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  • Writer's pictureshielasesbreno

Green Thumbs Up

Green thumb is a term coined to describe someone who possesses superior plant handling skills. My mom and grandmom both have green thumbs. I am still trying to discover if I have it as well but I do know that I appreciate flowering plants and trees a lot. My interest with plants started when I became a hiking enthusiast. I remembered that during hikes, I would stop and take photos of plants and trees that I see on the way. I am not like other people who knows plant names at the top of their heads but I remember each plant I took care of and I gave them their own names. So that maybe I wont have a hard time recalling them.

The first plant that I took care of was a flowering houseplant, a Pink Kalanchoe named "Chewy". Unfortunately, the Building Manager cleared the garden during the move before I got the chance to get Chewy and its sister Chippy back again so I lost them. My green family started again when I bought indoor plants and herbs for my new place. Luckily, I have the balcony and living room for all 14 of them. I like seeing them everyday so I really hope they stick around for long.

(From L-R on pic below) "Sneaky" is a native to tropical West Africa. It is most commonly known as the snake plant, Saint George's sword, mother-in-law's tongue, and viper's bowstring hemp, among other names. I took Sneaky in as an indoor houseplant and it being tolerant of low light levels and irregular watering. "Colombia" is native to Colombia and this hybrid variety is commonly called the White Princess. It can adapt to all kinds of conditions (as long as it's warm) and is another popular houseplant. "Africa" is a Calathea Ornata, native to Africa thus given that name. This plant give me homey feeling as it is a tropical plant by nature. It sports lustrous bands of colour that earn it the apt nickname of the “pinstripe plant".

"Wilma" is a Croton, another tropical foliage plant. Its yellow, red and green coloured leaves are so attractive that I thought it will bring vibrant colour to my place. "Malou" (an aloe), "Red" (not on pic), and "Gwen" are succulent plants. I got them as they grow anywhere, thrive with minimum fuss, flourish with very little care and moisture, which makes them a stylish low maintenance solution to my home. Malou is on my bathroom and seems to be happy so far with all the moist it gets from there.

Jasmine, Star Jasmine plant.

Recently, my green thumb was put to challenge when I repotted my herbs and two native Aussie Plants (B and Jasmine). Of course, being a noob, I had to search first for videos on how to do it. I have to say that it is a hard day's work and requires passion and luck. Even correct measurement of pot's diameter is important. When repotting, it is highly recommended to choose a diameter 1-2 cm bigger than the old pot's. Potting mix should be of right amount to ensure that all plants will be replanted with enough soil. It is imperative as well that you water the plants the night before you repot them and that you have the right tools to use next day. Gloves, trowel, pruner are some of the must haves.

B, Backhousia. Lemon Scented Myrtle.

Root pruning was something very new to me. I was amazed how roots, old and dead, can really speak a lot on how the plants have lived but unfortunately they have to be pruned in order for the repotted plant to grow newer and younger roots in the bigger pot. Air pockets aren't plants' best friends. Tapping the pot will help remove them from the soil. As repotting will definitely cause stress to the plant, it is a must that you water the plants once repotting is done.

I don't know if the 8 repotted plants will survive but I do know that they needed what I did to grow more. So I hope they will live in return.

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