The Palm in My Hand, a.k.a The Time I Tried to Raise a Houseplant

A tiny little tree grows in Brooklyn

I’m not a gardener. Dogs, cats, boyfriends, nieces I can nurture and care for, and they’ll blossom in my presence. But one time I killed a cactus. I managed to keep a bodega bamboo plant alive for about two years, and that’s my single plant success stories. My orchid got infested. My African violets just died.

Still, living around the corner from a (plant) nursery, I’ve been so wanting something green in my home! So today I wandered in. The ponytail palm and some sort of ficus immediately caught my eye, and their $10 price tags were pleasing. (I thought they’d be a lot more, because house plants are for fancy people?)

Recalling some article, somewhere, that said ficus aren’t the easiest, I told the man working there that I was looking for a houseplant that would be very hard to kill. He tried to point me toward the succulents, but I wasn’t falling into that old cactus trap again. I asked about the two I was eyeing, and he said the ponytail palm just needs to sit on a windowsill and be watered ever few weeks. Weeks! Sold.

Arnold Palm-er? My Little Pony-tail Palm?

Now, my readers, I’d like to name this plant. I think I’ll form a stronger attachment and take better care of it if I name it. Like a baby! What would you call this guy?


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