Friday, February 12, 2010

What to do with Uncle Henry

I am not a hoarder. I'm not!

Fish around in my garage, if you don't believe me. There you'll find lawnmowers, rototillers, every garden tool known to man... A few hundred flower pots. And, that's about it. Nothing but the bare necessities.

People think I'm a hoarder because I tend to keep house plants. Forever.

It's not always because of a deep, emotional attachment. In Uncle Henry's case, I keep hoping someone, someday, might like the looks of this spiny old fella and offer to adopt him.

It has been 15 years. And, so far, nobody has stepped forward to claim this Grumpy Gus.

Uncle Henry is an African Milk Tree. Nurseries say these plants make a cute little addition to those coffee table size cactus gardens that are ever so popular.

Well, that was then.

And, this is now.

Henry is brushing our 10 foot ceiling.

Plus! We have a love child. Check out the photo.

When we did the annual super bowl rotation (it takes an army of house guests to move him and most are none too thrilled with the task) look who was hiding behind the old guy's gnarly stalks! A 4 foot tall bambino. Henry, Jr. exposed to the light of day.

African Milk Trees are called the Good Luck Plant. Give him away and good luck comes my way! Any takers?

PSSSST! Want the inside scoop as to how Uncle Henry became such a big bruiser? It's not groovy, organic fertilizer. It's not special soil. It's Christmas lights. Yup. When we tie him up tight with Christmas lights, he goes ga-ga over the warmth.


Anonymous said...

I SO totally would take Uncle Henry, adopt him and give him a wonderful home in the chilly North. But the shipping... aye, that's the rub.

Kiki said...

Wow..I love Uncle Henry..quite dashing and amazing! Very cool! He seems pretty happy!
Fun post!

Noelle said...

Well, Uncle Henry looks so happy where he is. Could you create a sky light for him so that he can grow even higher ? ;^)

Kate said...

Hi, All;
Yes, he's very happy but I didn't sign on for a 10-footer. He might like it in Alaska. Titanium - You must promise to decorate him with twinkly lights every Christmas. :D

Carol said...

Kate, How could you part with your Uncle Henry? That corner would be so empty without him! Christmas lights huh?... An amazing creature and happy enough to grow babies on his own... wait a minute... are we not speaking of Aunt Henrietta?!! Clearly androgynous! Plants are so highly evolved! ;>) Carol

Johnnny said...

Here are a few random thought possibilities for Hank*: sell or donate to a biz or hotel in the area with very high ceilings; you could sell stem cuttings as a side business; just keep the love child and use senior as a fence post with yearound twinkly lights for good luck.

*All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. Avoid contact with the milky sap. More info.

Melanie said...

I think he is great! A friend of mine has one that is the same size. She has so many other plants, her house is like a jungle, you barely notice it.

Kate said...

Oh, Carol, you're too funny! We're all starting to wonder if I leaped to conclusions thinking Henry was a boy. Kind of like the Pat character on Saturday Night Life. Hard to tell!
Thanks for the giggle. :)

Kate said...

Great Ideas, Johnnny!
Thanks for the info - and the follow! - I hope I can keep you entertained.

I should add to your info: the white sap can be VERY painful and so can Henry's thorns. You need special gloves to do battle with him. Two years ago, I conducted a bit of liposuction, removing 80 pounds of branches. They root too easily. :)

Kate said...

Hey, Melanie;
The best 'look' Henry ever had was last year when I allowed a Jasmine vine to climb all over him and blossom hundreds of tiny white flowers. He wasn't nearly as thrilled with his new 'do' and killed her off in short order. That's when he got the nickname, Grumpy Gus. :)

jan said...

Maybe as junior thrives, UH will give up the ghost, knowing that he will live on in JR. Or maybe, Jr will rise up some night and do him in, so that he can have the corner all to himself - you know, like gorillas...just nature taking her course!

Kate said...

Hi, Jan!
I love it. :) If I don't re-pot Jr. soon we'll have a mutiny on our hands, for sure. :)

Gail said...

He's a big boy for sure! Hope you are starting to feel better! gail

Rosey Pollen said...

Perhaps because you name your ,they get monstrous. Little shop of horrors and all that rot.

Uncle Henry is sure thriving with your TLC. I would like to see a picture sometime of him wrapped in lights.

Will said...

I had one of these for years. The mother plant got even bigger than 10 feet, then we had to cut it as it hit the ceiling. We had many smaller starts from it over the years. It is gone now. A couple of years ago it was moved outside and got frosted to the ground. None of the babies exist in our house, although I am sure there are several alive and well with others to whom we gifted plants over the years.

Shelle said...

aw...i seem to kill everything i adopt these he won't do well with me! i am getting better though the last few plants have lasted almost a year!