My Green Thumb is Black(園芸の才がない)

This is Stephanie of IMS.


I’ve never been much of a green thumb. Even though I always enjoy plants and their presence in a room (and I definitely have my favorites), every time I try to raise one on my own it ends up dying.


When I was in elementary school it was common to grow small flowers as a science project to teach us how the scientific method worked. How did they grow when we kept them in the dark? How did they grow when we used fertilizer? Do they prefer a daily watering schedule or weekly? Those projects were always some of my favorites, because I could watch something grow that I had planted with my own hands. But even though I learned about conducting my own science experiment, I didn’t learn how to keep plants alive.


Any plants in our house when I was growing up were kept alive through the efforts of my parents, not me. I once tried to grow a gardenia, but it wilted in the sun and dropped sap on the floor when I brought it inside. I once tried to grow a tomato plant and onions, but rabbits got to them before I could and we could only eat a few fruits of my labor.


My track record, admittedly, isn’t the best.


This year in February, I bought a lovely orchid, a Dendrobium kingianum. And although it grew large and happy during the rainy season, towards late summer its health started to quickly decline. My orchid had become irreversibly sick, so I made the decision to throw it out a few weeks ago…


But right before I determined that my orchid was truly dead, I bought a small peace lily to replace it. For years I watched my parents’ peace lily plants nearly double in size, turning from a small potted plant into a monster of a bush. Even when we forgot to water them, and the leaves drooped over the sides of the pot, once we gave them water they perked right back up. Apparently, peace lilies are hardy plants, and some people go as far as only watering when the leaves droop to prevent overwatering. This sounded to me like a foolproof plan to keep my new plant alive.


My peace lily may be the only plant I currently own, but it just survived its first month with me. And maybe this time, I can keep it growing for more than half a year.