Dear Plants, Flowers and Other Greenery

Dear Plants, Flowers and Other Greenery,

I am writing this letter to clarify why I repeatedly purchase you and subsequently kill you. I want you to know that these are not, in fact, my actual intentions. I love plants and flowers and greenery of most kinds. However, as I was watering my wilted basil plant this morning, my eyes fell to the dried-up, dehydrated and dead mint plant I had purchased only a month ago, and I realized that you probably think this is purposeful.

I cannot even begin to fathom the horror you feel when I walk through your section of the store.  I’m sure you’ve heard the legend about my herbicidal mania and the excitement I feel when I am able to torture and kill plants of every variety.  I can almost hear the quiet hush that settles over you as I walk the aisles, carefully choosing my next victim.  You know what will happen if I pick you, so I’m sure you do your best to look partially wilted or eaten up by bugs.  When I choose my next victim, the rest of you probably sigh in a mixture of relief that you weren’t picked and horror for whoever was.  You know the fate of the plant in my hands, and it isn’t pretty.

The above paragraph is a story which many of you probably believe.  I want to dispel that myth if at all possible.  Yes, I do repeatedly purchase plants, and those plants do end up dehydrated or over-watered or sunburned or eaten up by a variety of bugs.  However, none of this in intentional.  I actually do make an attempt to keep every plant I purchase alive for as long as possible.

I know the fact that I keep doing the same thing repeatedly probably makes it seem as if I am covering up my nefarious intentions.  The fact that I managed to kill an aloe plant, bring it back to life, and kill it again probably compounds the struggle you may face in trusting me.  But, I assure you, no harm done to any plant in my hands was purposeful.

Yes, removing an aloe plant from the soil in which it lived and placing its roots in a jar of water for two months may have seemed akin to the torture used to exact information from insurgents, but I promise I was just trying to revive it.  And, yes, placing a shade begonia on my balcony in Texas in the middle of July for days without water or any human contact probably appears to be the act of a crazed sadist, but I simply forgot about the plant entirely.  I wasn’t intentionally causing it harm; it was merely neglect.

That is what many of the plant deaths boils down to, Plants, Flowers and Other Greenery.  You are different than a dog or a cat who will bark at, sniff or claw the heck out of me if I don’t feed them.  You aren’t like a car with a Check Engine light or even like a shoelace which, when untied, will annoy me by flopping about until I tend to it.  You are silent and passive, waiting for me to remember to water you and give you appropriate amounts of sunlight, which is something I simply have a hard time doing.

This is no fault of your own.  You are just being true to your planthood.  I do take sole responsibility for every plant whose life my irresponsibility has claimed.  But, I just want to know that these deaths have not occurred because of a sick a twisted mind; they are simply the result of a girl who forgot them in their quiet ways.

Please don’t paint me as a sadist to your friends and children.  A poor soul who can’t seem to learn that she can’t keep plants alive, perhaps, but not one who enjoys the torture and death of greenery.



About Chelsea

"Hey, they say you're a natural. True or false?" "I just..." "Answer the question." "True, I guess." "Correct." -Ash and Kristofferson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) I allegedly have a way with words. I'm testing this theory. Right. Now. View all posts by Chelsea

2 responses to “Dear Plants, Flowers and Other Greenery

  • Chad Newton

    I must say, “herbicidal mania” is clearly the linguistic highlight of this posting. Thank you for that. And sorry about the plants. I’m sure they don’t mind.

    • Chelsea

      They may. I have literally killed every plant I’ve ever owned, save for my second aloe plant, which I just ignore. Any time I show it any sort of attention by watering it or whatever, it looks sickly. I spent over a year trying to nurse my first aloe plant back to health after its roots dried up. I would play music for it while I was gone because I had read a study that said that encourages plant growth. I talked to it, I watered it appropriately, I noticed it did better in rooms with people talking, so I moved it to my family’s kitchen…and it still died. So, this one I ignore until I burn myself and need aloe. Things seem to work better that way.

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