Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pretty but poor

When I visit nurseries, I’m always tempted to pick up bright and petite flowers, which are really inexpensive (20-30 rupees a plant).
Believe me, they are so hard to take care of- a little less sunlight they turn yellow. A little more sunlight burns their leaves. They are a feast for wooly aphids and other mealy bugs. A day without water, and they wilt… and on a day it rains a lot, -it’s root rot. They are very sensitive to insecticides as well.
The blue one on the left was bursting with flowers about a week back, when I saw some mealy bugs on some of the leaves. I sprayed the medicine in limited quantities, but even after that, two days later the mealy bug infestation had quadrupled. Spraying more medicine made the tender leaves turn black, and finally within three days the entire plant wilted under the attack of the bugs!
In the case of the red flower on the left, I have no one to blame but myself. There was no way that Loki wouldn’t have had a go at something so enticing. He managed to uproot the stem, and although I tried re-potting, it just didn’t grow back.
Hardy plants with thick stems are the way to go, especially in extreme climatic conditions like we have in India. NO more pretty anorexic-looking stuff from the nursery for me.