At the end of the school year last year, I received an impatient from one of the girls, I think it was Veronica. I didn’t have a place to plant it as I was ripping up my yard at the time, so I set it next to my kitchen sink and waited for it to die. It stayed pretty much unchanged all summer long and then a few weeks ago as we hit autumn, it took off. It grew out a few inches in each direction, the leaves got bigger, and it started to bloom. When I saw the first couple of blooms, I thought it would be the last little bit of expended energy before giving up. The only think I knew about impatients was that they’re annuals. But it kept growing and kept blooming and so I looked on Google for some information and found a page that said that impatients can live several years and get quite large as houseplants. I had no idea.
The houseplants I have are a Thanksgiving cactus, two prayer plants (love them*), and three african violets. I know that the cactus and prayer plants can be fertilized from March to October, and my african violets are fertilized year round with a diluted solution every time I water. That’s how I water the others, but only from March to October, so since fertilizing season is over, I called a nursery to ask what to do with the impatient. She said that I can start fertilizing it now and through the winter similar to the violets, but at about a third of the frequency.
A whole lot of babble, sorry, but the point is that I have this very summery looking plant by my sink that miraculously survived in a tiny nursery pot with no food all summer long and is now delicate and filling with flowers. It’s neat. I moved it to a slightly bigger pot today and fed it.
I’ll probably have to pinch it back since it looks a little spindly in the center. We’ll see what happens.
Speaking of seeing what happens, I dyed the sample wool and alpaca for Nate’s sweater back whenever I said I was going to. I used no vinegar ’til the very end to set the color, and it dyed nice and even. I’m doing the same with silk noil today, but it needed a little vinegar to finish taking the color. I think the lack of vinegar in the beginning helped it to take evenly though. Noil has proved tricky for me.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a big batch of a couple colorways soon. I keep getting closer.
*So, the reason I love prayer plants, aside from the beautiful red against the lime and dark green, is that they move every morning and night. It took some getting used to, because the whole plant will spontaneously shake now and then and it can be startling, but the leaves point up to the ceiling at night, and lay flat or point down in the afternoon. They seem more alive than any other plant I’ve had. I love it. They’re always growing, and you can cut off a bit that has gotten long and stick it in the dirt to replenish the top. They make me so happy. I have two now. One is about 5 years old and one is almost 3. I’m quite proud of them.