Sunday, September 15, 2019

My Beloved Plants Need To Be Re-Homed, But I Am Okay With This...

Take a look at this photo. Ignore the big pile of freshly washed throw blankets. Look beyond that. Notice the bakers' rack against the wall with all of the plants? Okay. Now it's time for me to make a confession...

I'm obsessed with household plants. They bring life to any room and during the cold weather months, it's a reminder that eventually the snow will melt and things will grow.

Over the years, the amount of plants we have in our home has grown exponentially.

Last August, a friend of ours who adores indoor plants more than I do, gave us quite a few starter plants. Then, a couple of months later, she gave us more.

About 90% of the plants grew rapidly. We had to buy bigger pots, more indoor soil and re-pot them every couple of months.

I was in my glory.

At one point, we hung a couple of the plants in the Bodacious DIY Dog Mom Project Workshop windows.

But then, after 2 months, they outgrew the hanging planter pots.

Eventually, we had to buy planter pots that were so big they required a plant stand.  A few of the plants were the size of small bushes.

We also had 4 tall tree-like plants that more resembled palm trees.

In total, we had well over 20 plants scattered throughout our home that ranged from medium to holy-shit-huge!

Again, I was in my glory.

On the flip side, I had a few growing concerns.

The first...

Even though we kept our plants out of reach from the kids, we started noticing that some of the leaves fell from the plants.

A natural occurrence, yes, but we were worried that one of our kids would grab a leaf and eat it.

To prevent this from happening, I would make several rounds throughout the day and night to check on any fallen leaves.

Despite those efforts, it wasn't enough.

The second...

Every few months, we got bombarded with pesky gnats. The more plants we re-potted and added to the collection, the worse it got.

We tried at least a dozen pet friendly ways to get rid of them including pet safe gnat sticks.

Nothing worked.

I did a considerable amount of research and learned that one of the biggest culprits was wet potting soil. Another culprit was puddles or bowls of water.

In a nutshell, the potting soil was the prime environment to breed gnats and the water bowls we have scattered in our home for the kids wasn't helping the situation.

We were changing the water in their dishes several times a day because the gnats would fly in and drown.

The last...

My allergies.

I'm allergic to mold and mildew and dust along with a lot of other stuff.

As my plant collection got bigger, my allergies worsened. I couldn't figure out why.

My face would swell. My eyes would swell to the point of hardly being able to see. I'd break out in hives. Trouble breathing. Itchy, watery eyes. Continuous congestion. Etc.

At times, it got scary.

Both Lisa and I were baffled.

This Spring, when the weather was warm enough to start working on the flower gardens, we put all of our household plants outdoors on the porch including the new ones we had since last August.

We do this every year.

For the first time in months, I didn't have to check the floors for falling leaves.

Within a week, all of the gnats were gone. I was able to go back to our usual routine of washing and changing their water once a day.

My allergy symptoms decreased by 75%.

We have not had a gnat problem all Summer.

I haven't experienced massive and scary allergy attacks.

Lisa took notice to this early on just as I did.

We've had several discussions about it.

We made the decision that with the exception of 1, none of our houseplants will be residing in our home during the cold weather months.

In other words, my household plant hobby and obsession is retiring.

That 1 exception is a lemon tree that I have grown from a single seed for over a year. We are going to buy a huge potter and some really great gnat deterrent soil and keep it indoors during the cold weather months.

The rest of the gorgeous plants...

We're offering to our neighbor friends. What is left over will be put on a table in the front yard marked as FREE.

I'm not going to lie, it will pang me a little, however, the safety and well being of our kids and family come first.

I already have a new hobby to replace my household plant hobby.

Although this "hobby" isn't new to me, I'm taking it to a new level.

Out of the box. Outside of the lines. Far away from my comfort zone.

Stay tuned...

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