Greta The Plant’s Spunk

Greta had an outburst of energy the past couple weeks.

Greta is a plant that has struggled constantly since I obtained it at least half a dozen years ago.

The ever-struggling Greta the plant has launched into a frenzied outburst of blooms in the past couple of weeks.

A normal person would have gotten rid of Greta years ago because she  is spindly, leaves die, and  can never seem to get her act together.

But Greta has so much spunk I can’t bear to let her go.

Greta was named by Emily Stone, a reporter who used to work with me at the Burlington Free Press years ago. Her family sent it to her and it was beautiful. But one winter night, Emily left Greta too close to a window, and she was frostbitten,

Emily named the plant Greta, because the name seemed to suggest both grace and pluck.  Greta kept rallying, but never quite obtained the glory she had when she first appeared.

Emily left for another job and bequeathed Greta to me. The same pattern continued. Greta would seem to gain energy, then her leaves would wither and die.

It’s not as if I kill every plant I touch. My other houseplants seem to be doing fine, and the flowers, shrubs and such I plant outdoors for the most part seem to hang in there swimmingly.

Greta’s stubborn and mercurial, though. Her last decent rally came this summer, when I left her out on our sunny back deck for a few months. She grew a few new branches and some green leaves.

I took Greta inside in September when it started getting colder. She started to fail again. As if taking a cue from the turning leaves outside, Greta’s leaves turned brown and crispy and fell off. Healthy green leaves remained at the end of her branches, but she looked skeletal.

My last ditch plan for Greta was to cut her way back, leaving little stumps from which to grow new branches, There were a few new green shoots near her base, so I thought the plan would work.

But as I was preparing to cut, I noticed several flower buds. They multiplied over the course of a couple weeks, blooming into what you see in the picture in this post, taken today.

Greta still looks spindly, but I’ll let her joy her holiday gush of color until the flowers inevitably wilt.

Then I’ll try the major surgery I contemplated last month. After all Greta’s been through, I hope she survives, and finally, once and for all flourishes.

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One Response to “Greta The Plant’s Spunk”

  1. Emily Says:

    Greta lives! So happy to see this excellent update on her condition. I think you’ve officially graduated from foster dad to full dad. We both (Greta and I) thank you!

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