July 23, 2022

Mom's last houseplant

My mother has been in a care facility for almost seven years. She has Alzheimer's Disease. Her world has become small and peaceful, kept that way by what is, I believe, the very anti-depressant drugs that put her there. There is not any sort of dementia in her family history. It's just her. 

My stepfather died in May of 2019, and in preparing their house to be sold, I brought my mother's last surviving houseplant to my place. I'm not sure how it is someone can kill a cactus - other than sitting it in a basement window and forgetting about it. That's what happened to it. 

I didn't think it would revive but something in me had to try. It's a living link to Mom and I needed it. 

At the time, it was only the large central plant, and that wasn't doing well. The base was pinched and the cactus had fallen over. The dirt in the planter was hard as concrete. I brought it home, set it in the kitchen sink, soaked the dirt, and hoped for the best. 

I tended it for several months, amazed it hadn't died. It had, in fact, perked up with careful watering. Then one day I noticed strange bumps on it and soon realized those bumps were baby cacti! It was not only living but reproducing!

Now several of the baby cacti have shot out roots and it's time to see if they'll continue to grow on their own. I have another planter filled with what is marketed as cactus soil and today is transplant day. 

Everything I know about cacti is here in this blog post. I'm flying blind, but I'm taking the chance to see if they'll grow. 

I'm trying to keep it going, Mom. I hope it works. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, Alzheimer's Disease, cactus, houseplants, country living, rural lifestyle, simple country pleasures, traditions, 

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