Unhealthy Projects

Some of the plants in our garden are a bit depressed. Some have been depressed for a long time, some are more recently depressed. I’m going to make it my project to try to cheer them up.

For our passionfruit vine, the trigger was being thrown into a new environment. He was unsure of his new surroundings, felt lost without the protection of his pot, and confused about what we expected him to do with the elaborate lattice we’d constructed him next to. It was all too much and he became overwhelmed.

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We knew straight away that he wasn’t happy. At his grandad’s suggestion we chopped him right back so he could grow at his own pace and get a feel for his new environment, rather than being thrust into the lattice unnaturally by hand. Plus his shocked roots wouldn’t have to drink so much to keep his leaves looking nice.

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I was convinced that the change was just too much for him, and he wasn’t going to make it. But, with some encouraging words from his grandad, Kate and James, we gave him a chance. He is slowly creeping out of his shell again to sniff around at his new environment.

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With some continuous love and affection, I think he’ll make a very fine passionfruit vine.

Like many with depression, Maggie the Magnolia’s depressive symptoms are linked with the weather. But unlike most humans, she is more depressed in the summer months. Her first summer was a big struggle, and she has never really recovered. Perhaps she became ashamed of her appearance after her leaves became burnt. Like the passionfruit vine, I think she also struggled adjusting to her environment. There was a half dead tree in her place before she arrived. The tree stump was actually rotten. We have always been worried about the soil and drainage in this spot, so it’s no surprise she’s struggling. She’s actually looking better than ever at the moment so I do have high hopes that with protection from the sun, plus some extra love and care, she’ll be ok.

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There are three other depressed plants in our garden, and despite my keen interest in psychology, I’m not sure what the cause is.

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Our yellow-leaved grevillea. Molly the grevillea was yellow when she was younger, but she adjusted and turned green within a few months. This grevillea has been yellow for a long time, and is showing no signs of improvement despite the occasional feed. I’m not too sure what the best treatment option is here. Perhaps she’s depressed because she knows I love our other grevillea’s (Molly and Peaches and Cream) more than her. I’ll make a special effort to show her more love.

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Our philotheca has been depressed ever since he arrived here, about two years ago. He’s looked half dead since about a month after he was planted, but has never actually died. The passionfruit vine used to be next to him so I’m hoping for some miraculous recovery now he has his own space. I thought philotheca’s were meant to be pretty hardy, but he obviously doesn’t like this soil at all.

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Our lovely lime tree has been in and out of depression several times. I’m just hoping he’s strong enough to pick himself up again. This depression hit really fast, soon after I fed him and he sat outside on a rainy day. I’ve since moved him into a sheltered spot, out of the sun and protected from the wind (for a good lie down as Kate suggested). I’m closely monitoring his water intake with my new moisture meter. I spray him with Neem to keep the pests away (thanks to James for the suggestion). If anything he’s looking worse. I’m not sure what to do next 😦

Notice that our lemon tree isn’t on the list of “unhealthy projects”? That’s right! Our lemon tree is looking fine and dandy! She still makes me nervous though. Fingers crossed she stays off the list!

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2 thoughts on “Unhealthy Projects

  1. Poor lime tree isn’t perking up much, is he? I have only one suggestion at this point. Citrus are relatively shallow rooted and to compensate spread their roots out quite far. Your boy is a little confined in his pot. In addition, citrus are very greedy feeders. Can you find a spot for him where he won’t bake, dry out or be exposed to very strong wind? Can you face excavating a huge hole, filling it with chicken poo pellets, compost, blood and bone and watering the whole lot with diluted Seasol before plonking him in it and tucking him up under a nice doona of sugar cane mulch? I can’t promise results, but if he doesn’t perk up a bit after that, his depression may be terminal…

  2. Thank you for the good and not so good news about the mental and physical health of these plants. I am curious to learn how you know their gender. The passionfruit looks female to me 🙂

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