I like plants and animals, but I’m not very good at the whole constant doting care thing. Most of my plant related endeavors end in failure, as illustrated by the desiccated plant remains on my balcony. The main survivor is a house plant named Balthazar that’s about 7 or 8 years old and has spawned tens of offspring that have in turn begotten additional offspring and so on. All are almost disturbingly hale and hearty.
I think Balthazar must be some kind of carrier of plant Toxo because I don’t even want more house plants. I’m just compelled to keep creating them because it’s so damn easy. There comes a time of year I call the reaping, when I snip all excess vines of all the house plants and put them in beer bottles full of water in front of the biggest window in my apartment. The clippings sprout roots within weeks and then can be planted in whatever convenient container I have, usually yogurt or cottage cheese.
All my friends and family have at least one of Balthazar’s progeny. Many of my old co-workers do too. I once brought in about 5 plants to work and left them on a communal table with a sign reading, “We need good homes!”, as if my excess plant ownership were some kind of accident.
Any other plant cultivation has been pretty difficult and finicky until now.
A friend of mine has a Meyer lemon tree, which produces lovely fragrant flowers and a few lemons a year. I am jealous of that tree. If you haven’t had a Meyer lemon, it is best described in the words of said tree owner (somewhat paraphrased): “You know when it’s February and you just want to punch someone in the face? I’ll have some water with Meyer lemon, and think, ‘Ok, I’m good now. I won’t punch someone in the face.'” They’re that good, no lie.
I heard that cultivation was as easy as planting a few seeds in moist dirt and waiting. I tried several months ago, but received no indication that anything was happening. I figured either all the seeds were duds or they knew better than to sprout in my care. I would occasionally plant more Meyer lemon seeds when I had them, but again, nothing. The only reason why I kept watering the dirt was because a single blade of grass somehow took up residence and I wanted to reward its enterprising spirit. (It, uh, it didn’t make it.)
After I had long given up hope of any lemons, I noticed a little sprout! Then several more! They seem to being sprouting in the staggered fashion that I had planted them in.
My lemon sprouts have now gone through their second repotting and have roots that are a couple inches long. They keep coming too. I found another much smaller sprout chillin’ with a buddy before I separated them.
I’m pretty proud, even though I didn’t do very much. I watered dirt and waited, then moved them to larger containers as necessary. The nice thing is that these sprouts will take years to mature and years to start bearing fruit. So even if I switch my compulsive cultivation to Meyer lemons, I won’t need to give them away like a box of unwanted kittens.