Polka Dot Plant


Mangled houseplant season has begun, and I sense I’m already off to a killer start. Sometimes, I can get plants from kits to grow—and they do really, really well—for a while. Then, I forget about them, hoping that Nate and Alex will hear their desperate cries for help—and rescue them from Dr. Bonkers the Butterfingers Botanist (yours truly—and yes, that is the nickname plants everywhere have given me. And yes, they know I don’t like it when they call me that. And when I tell them I don’t like it, they sass me with, “That’s why we said it.”) 

In any case, Alex is absolutely obsessed with plants, and he can actually get them to grow, but they are outgrowing his room and spilling into spare windowsills around our house. What’s a mom to do, but buy a “polka dot plant” kit and give it to her son for Easter?

And there the kit sat, next to the Peeps and the Cadbury eggs for a little while, until one day, after chips and margaritas, I went unnecessarily wild and suggested to Alex that we just plant that puppy.

The actual planting part couldn’t have been easier. The kit comes with a cute little container and two soil disks. We just had to pour 1 ½ cups of water onto the disks and fluff them with a fork. Then, we spooned the resulting soil into the container and opened the seed packet. The instructions said that we could press the seeds directly onto the soil.

Here’s the part that was quite confusing: the seeds were incredibly small, and there weren’t very many of them, so we were not sure if they just stuck to our fingers? We were not sure if we got any onto the soil?

In any case, after about an hour, we decided it was time to stop crawling around on the kitchen floor to see if we lost any seeds and just trust that at least one made it onto the soil in the container. Then, we covered it in plastic wrap and set it on the windowsill. In about 7-10 days, we can start feeding it some kind of plant food solution, which was not included in the kit, and which I will most definitely forget about. (Dr. Bonkers strikes again!)

Meanwhile, I’m dreaming about this polka-dot plant, and I’m hoping it grows into something absolutely amazeballs—like something out of an animatron studio—stupendously covered in pink spots, dancing and singing songs about margaritas—and how all of the other plants should stop drawing mean pictures of Dr. Bonkers with bloody plant arms and a corpse flower head with squiggly smell spirals radiating from her face.

In Other News:

 Little Old Lady Comedy just published a humor piece of mine: “Things I Would Have Done to Get My Son Into College Had there Not Been an Intervention.” By the way, Alex is just fine despite his mother—he got into UW Engineering—direct to major! Woohoo!

Also, here’s a quirky story of mine in Sledgehammer Literary Magazine: “That Time When Suze Tested her Latest Invention at a Party.”

Your Turn: What’s your “dream plant” that you would like to grow? (Or have grown—or have seen someone else grow)



28 thoughts on “Polka Dot Plant

  1. Those grow quite well – a bushy and pretty addition to a plant collection. 🙂
    I don’t have any plants right now because of my split work/home areas, but I like to grow herbs, both inside and outside. Working plants, so to speak. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck to your new plants! If they’re like the polka dots I’ve grown, they’ll be unstoppable once they’re a couple inches tall. Don’t be shy about pruning them!
    What’s the next plant you think you’ll be starting?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on the publications, Cecelia! I’ve already enjoyed the funny one about getting into college:) I actually have a polka dot plant but didn’t start it from seed. It’s a fun plant and blooms, too. If I could get anything to grow well, it would be a miniature citrus tree, like a lemon or orange. I’ve always thought that would be neat!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. My plants call me something similar but less kind. Someone gave me two plumeria cuttings because she must hate plumeria. I stuck one in the dirt and gave it some water. Not sure what more it wants from me.

    That the package didn’t come with the special plant food is just asking for trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations to Alex on getting into UW Engineering! And congratulations on the publication of your tongue-in-cheek story of helicopter parenting. I got a kick of it. I read the quirky story as well–definitely quirky, and a little sad. As for plants, I always wanted a Venud Flytrap, so that I could feed it hamburger, but my mother thought it was a bad idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fingers crossed for your plant!

    I only have the passion fruit that spontaneously sprouted on my garden, and even my incompetent self hasn’t managed to kill. It has repaid me with a dozen of fruits so far, so maybe I’m doing something right? Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! They seem to like warm climate, but other than that, I just water it daily, get rid of dead leaves and pests, and that’s it! It’s not high maintenance at all! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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