5 min read

Some New Arrivals

It's time for me to admit that I have a problem.

I went to the garden center for some potting soil because the two cuttings I planted from my Goth Swedish Ivy have gotten enormous, as has the Weird Curly Succulent I grew from a fallen leaf in a neighbor's garden. Repotting those lads was going to free up some space on my Tiny Pots Shelf, so I gave myself permission to get two (2) replacement plants.

I may have come home with more than that.

Going to the garden center was, of course, my first mistake. There are so many plants there! Plants that are big and plants that are small and plants that grow in water and plants that grow in the air! Plants that I am not cut out to care for and plants that prefer not to be cared for at all! I walked in and every bulb in the christmas-light-tangle that is my brain lit up with the same idea at the same time: THESE PLANTS ARE MY FRIENDS.

So anyway I wound up with ten new plants to deal with, plus the three repotted cuttings. That's out of (I just re-counted) thirty-one total.

Meet the new and improved members of the gang:

David and Patrick
aka Da Boys
Origin: South Africa

These two started out as the last two barely-viable cuttings from an almost-dead Mona Lavender Plectranthus, which is a form of Swedish Ivy that gets goth and purply, mostly on the bottoms of the leaves. They are competitive frenemies who started out sharing the same tiny pot, then had to be separated because they wouldn't stop pushing. David is spread-out and brooding, while Patrick is tall and extremely focused.

Origin: Madagascar

It wasn't stealing, okay, it's just that there are these extremely cool curly alien-looking succulents invading the soil under the unruly hedge in my neighbor's yard, and one of them just so happened to drop a large stemmy-leaf section when I just so happened to be walking by with Tinkerbell, and wouldn't you know it, I just so happened to be in the market for a new succulent.

Anyway, unfounded accusations aside: Alexis is, by my best estimation, a Madagascan plant called THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE. If you say that out loud three times in a mirror, Guillermo del Toro will show up and play a cool electric guitar riff at you. The wikipedia page for The Devil's Backbone includes this phrase, all of which sounds completely fucking made-up: "phylloclade margins have spoon-shaped bulbiliferous spurs which bear plantlets".

This sounds like someone opened a can of alphabet soup and got lucky, but it actually refers to a real thing: Alexis propogates by dropping little baby plants off the undersides of her leaf-curls. This is cool as hell and also incredibly disruptive, as her spawn keep invading other plant pots. But I can't be mad. I'm the one who invited her in.

Plot, Character, Thought, Diction, Song, and Spectacle.
Origin: Corsica, a fact which will shortly become obvious to you

Speaking of aggressively invasive plants: I had never seen Corsican Mint before I walked into that garden center and my life will never be the same. Corsican Mint is a springy, clovery little groundcover plant, but it's also mint! Somehow! It's the mint that is used to flavor creme de menthe, apparently! Thanks, internet!

Anyway it came in flats of six, so instead of saying "I probably don't need this," I said "oh, good, six more plants!" I'm hoping to grow as much of it as possible because it might be the best-smelling plant I've ever brought into my home. Trying to figure out what to name all six mint plants was tricky so I did what any sane person does and went on the wikipedia page for six, and lo: the six elements of tragedy, which sound Cool and Dramatic! I think this naming scheme will be a good way to convince my mint to be as extra as possible.

Origin: Springwood, Ohio

So named because he looks like Freddy Krueger. Freddy is an "Emerald Ripple Peperomia" if you are full of shit, and a "Hella Wrinkly Peperomia" if you are honest and honorable and true.

Zelda Rubenstein
Origin: A very hot and humid latitude

Pink Veiny Latte Art Plant? Count me IN. Apparently this thing is called a Prayer Plant, which means I probably shouldn't ever put it too close to the Devil's Backbone. Zelda is, according to the internet, a "horizontal spreader," which is also how I refer to Tinkerbell when she decides that it's her destiny to take up the entire couch.

I liked the cut of Zelda's jib at the garden store. She is indifferent to me, and I respect this.

Casey Jones
Origin: Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, & Bolivia

Casey is named for the TMNT character, not the Tragically Fated Railroad Engineer of yore. In case you were wondering.

Casey is a Fittonia Albivenis, aka the Nerve Plant. While "Nerve Plant" makes Casey sound extremely radical and dangerous, it's actually just a reference to his veiny leaves. I have repeatedly asked my partner if Casey is vaporwave, and they will not answer me.

Eddie Brock
Origin: Your Worst Nightmares

If you looked at this plant and said WHAT THE FUCK then you're exactly like me and everyone in my household. Turns out this baby is two cacti grafted together -- a Euphorbia Lactea jam-hammed onto a Euphorbia neriifolia stem. Boring name: Coral Cactus. Dope-as-hell name: DRAGON BONES. This is a little confusing because there are a lot of things called Dragon Bones, which is understandable because if you have the chance to name a species of plant, that's the name you want to aim for. This extremely dope hybrid is currently offering moral support to my wanderlust-stricken Aloe. (If anyone wants some aloe, I have... a million aloe, so much aloe, oh god it won't stop growing).

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