The First To Go

Originally posted on The Expat Garden(er)

Yes, that's right--I haven't been here even two weeks yet, and I've already killed a plant. The Aloe variegata, lovingly carted from New York City to Washington, DC, and then to Saudi Arabia, went all mushy. I had it too wet for several weeks. It was bound to rot. And it did.

There had been some moisture in the ziploc baggie I carted the plant over in. I had grouped a lot of Haworthia and other succulents in the same baggie for transit, but I had rinsed the potting soil off of some of them prior to bagging, and the small amount of moisture that clung to them went into the baggie as well. When I was able to take the plants out of the bag after my arrival, A. variegata already showed signs of rotten sogginess, so I removed another leaf or two from the base and potted it in a mix of the "German Quality Potting Soil" and hydroton instead of waiting for it to dry out and callous (I'm still waiting to find vermiculite, perlite, and all that good stuff here, but hydroton is available in abundance). Also, the "German Quality Potting Soil" holds a lot of moisture--cold moisture, at that, because of the 24/7 air conditioning. Other plants may keel over, too, but I'm hoping that most will survive.

It's a shame. Back in DC, this was a beautiful, if small, plant. Now, it's mush. Luckily, I still have the Haworthia attenuata that was similarly lovingly carted from New York City to Washington, DC, to Saudi Arabia to care for, and I intend for it to remain alive.

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4 Responses to The First To Go

  1. Tragic. Are there nurseries in your Saudi Arabian 'hood? Maybe you can replace it with something new and fabulous.

  2. HEY! The same thing happened to my aloe! So OVERWATERING caused the aloe's death... Hmmm. I thought mine had simply lost its will to live.

  3. Grumble, I think your username is one of my most favourite in all creation.

    And there are nurseries, yes. There are a couple of Fittonia-looking things I have considered purchasing. Generally speaking, however, the plants available for gardening are all things you'd be able to purchase in the states anyway, with the rare exception of varieties that are new to me. Plants for outdoors are a bit more beyond my experience, but many still look familiar to me. There's a fun-variegated Alternanthera-looking plant at the campus greenhouse that I desperately want!

    David, I'm sorry I killed the Aloe. I'll make it up to you somehow.

    GreenCanary, overwatering is a constant source of plant death for me. I show love with water! I used to be able to mitigate that by having free-draining soil, but there's only so much I can do without my fancy mixes, and the Aloe had already been stressed and mushy because of the water in its bag... It was a pretty one, too!


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