Monday, October 10, 2011

Hope over Experience

These little avocado hopes are what Oscar Wilde might have called the triumph of hope over experience, oh no, that was remarriage...oh well, anyway since I just added avocadoes into my menu, I had a couple of pits to do something about.

Now, longtime friends and blogistas know I'm a pretty good gardener, the person with all the cuttings and advice to give away, and with surplus plants I stealthily plant around the place as a stealth gardener, all that. However, the one thing I have never succeeded with is the humble avocado plant. I don't ask for it to grow into a tree or anything, just to put out ANY sign of life.

I do all the instructions, as you see in the picture, never get a sossidge out of it. One of my friends a few years ago said, right, I will give you a well established plant, and you can enjoy that instead of struggling with the pit. So she gave me a lovely flourishing little plant to take home. By the next morning, it was already half dead, and it definitely went home by the next day. We puzzled over this, since there hadn't been time for me to do anything wrong in that short period.

Then she admitted that every other plant without exception that she'd tried to grow had failed in short order. Not a single houseplant had ever worked for her but the avocado, including the plants I'd given her in great health. So we concluded this is about body chemistry. I must be giving off molecules that scare the avos. All I can say is that they're pretty picky, but I'm still giving them another chance.

The other teeny thing in the kitchen nursery is a carrot top. I always put carrot tops in water just to enjoy the greenery that sprouts from them. It used to amuse HP enormously that I couldn't bear to just chuck anything away, even into the garden, but had to give it another shot. I expect I'll revive my dish gardens before the winter, too, with the mosses and all that. I had to abandon them under the pressure of HPs last illness, but they are in my future indoor garden plans.


  1. I wonder whether something has changed with the avocado's genetic make-up? We used to grow avocado plants, one very large, but these past few years no luck. In any case, avocados are very healthy eats. Good luck with your dish gardens - J from Cowtown

  2. Good luck with the avocadoes (sp?). Kumara (native sweet potatoes) are something that we used to sprout as kids. They can grow into great trailing vines, Very gratifying for young gardeners like you.

  3. I've never had any luck with avocados either, so don't feel too badly!

  4. I tend to steer clear of growing this, including pets and children and not in the least house plants! One can't succeed at everything but it is no harm in giving it a good try. Its sad though that my pots of mint grow better with my neglecting them then when I tried to lavish care...

  5. My mother and I could exchange plants and have them flourish for either of us. Even though there was no real 'chemistry" between us, when it came to plants what she gave me grew like mad. After she died I inherited 17 plants from her, including two african violets, which lived for years. I still have the diefengbachia and the Christmas cactus which now and then puts out a second crop around easter.

    My mother in law, however, was forever giving me plants that were thriving and once here they'd recoil in horror and die within two weeks. You may be on to something.

    It's got to do with our own body chem, and our attitudes, I guess.
    I can't make watermelons or any large melon grow. sprout, scream, and die.


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