked even more healthy.
Healthier than ever!
Whoa! Did I make that happen? Serious? Not only can I feed my babies "liquid gold" and watch them chunk up before my eyes, but I can also nourish a plant? Amazing!
"Hmm..", I said aloud. Could this be because I fed it my soak water? Should I name this plant Seymour? Was I imagining this bold change or was it for real?
That's when I decided to do a little science project. You know, because I'm all about science projects and
doing them for my kids helping my kids with theirs.
Sitting in the same bay window as "Seymour" is another plant, a smaller one, that was given to my husband when his father died in 2005. This plant has struggled greatly, which is why it's still so small, and I've done more than enough to try and keep it alive. I have seriously wanted to throw it out numerous times because it makes me feel like an utter failure. However, knowing my own connection to "Seymour" aka "My dad's plant", I can not bring myself to throw it away.
"I must try and save it, no matter the sacrifice. I will find a way."
::said in thick Scottish accent for effect::
Over the past two menstrual cycle's I have fed each of my plants using only the water from my soaking pot. I have noticed that Seymour really loves my stuff. The other plants are still fighting my love, but it looks as though they are starting to give in and accept their place in my home. I do not have to water as often (though that is most likely due to the weather), but they are more green and seem to be more perky. They just seem more healthy.
My conclusion is that feeding blood meal (or menstrual blood) to house plants really does work. I don't think you get the same result for each plant, but the results are better than just plain H2O. You can purchase blood meal in a bag and I think it's about $6-8 per bag. Most people would use it on their gardens (flower or food) and I've heard that fruit trees like them, too. I'm not much of a gardener (tried and failed several times), so do your research before using blood meal on trees and veggie gardens. Or, you know, save the money and just use what God gave you. Talk about living frugally. Ha!
However, the one thing I got out of this whole experiment is that my body is awesome! God is amazing and He created wonderous people. What a smart God to make it so that we can nourish our own children (for years!!!) and that, as women, we have the ability to feed plants and help them grow healthy and strong.
Are you amazed? You should be!