Thursday, March 17, 2011

Breathing Plants


Fig. 1  Recovering ferns.  

Plants are not breathing organisms.* But why do some of us treat them as if they are hamsters or cats? We just can't throw plants away even if we don't need them anymore.  So we put them in a new but less conducive shelter in hope of future adoption.  Well, these plants (Fig.1) are like those.  They are no longer good for that corner in the garden but I still want to keep them.  They have been uprooted and planted in small containers.  The recovery will be slow but one day they will be lush once more and who knows, someone might be interested to have them. 


Fig. 2  Saved Schlumbergera stem now blooming.  

There are plants everywhere in my garden that are not supposed to be there.  Spider plants, Christmas cacti (Fig. 2), and mints are growing in small pots here and there.  Why I keep them is still a question.  Could it be that my subconscious belief tells me that these plants are breathing - that to get rid of them could be murderous?  I refuse to admit that I am in fact a hoarder of plants.

_________
*One might argue that plants also breathe through their stomata - but that's not breathing because there are no lungs involved.  It's called gas exchange. :)

Save your plants only if you know that they will be useful to you or someone else in this lifetime. 

10 comments:

Ficurinia said...

I find that I have the same problem and it is such a strange problem to have! Not everyone understands, but other plant people always seem to.

HolleyGarden said...

People give me their sick plants. So I have plants I never intended to have! It's hard to throw away anything that's living. Now, eating it is another story...

Christine said...

I think its because they grow and change so they are "living", which makes me feel that by throwing it away I am killing it. I wouldn't throw a stray kitten in a bin ... so I can't bring myself to throw a living plant in a bin. Weeds ... well thats another story :)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

I know what you are talking about. I hate throughing even a half dead plant on the compost pile. It feels wrong somehow, but I would be hard pressed to explain where the gulit comes from.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I think for me it's because I hate to fail. At anything. A dead plant in my garden means I failed to provide the basics of what it needs. It's hard to throw a plant that's still alive away too, even into the compost...have you seen the price of plants in the nurseries!? ;)

Bangchik said...

When some plants are difficult to grow, who have the heart to get rid of extra plants here and there.... :)

Masha said...

It is tough for me to throw out plants too (except for weeds). However, I am learning to be more ruthless because my garden is really small.

Bom said...

I don't throw away live plants. If I need to get rid of some plants they are offered to close friends who have expressed interest in that particular species or similar. These people I know will care for them and not just take them because it's a freebie.

Bom said...

I don't throw away live plants. If I need to get rid of some plants they are offered to close friends who have expressed interest in that particular species or similar. These people I know will care for them and not just take them because it's a freebie.

catmint said...

Hi Helen and commenters above, I am embarassed to admit that I regularly discard living plants! i don't have the patience or motivation to use my never- enough time potting rejects and storing them. I put my rejects in the compost, figuring they will still be living but in a different form.

I find this a very interesting topic and look forward to following any subsequent comments.

cheers, catmint

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