Hi pies and happy Friday!

My experts are on break until after the New Year. I don’t want them to think I’m going to forget them, so I’m leaving their heads in place so we can admire them once a week:

Adorable! Then move on the plant puzzler.

???Real Or Fake???

Last week, I asked what if this plant (Dracaena marginata) was real or fake:

I only showed you a little bit to make it harder. If you’d seen this picture, you would’ve been all over it:

It’s real alright, you can tell by the brown tips. Brown tips are usually caused by low humidity, although they could signal a bigger problem like overwatering. Occasional misting solves that problem.

Let’s look at your guesses:

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are The Strangest People guessed, “I’m going to say real.”

Congratulations once again this week. For playing, you win glory, obviously, but also two months worth of good luck and 68 extra credit points. I’ll also mail you an imaginary coupon for your next two weeks being blissfully Poinsettia-free in Iowa. Because I like you, and you were first.

Villager from Our Happy Acres guessed, “Why just a few leaves? I’m going to say real too. Maybe some of the other leaves have tell-tale spots that would prove they were real. But maybe if we saw the whole plant we would know it was fake. Argghhhh! I think I’ll just go have some chocolate!”

Mmm, chocolate. Haha, villager, we’ve already established that I’m going to try and trick you when I can. Why should I make these puzzlers easy? I’m not made of extra credit points, ya know. Someone’s got to pay for all the bragging rights I hand out, just saying.

You are a winner, despite your frustration. Because I’m on a budget, I can only award you 25 gold stars, 3 dozen bragging rights and a coupon for warm and happy holidays. Thanks for playing!

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves guessed, “Real.

It’s been a while since I’ve commented on any of your plant puzzlers. My internet is being silly.”

I know, and I’ve missed you terribly! How dare you let your life get in the way of my plant puzzlers? Haha, maybe we should try smoke signals for those days your internet is down.

You are correct, so that’s a great comeback. I’m awarding you a ticket for a smooth move (are you moving into a new apartment?), and, because I want to help, I’ll use my special plant telepathy to urge your houseplants to hang on until you have time to get them settled into new pots and a new place to live. Thanks for coming back!

gray.com (Mom) guessed, “Real. Why not?

My orchid, btw, thrives living outside in the summer, despite the bugs nibbling away at it. It is in total shade, next to a little pond. I bring it in in September or so, and by next March, it will begin to send up long stems which will blossom out. Last year I had a total of 17 blooms on that plant. I water it when the “soil” is dry, which is about once a week, and I tend to soak it with orchid food, when I remember.”

Your Orchid is outstanding, despite the bug holes. For those of you who are just joining us, she’s referencing last week’s puzzler.

You’re correct this week, so you’ve earned oodles of my love, my unpaid labor helping you paint next week and the title “Queen of Cochiti” for the next week.

goofy guessed, “Fake. Why? Because if it was real the leaf on right would either be drooping more (ie out of photo altogether) or more upright. Of course I am wildly guessing (and taking contrarian view to other commenters). But I would v much like to see this orchid of your correspondent “Gray.com” when all those blossoms are on it.”

Aw, goofy, you crack me up. He’s my awesome cousin and it’s funny he’d call his aunt a correspondent.

You’re wrong, of course, we already know it’s a real plant. But I like your contrarian views, so this week you win one dream to come true, 3 jugs of glory and many wishes for a warm and loving holiday season.

Thank you all for playing!

Now for a new puzzler:

Name That Plant Problem!

What’s wrong with this plant?

No hints, no commentary, just the photo.

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Then leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until next Thursday, December 16th midnight, MST  (that’s 2a.m. EST) to submit your guess. Thanks everyone for playing!

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here!