I admit it... I'm a plant killer. I water too much or too little. I am never able to determine how much shade is partial shade, and how much sun is partial sun. Really, aren't those the same thing?
I had pretty much given up the idea of houseplants because I felt too guilty bringing them home only to know that they were meeting their eventual doom. But, last week while shopping the after-Christmas clearance sales, I came across a cellophane wrapped vase that had inside it an amaryllis bulb, and a sealed bag of the soil it would need to grow. I normally would have passed that by, mainly because I know that I am cursed with a brown thumb, but also because when it comes to flowers, I prefer immediate satisfaction. Having to wait 6-8 weeks for a flower does not appeal to my impatient side. This time though, things were different.
I stopped short, took a step back, cocked my head, and squinted through the cellophane. Something looked odd. I picked up the package, turned it this way and that, and pulled at the cellophane a little. Was a bulb, outside of its nourishing soil, and tightly sealed in cellophane bubble meant to have green on it? "Its growing? ITS GROWING", I said aloud as people stopped to look curiously at me. Indeed it was. The force was strong in this little bulb. The bulb had a sizeable green shoot extending from it, and it was pressing itself against a cardboard wrap inside the cellophane, pushing itself up and out, free of its bonds.
I hugged the package to my chest and ran to the cash desk. If this bulb was so intent on growing, even I would be unable to extinguish its zest for life. I took it home and gingerly unwrapped it. I opened the bag of soil, moistened as per the directions, all the time wondering "Is that too much moisture, or not enough?". I set the bulb upright (I think) into the soil, and set it on a cabinet near the window so it would capture sunlight, hopefully enough, and nearish to heater so that it would be warm and cozy, but hopefully not too much so.
A week has passed and today the first ruddy red bloom has started to open, exposing the spiky stamens within. Close to its side another bloom is waiting to debut, while below another bud has poked its shy head out.
I am giddy about this little bulb and its will to survive.