Gardening Tips: The Experiment

By Andrea Pavee

Aeons ago, my husband and I bought a Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia Seguine) plant, at a local nursery. Our kids were small then and my gardening hobby lay deeply buried in netherworlds thus unknown to me.

The plant lived for years at home, growing what I believed to be a millimeter each year. However, not wanting to give up on it, I took it along with us when we moved to our temporary home.

While it was a very slow grower, on the flip side, it was not a demanding plant and only required a daily watering, and the occasional pruning. With black thumbs, I could not ask for more.

At our new digs, I left her pretty much to herself unless I was watering, pruning or relocating her. I actually relocated her about three times before I was happy where she was and, it turns out, where she was happy too.

A few months later, I was surprised to find her noticeably taller, with new shoots to boot, growing around her. In addition to that, the Common Chickweed (Stellaria) carpeted her  topsoil. While I am usually brutal with weeds, I gave these a pass since they looked harmless enough and were pretty to look at as well. I figured I would let them grow for as long as they did not overwhelm her or start looking unkempt.

 Then, one day, Marcia popped by with a pot of NJoy Porthos.

To propagate the Porthos, I decided to stick a few stems into the same plant to see if they would take root and grow. They did! In counting, my Dumbcane pot now had 3 plants growing simultaneously in it.

Delighted at my success, I thought I would experiment to see how well and for long the three different varieties would thrive and grow. This was a first for me.

I was not disappointed for my Dumbcane pot surprised me two more times, in counting.

The first was when she sprouted Dixie Silverback Ferns (Pityrogramma Calomelanos), and then, Cretan Brake Ferns (Pteris Cretica).

It has been a humbling experience to see her take hold, bloom and grow the way she has. I am not sure if she thrived because she found a spot most suited to her, or because of the attention she got.

Whatever the case may be, this delightful experiment is an affirmation that Mother Nature takes care of those who care for her – for who knows what lies now beneath the loamy earth waiting one day to take root and grow.

Until next time, keep those gardening gloves and soldier on!

p.s. My eldest boy is now 24 and youngest girl, 16, so you can guess how old the Dumbcane plant is now.

p.p.s. The other pots around the Dumbcane have sprouted other plants, but none as many or as lush as she is.

Posted by Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 9 July 2021

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