Madhu Bazaz Wangu | Rebirth of My Golden Pothos
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Rebirth of My Golden Pothos

Rebirth of My Golden Pothos

This morning one of my twin golden Pothos plant delighted me! As I turned this lush indoor climber around I discovered three stems lying on the ground waiting to be trimmed. Here is the story of why this sight was so pleasant.

One of the many things that thrilled me when I came to the United States was luscious indoor plants. Seven years later, when my parents visited us my mother too was delighted with plants thriving inside our home. She added a philodendron to my small collection. That plant is a quarter of a century old now. Its attractive foliage, although gone through many ups and downs, continues to grow in soil enriched with humus. Through years I have placed it in shade, under filtered light or in indirect sun. In shade its leaves grow smaller, under filtered light they are larger but in indirect sun they grow huge.

Since my daughters left home I give extra attention to not only my mother’s philodendron but to my Christmas cactus, ponytail, jade, and prayer plants, crotons and many others.

The two golden Pothos are my latest additions. I brought them home, about four months ago. Pothos plant resembles philodendron except their leaves are lighter in color with variegated streaks of golden yellow and white. They were trained to climb on 4″ wide bark sticks, barely visible from above.  I placed the new plants in shaded corners and dry atmosphere, the kind they like. I soaked their soil thoroughly and allowed it to dry out between watering.  Once a month, to prompt good foliage, I showered them under the faucet with warm water.

Last month, in order to clean the wooden floor, our cleaning lady managed to uproot one of the two plants by picking it up with its bark stick instead its container. In doing so she had loosened its roots. A death sentence!

It was several days after the house cleaning that I noticed the contrast between the two plants: one was thriving with lush beautiful bouquet of leaves (the one that surprised me this morning) but the other one had wilted. It hurt me to see its downward facing leaves not just gloomy but dying. I touched the pot, the soil, the leaves and only then noticed the bark. So I pushed it back into the soil and packed it. One branch with three small leaves was still alive. I removed the dried and wilted leaves and watered the one still alive hoping it would survive the trauma.

Many times my mother’s philodendron had wilted or dried when we moved from one home to another. I had been able to successfully revive it. And it had survived. However, now with the dying Pothos barely alive there were days when I thought of replacing it with a new one. After all one was available at Lowes for $10.00. But something in me said, No, nurse it back to health, it will survive and grow back to its fullness.

This morning when I checked the weak plant a leaf from its one healthy stem had begun to sprout! A few leaves of the healthy Pothos had dried, and some had turned yellow. I removed them and admired its lush beauty. I turned it around to remove any unsightly leaves at the back; lo and behold three overgrown branches lay outside the pot reaching the floor!

Like an organ transplant surgeon, I trimmed the healthy limbs without diminishing its beauty and planted them in the weak Pothos plant. I pressed the soil and watered it. It does not look as exuberant as its healthy twin, but I know within months it will be as lush as it was before.

This morning, it struck me how we transfer our emotions on living things other than humans, at times even inanimate objects! I was interacting with these plants as if they were my mother, my daughters, my grandchildren.  Some of my feelings of longing and loving; nourishing and curing were overflowing to other things. How we feel within is reflected back to us from the things we devote our time to. Have you ever  had an experience similar to mine?  

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