To everything there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under Heaven.
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
[ Turn! Turn! Turn! sung by the Byrds, 1965 – lyrics adapted from verse in Ecclesiastes,- music by Pete Seeger]
Yesterday I moved the potato plant from kitchen to sunshine room. Last night, I noticed it looked sorta listless. This morning, its leaves are all droopy and a few have turned yellow.
I panic, of course. Ahhh!! my potato plant is dying! I do the equivalent of CPR on an indoor herbaceous being.
- Water? Check
- Plant right-side up? Check
- Sunshine? Check
- Feed Schedule followed? Check
- Feline teethmarks absent from limbs? Check
I can find no signs of plant abuse. I extend my panic to the Internet and look up Potato Life Cycle, surf a few sites, and discover I can’t understand half of what they’re saying. Dormancy termination? swelling in the subapical part of the stolon? Sounds serious, I muse – where’s the stolon on these things?
Then I remember reading something about this in one of the dozens of sites I’ve been using as my education-as-gardener self taught series. The potato vines have to die back in order for the potatoes to mature. *headsmack*
Now I don’t know for sure that that’s what is happening. But I find it a bit of a giggle that, after so many years of killing plants accidentally, how strange is it that I actually WANT one to die on purpose? According to this life cycle list, this particular windowsill-grown potato vine is probably nearing that point where, if there’s gonna be taters, there’s gonna be the tater-growing process – and the vines must die for that to continue.
Or the plant is sick.
So, I decide to take the level-headed gardener’s approach and do nothing for a few days. Maybe the 15-foot move from kitchen to room full of sunshine has made it go into some sort of tuberous shock. Maybe it’s in a coma. Either way, a day or so of observation is probably called for before I call in the horticulture experts, Department of Agriculture, FDA and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Ok, I’m kidding about the BLM.
The whole CPR thing made me a bit nostalgic, so here’s some Circle of Life from Disney’s The Lion King, to remind us all that many things in life work better when we let our imaginations soar freely and with childlike wide-open eyes.