Hello tulips, and happy Friday!

Friday is the day I gather my panel of “Experts” and ask them a plant-related question. It’s anybody’s guess how they might answer. Chances are the question and the responses will be completely ridiculous. But that’s ok, right – you don’t really want to work on a Friday, do you?

Let’s say hi to the Experts. Hi you guys!

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Aw, you guys are super cute! From left to right, that’s Tina, Thack, EZ, Dottie and Lewis. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Here’s this week’s silly question:

Q. If plants were considered “people” like corporations are considered to be “people,” which plant or tree do you think would find the most tax loopholes to pay the least amount of taxes?

Expert Tina, you’re up first as usual. 

A. BAAAHHAHAHHA LMAO! A swiss cheese philodendron!!!!!! Damm taxes!

Haha, good one, girl! Lots of loopholes in a plant like that!

Nice job once again this week, Tina. For playing, you’ve earned one closed loophole, a loophole for a taxing situation and 7 bragging rights. Thanks as always for being here!

Expert Thack, here’s the question to you:

Q. If plants were considered “people” like corporations are considered to be “people,” which plant or tree do you think would find the most tax loopholes to pay the least amount of taxes?

A. I think the tree next to my driveway would find a way to pay nothing in taxes. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something shady about that thing…

That’s comedy gold right there.

Casting aspersions about individual plants/trees is not nearly as fun as casting aspersions about an entire type of plant/tree (just like “people”, now that I think about it), so I’m going to go with the rose. Strikes me as the type of plant that would think itself above the whole paying taxes thing.

See, folks, that’s why Tim gets paid the big bucks. Comedy gold, indeed.

Thanks for being here again this week. For playing, you’ve earned a coupon good for nullifying an aspersion, tax-free extra credit points, and an imaginary bouquet of roses.

Up next is Expert EZ Ed Johnson:

Q. If plants were considered “people” like corporations are considered to be “people,” which plant or tree do you think would find the most tax loopholes to pay the least amount of taxes?

A. It’s hard to squeeze anything out of a cactus.

Fair enough. I think most people would agree with that, especially if they weren’t the ones doing the squeezing.

Good job once again this week, EZ. You’ve earned a tax hole that’s been looped, one “get out of tax free” card and 15 silver stars. Thanks as always for joining us.

The ever-charming Dottie Correll is up next. Dottie, here’s your question:

Q. If plants were considered “people” like corporations are considered to be “people,” which plant or tree do you think would find the most tax loopholes to pay the least amount of taxes?

A. Good Morning All.  Somehow I couldn’t get “jazzed” or connect with this weeks’ topic.  However, this Sunday being “Palm Sunday”, and celebrated by  many folks, here in the US and around the world, aroused my curiosity about the use of Palms.  So interesting to me, that all of our significant holidays have plants/flowers used in symbolism and associated with the occasion.

In the Middle Ages, this was one of the most vivid festivals of the year.  Before Mass, the priests blessed “Palms or twigs of sallow, box or yew which the congregation carried in procession and later took home.  During Mass people made crosses, either from their palms or from sticks and string they had brought to the church, these too were blessed and taken home to ward off evil. 

In many lands in the ancient Near East it was the custom to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor, ergo: the palm branch;  a symbol of triumph and victory.  It is amazing to me how this traditional celebration is practiced in almost every country in the world  and each has adapted there own customs and substituted other plants/flowers when the traditional palm fronds have not been available.
For instance, Russia uses pussy willows, Oriental Orthodox uses marigolds, Malta uses Olive leaves, Poland organizes artificial palm competitions–some as big as 34 meters, and very interesting in Bulgaria on Palm Sunday people with flower related names such as Violeta, Lilia, etc. celebrate this day also as their Name Day.

Of course, there were the “teen agers” that got into the act and developed their own secular folk custom of “going a-Palming”, common from the 18th century until the mid 19th century — They would go into the woods to collect the catkin-bearing hazel and sallow, to decorate their homes and bring luck for the year, and to wear in their buttonholes.  In some places those gathering “Palms” then headed for a prominent hill, to dance and hold sports, eat figs and cakes and drink (“sugared water”?). The annoyed landowners soon brought a halt to this behavior, which was held to encourage drunkenness, brawling and immorality!  Damn sanctimonious adults!  Someone always has to spoil the fun!

Amazingly enough, all of these celebrations and subsequent traditions emanated from the Jewish Passover celebration when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was given a hero’s welcome by the people who had heard of his miracles and regarded him as the leader who would deliver them from the domination of the Roman Empire.  They carried palm branches, a traditional symbol of victory, and spread them in the streets before him.  Other names for the day include:  Passion Sunday, Fig Sunday, Willow Sunday, Branch Sunday, Blossom Sunday, and in France, Rameaux.

Wave your Palm!  Spring has “blown in” to Albuquerque!

Um, you weren’t jazzed about today’s question? Are you saying it was ridiculous? You were? Oh, well I can’t argue with that – it was pretty dumb. You were smart to venture off in your own direction!

And once again, Dottie, you wowed my readers with your thoughtful, researched answer. I’m sure they, like you, are interested in symbolism with relation to plants. Very well done, definitely another correct answer. For playing this week, you’ve earned a symbolic gesture, a tax-free symbol and bragging rights through Easter. Thanks again for being here.

Expert Lewis, here’s the question to you, fine sir:

Q. If plants were considered “people” like corporations are considered to be “people,” which plant or tree do you think would find the most tax loopholes to pay the least amount of taxes?

A. Just don’t call them people

Never, never,never I heard all of my plant scream, my aloe was insulted, my patho’s outraged,  the Boston fern concerned,  the jade saddened, the coleus annoyed, the Norfolk pine befuddled it usually does not know what the hells going on anyway. You wonder what the issue that has got all these plants in an uproar, you called them human or people the most despicable, vile, insufferable, destructive organism on the Earth. To be labeled human is to say that the flora of the planet posses the same terrible self-destructive characterize that humans flaunt. Has a rose ever lied to you, has an azalea stolen your credit card, would tomatoes covet your possessions, would a cherry tree cheat on its taxes, would a majestic Sequoya redwood be a drunk or take drugs just to get high and I would trust my life to my Pomegranate even if it is in its own crisis. All that the green beings ask of us is that we are honest and treat them fair; must we cut every tree for toilet paper, must we plow every meadow for doughnuts, and must we drill and mine the last wilderness for streetlights? No matter what we do to our world they still love us and forgive us when we mistreat them for they are above humanities shame. We still have much to learn from our green friends, just don’t call them people.

If in the next couple of weeks I seem a little giddy or preoccupied it’s because I will be transforming from a lowly caterpillar to a majestic butterfly or at least in my mind anyway. I am changing job I was blessed and now will be working for The Great City of Oz – Albuquerque as a Safety Compliance Officer in the Risk Management Department. So now I go to inspire city employees to be safe, safety is no more then 99% common sense people just don’t think and then do something unbelievably stupid and hurt themselves, others or destroy something valuable. I say Safety is not a club to knock into their heads but is a song to be remembered in their hearts. Be safe and remember who you are calling names.

I’ve had houseplants steal my heart, do they count? Haha, just kidding. I can still anthropomorphize plants, right, as long as I don’t call them humans? Ok, I can live with that.

Lewis, congratulations on the new job! That’s really great. I can’t think of a better man for the job. My readers know you’re resident “safety guy” on this blog, but I’ve seen you in action in real life, helping families after a disaster occurs. You do great work!

I sure appreciate you making time for us every Friday. For playing this week, you’ve earned safety first, a voucher good for half-priced giddiness and wild applause for all you do. Thanks for being here.

That does it for this week’s Ask the Experts panel. The Experts will return in exactly one week.

Up next is the answer to last week’s plant puzzler.

Name that Plant Problem!

Last week, I asked what was wrong with these Pothos (Epipremnum aureum, Scindapsus aureus):

Oh dear, someone’s not happy! Let’s see how you guessed.

gray.com wrote, “So you’ve got two pothos plants, both in their respective containers. Your aim for watering one of them is excellent, but when you try to water the other, you miss the pot altogether.”

Ivynettle of Letters and Leaves guessed, “Good point about the two containers, I hadn’t noticed that. But the plant on the left certainly looks too dry (the one in my kitchen regularly looks like that, because I have to climb up onto the counter to water it, and… well, I don’t feel like doing that too often!) There is also one yellowing leaf (on the other plant? Hard to tell) that looks like a result of overwatering.

And that question about whether it’s too early to plant… nnngh! I have to discuss that with customers all the time. Yes, it’s too bloody early to plant tomatoes outside. Yes, even if all the big garden centres have them already. I’ll admit it’s hard to believe with the sunny warm days we’ve been having (first sunburn of the year, oops) and nice warm evenings… sitting on the balcony right now with the laptop and a couple of candles… but yes, it’s too early! *eyeroll* Our last frost date is mid-May!”

Steph from Indianapolis wrote, “Looks like this plant is being abused by someone with passive-aggressive watering disorder. My pothos looks like this sometimes after I neglect it for a while and then smother it with love. If it’s one of yours, it would never suffer such neglect. In that case, it might just need fresh soil and a trim.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “Looks like a watering problem. And it does look like there is more than one pot. Under-watering for the plant to the left?”

So who’s got the correct answer? Well, everyone guessed some version of a watering problem, so everyone’s right. I think Steph nailed it best when she called it passive aggressive watering disorder.

There are two individual 6″ containers sitting in the rectangular container. The one on the left was very thirsty – as evidenced by the collapsed leaves. Both plants had been overwatered in the past. You can tell because some of the leaves have turned a yellow/green blend, a classic Pothos overwatered look.

Both plants recovered just fine, but lost a few leaves in the process. Here’s how they looked the following week:

The solidly yellow leaves on the left plant – those are classic underwatering symptoms for Pothos. If you have a Pothos with either the yellow leaves or the yellow/green leaves, you should remove them because the leaves will not return to green.

Congratulations to all of you, and thank you for playing. This week, you’ve earned a ticket out of a taxing place, an order for a disorder and 10 yellow extra credit points.

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Don’t those fancy graphics just make you swoon? Riiiiiiight.

Are these Philodendrons real or fake?

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until midnight next Thursday, April 21st, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner after next week’s panel of Experts.

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