All winter long, readers of the Duluth News Tribune have been sharing stories, with photos , of their house plants and how long they had been in their families. Some had been passed down from great-great grand parents and were almost 100 years old! Now that’s impressive!
In most cases, the longest lived house plants were exactly those that you would expect–the so-called Christmas cactuses. But some of the plants surprised me. One person had a smaller flowering amaryllis.
Several people had oxalis bulbs–what we often see being sold everywhere around St. Patrick’s Day as “shamrock” plants.
One person had a sedum One had a fern. And then there were miscellaneous others . There were a series of articles written. You can Google it to see the articles with photos .
This is my longest lived plant. A neighbor gave it to my parents in the late 1970s and I took it shortly thereafter. It’s a rhizamatous begonia, x giganticum.
These are the flowers. It only flowers once a year for me, right about now, but it does have a long bloom time.
I have given away lots of divisions of this plant and even made myself a “spare” in case something should happen to one of them. I think they’re great–and of course they have a lot of history with them.
My Pa grows bonsai stock in Poulsbo in Washington, and is sometimes assigned to care for old bonsai specimens that belonged to someone who passed away. They sometimes stay only long enough for a or other relative to come to retrieve them. Sometimes, it takes a long while to find homes for them. Some have been around for more than a century. They are not houseplants, but stay potted like houseplants do. It is amazing that they can get so old without ever growing in the ground.
Bonsai is an amazing art. I tried growing some for a time but quickly discovered that it was too heartbreaking. It’s hard enough to travel for any length of time and try to find someone who can water my existing plants–even if I move them out of windows, put them in bathtubs, and try all those tricks. Nothing like that works with bonsai. And house sitters don’t really care about plants. It’s really asking them too much to get them to walk a dog….