When my friend Fran moved back to New Zealand, I got custody of her houseplants.
Now, I love my friend dearly, but she never took care of her houseplants. She'd spend a fortune on gorgeous plants and then ignore them. The plants would slowly loose condition until, when visiting her house, you'd just not see them. The plants that were in her house when she left were given to me instead of going the way of all the past houseplants.
When she left, Fran gave me a ficus benjamina or weeping fig, two umbrella plants and a tri-coloured begonia that was near death. The begonia had two leaves and those two didn't look very clever.
Look at the begonia now! You can see its original leaf in the centre near the bottom. All the other leaves are new.
These are the two umbrella plants. When I lived in Florida, back in the mid 80's, I actually had an umbrella TREE in the front of my apartment building, so I know what potential lives inside these smaller specimens.
You can see the new growth that has sprouted from the bases of these plants.
The chicken wire has had to be placed around the bases of my larger plants because the kittens decided that they'd just as soon use the handy soil as a toilet instead of having to go all the way outside. The chicken wire has been a success. The cats go outside now.
"Hmmpf! As if I would do a thing like that!"
The biggest success is this little tree. It has 50% new leaves on it. It's just exploding with vigor.
All of these plants needed to be re-potted, fed and watered. Really that's all I've done. They now get regular watering and are on a schedule of regular doses of plant food.
I'm grateful to Fran for giving me these plants. They are really adding life and beauty to this new section of our house.
In closing, I've got to say that if you have a pet dog. One really can't leave a plate with a big piece of pie on the floor and then leave the room.
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