Brown Thumb


This is one of probably 10 plants that have died under my care over the years. I cannot keep potted vegetation alive to save my own life. I have all the best intentions and try hard to follow the care instructions, but after a time they all whither away. Crispy critters in a clay pot.

This one started out so beautifully. A gift from a friend upon hearing of my Grandpa’s passing. And it was one of my favorites, too– a hydrangea with bluish-purple blossoms. One warm weekend away in Northern California and this is what I came home to find.

For years, I’ve had grand desires to have a lush garden mixed with various kinds of potted flowers and shrubs in pretty containers. Martha Stewart and Better Homes & Gardens had me convinced that the look was only a few bags of fertilizer away. With this latest failed plant, I’m now afraid that my efforts would only result in an expensive plant graveyard.

Somehow, I’m going to have to channel my “green thumb” to achieve my dream. I just hope that it’s a talent you can develop and not one you must be born knowing.

5 thoughts on “Brown Thumb”

  1. Don’t worry Jeanne….my mom had the worst green thumb when I was growing up. Somehow she discovered it when I was in high school. The best gifts she received for a few years there were plants because she could finally keep them alive.

    As for me, I am hit and miss. Some plants are easier than others. Good luck:)

  2. Do you like succulents? I have tons if you want to try. I had a pretty strong green thumb on the east coast, but have been known to plant murder out here. The succulents like the abuse though.

  3. Dude, you just need to get an unkillable plant. Seriously. I thought I could kill anything. I even killed a cactus once. But this plant I have is great. We got it our first year of marriage. Every year or two I notice the dirt is completely covered in mold. A couple of times it has grown mushrooms. A few times the leaves have all gone brown. But I just change the soil, and tend to it for a couple of weeks, put it in the sun and it bounces right back!! Sorry, I’ve looked through various websites and can’t figure out what it is, but here are some websites with ideas:,,

  4. Ah, fellow brown thumb. I have learned that potted plants need an INCREDIBLE amount of water. You have to basically think of them as an open-air root ball and water so that the root ball stays moist, nearly impossible. You’ll do better once you have time/space for a “real” garden. 🙂

  5. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’ve just resorted to growing plants that are only meant to live for a couple of months. Like petunias in my backyard. Then I can blame the winter when they die and pretend it isn’t my fault. 🙂

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