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waxing philosophic on plants and life


Last Edited: November 11, 2004, 3:57 pm

A couple of years ago my son's co-worker gave him a potted patio plant...I think it's a type of gardenia but don't know horticulture among a lot of other things.  I do know that it likes full sunlight according to what's left of the "stick-in-the-dirt" label and we face due south so that's good.

I've assumed responsibility for the care and upkeep of this plant.  When the temp. gets below freezing I bring it indoors for the winter.  My two teen-age sons and I don't keep a real neat home so the chlorophyll and oxygen are good things, and it's the only plant we have.

The plant has been in the house for a few weeks now and sure enough every single leaf is aimed towards the sunlight it is getting.  The leaves are like automatically controlled satelite dishes aiming towards the sun.

In the past I would turn the plant around 180 degrees every so often so it wouldn't all grow in one direction....and the plant didn't do too well indoors.  Now I'm leaving the plant in the same position all winter because this is the natural need of this plant to survive.  The leaves are growing larger and it's still blossoming as of 11/11.

Note to self.......go with the natural flow of life and work with the flow, not against it.

Entry #6


ToddComment by Todd - November 11, 2004, 4:23 pm
Rick G - here's something you may find interesting.

Did you know why leaves grow towards the sun? It's not because they are straining to get more sunlight. It is because the cells of the plant actually grow in darkness, so the cells AWAY from the sun are growing much faster and larger, causing the plant to bend AWAY from the darkness.

Pretty cool, eh?

Rick GComment by Rick G - November 11, 2004, 5:13 pm
Todd, That is very cool info. Makes total sense. Now based on this info what would your suggestion be regarding rotating (or not) indoor plants in relation to their sun orientation? Let them be or move them around?
I know nothing about this except my plant didn't do well last winter with me rotating it, so any suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
ToddComment by Todd - November 11, 2004, 9:23 pm
Well, I'm not really a green thumb, so my suggestion to rotate the plant would be common-sense so that it doesn't become L-shaped. Maybe there's someone else here would could offer a little better advice! (Sorry)
waynrComment by waynr - November 12, 2004, 1:09 pm
The plant grows extra cells on the shaded side of leaf stems to turn towards the light upon which it's life depends(essential for photosynthesis). Thus the energy spent in turning constantly to eat keeps the plant in a state of perpetual fatique. Get it a rest, a little fresh air and as much light as possible. Water only if wilting and fertilise lightly if at all when indoors. If one side gets bare turn that side towards the sun when it goes back outdoors it'll fill in. Hope this helps.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 19, 2004, 12:34 pm
Thanks, waynr...didn't see your response until today and I will follow your suggestions. I was fertilizing it with Miracle-Gro during the winter so I'll cut back on that too.
Rick GComment by Rick G - December 15, 2004, 10:35 pm
Well I have taken Waynr's advice and have not rotated the plant, not fertilized it and have watered it sparingly. As Todd mentioned it is taking somewhat of an L-shape (lol) towards the window but I gotta say it's healthier than ever and has grown about 33% since I started this blog. My plant and I thank you guys!

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