Favorite plant survival story

kitcatclub(z5 NY)April 28, 2004

Well, there are some plants you just can't kill, no matter how hard you try. I'm not talking about wild invasives, like poison ivy or bittersweet vines or weeds. I mean regular garden plants that have the misfortune of being abused, neglected, stomped on, sprayed, shredded, dug up accidently (or otherwise), buried accidently (or otherwise), chewed up by local varmints (domesticated or otherwise), driven over, hacked, left unplanted in the hot sun or driving rain, etc., etc., ad nauseum, and yet return with nary a quiver and leave you shaking your head in wonder.

Consider: 2 years ago, I purchased an artemisia pontica at a farmers' market. I then proceded to forget to plant it and left the pot out all winter. It sprouted happily in the pot the following spring. Hmmmm . . . OK, planted it out. It spread nicely, but not invasively, until I needed room for other things. I potted up a small section to give to my Mom and composted the rest. Left THAT one in the pot all winter, too.

Sadly, the pot was under the snow and couldn't cry out when my hubby hit it with the snowblower. Plastic pot shards and dirt went flying, covering approximately 20 square feet. This spring, we spent some little time collecting the debris. Amoung said debris was a little clod of dirt - as a joke, I planted it in my holding bed and told hubby to keep the snowblower away from it.

You guessed it - the darn thing sprouted and I now have a 2 inch tall baby artemisia pontica.

Anyone else?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

There is a cottonwood tree near my home that has a 4 inch diameter chinese elm growing horizontally (trying to get to sun at edge of canopy) out of a crotch about 25 ft. above grade. It is growing in only what leaf duff collects & decomposes each year. I have known of the elm for at least 15 years, so it is pretty safe to say the tree has survived for somewhere near 20 years, never having been watered, except by Mother Nature.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 4:24PM
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copperfish(Zone 9, Texas)

My husband just loves fig. I bought one years and year ago. It lived. It didn't grow. Years go by. Still it lived. It didn't grow. Not an inch. Transplanted it three times. It lived. It didn't grow. This went on for years and years when I moved it one last time and we accidentally cut it down with a lawn mower. It died. Finally.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2004 at 8:29PM
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dupperdog(4b WI)

My parents bought the house that I live in almost 50 years ago. My parents were not flower gardeners and did not appreciate plants around the foundation of the house. They wanted lawn grass all the way up to the foundation. The previous owners (more than 50 years ago) had planted some tulips near the foundation. My parents mowed them down every year as they came up. When we inherited the house we decided to let them grow, and they bloomed after 50 years of being mowed over every spring.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 8:54PM
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My mother in laws house caught on fire in late spring about 3 years ago. The house was being redone and we could not access some areas of the house due to furniture being moved arround. By fall we finally got into her bathroom and found her angel wing begonia still alive after 7 months with no water. It had been most of 95 degrees in that house all summer and the plant still lived. I now have it and it is the toughest plant I have ever seen. It just grows and grows.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2004 at 12:06AM
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dowbright(z6 in Missouri)

I had a clematis that had never done well for me, though I'd lavished care on it...It remained stringy and thin and maybe one or two blooms a year, despite the big trellis I'd strung up so hopefully several years earlier.

My fiance moved in, and went outside to cut back brush and some overgrown areas...in his eyes, my weak little vine was a weed so he weed-whacked it with gusto...I cried, but wasn't angry...just a tad sad...

The following spring I went to cut the strings down since they wouldn't be needed....and found the broken off stem of the clematis with just one tiny string of green wood not fully cut off, and it was spreading. It soon grew up and across the entire trellis---and draped down beautifully...now it also expands across the bed it's in, because despite all the cutting back we do---it cannot be stopped!

I'm about a year away from calling it a pestilential organism!!!!!

But awfully funny!

Miz B

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 4:21AM
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Many years ago, a local garden center had a flat of straggly catnip that was all but chewed up by the resident cat. I selected the one that looked the most alive, and when I went to pay for it, the cashier just up and gave it to me, it was so close to the Big Flower Pot in the Sky. When I got it in the car, I sprinked some Kool-Aid on it and when I got it home, I sat it in a pan of water. You can guess the rest: that catnip lived and is now planted in front of my deck, and yes, my kitties adore it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 11:37AM
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Nell Jean

A new daylily came to this place about 1967, my MIL was SO proud of it. Time passed; others kept the yard mowed and the daylilies were forgotten. A few years ago, I noticed daylily sprouts where the old bed used to be and wondered...

...BRIDE ELECT (Childs, 1955) lives!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2004 at 2:12PM
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