R.I.P. Rosa the Jade:

So sad!

Rosa grew up in Indiana, and since then has lived in Maryland, Virginia and New Mexico. She liked to consider herself cosmopolitan because of this, but she never lorded it over the other plants. She was just happy to be exposed to different parts of the country.

She was cheerful, strong in the face of adversity, and determined to grow, grow, grow.

Her only problem in life was me. We would get along for a couple of years, then bam! I would nearly lethally overwater her. Accidentally of course, I wasn’t trying to kill her. Once I realized my mistake, I would chop her into pieces and replant her. Each time she came back bigger and stronger, until the next time I screwed up.

For the last several years, our relationship has been smooth and wonderful. She started a band. She had children. I didn’t overdose her with too much water.

We were getting along!

But then the mealy bugs blasted on to the scene about six months ago. She became addicted to them. Nah, just kidding – they became addicted to her.

We tried everything to get her clean. Soapy showers, rubbing alcohol, Neem spray (again and again and again).

She was quarantined with the other mealy-hit plants in the spare bedroom. Things went down hill from there. It’s not so much that I forgot they were back there, but it was more that I dreaded going back there. Mealy bugs are tiring.

Finally, yesterday, I decided to act. I’m choosing to view it as a euthanasia situation. She was clearly suffering. And me too – it’s not cool battling mealy bugs, they are relentless little buggers.

I made the decision that she’d suffered enough. I said my goodbyes and thank yous and I’m so sorrys, then I tossed her in the trash.

I realize that was a selfish act on my part. I’m not proud of that. But it was time. I didn’t want the bugs spreading throughout the house, and she earned a rest after years of service.

Life’s complicated, I’m not happy about my decision (it was not lightly made), but I made it nonetheless.

Rosa left behind her offspring, and I plan to do much better by him than her:

After taking this photo, I spent a long time with Q-tips and rubbing alcohol, cleaning the mealy bugs off. Then I Neemed the whole plant.

Now he’s back in quarantine but hopefully on the mend. I’ll check him a lot more often than I did Rosa.

It’s a bummer about Rosa, but life goes on.

All we can do is keep trying to do better, right?

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