As part of our process of moving we’ve had to downsize. While this applies in all of the typical ways, such as selling furniture, clutter, etc. it also applies to some of the other denizens of our apartment, particularly those of the plant variety.
On that note, I guess I should speak a little bit about our plant roommates.
Little Friend is our oldest. While we can’t be sure of his exact age we believe he has existed for roughly as long as time itself. He came to live with us in 2008. He was an apartment warming gift from my Dad and Stepmom to SB and I. Below is one of the earlier photos of him, yes we do decorate him during Christmas. The Native American who lives with him goes by the name of Injun Jack, potentially offensive but he says its a family name.
After Little Friend, the “Three Amigos” came to live with us. They were a Christmas present from my Dad and Stepmom. They are “spiritual” children of Little Friend. They actually had to to be cut back recently as well. Well, it was really just one of the three. They had to be repotted because they had far outgrown their original pot. Their names are Quixote, Pancho, and Nacho. I’ll leave it up to your imagination to try to figure out which is which. If you are wondering why there are four cacti when they are called the Three Amigos, its because two of those pieces come from the same rapscallion of the bunch. Below is a photo taken of them in their new pot, its a low quality photo because its dark and I’m blogging about cacti when I should be sleeping. Some of their buddies can be seen on the window ledge behind them, all cacti have buddies.
The next plant to come live with us was Bonsai Buddy. Bonsai Buddy was actually a gift from Meem. He was my first ever bonsai plant, a Jade, though I had seen my Dad (attempt to) grow some when I was younger. Unfortunately Bonsai Buddy died in 2013 as a result of a gnat infestation. They got into his roots and ate them away. I was not pleased. In fact I literally burnt many generations of gnats alive after the fact. Below is an older photo of Bonsai Buddy along with a younger looking Tristen.
However, the circle of life has its ups and its downs and so a new Bonsai Buddy came to be. With a little help from Meem, Bonsai Buddy Jr. came to live with us. Like his papa, he is a Jade Tree. So far, Bonsai Buddy Jr. has done well living with us. This either due to his own resilience, or me being a little better prepared to care for him, or, perhaps most likely, a combination of the two things. Below is a picture of Bonsai Buddy Jr., it is dark for the same reasons as the Three Amigos photo. You can see the obvious resemblance to his ancestor.
So, with all that said, Monday July 14th was not a good day for Little Friend.
Since we are moving to a small space and don’t have any real fancy way of moving the plants, they need to be compact. Three Amigos were pruned and repotted, and Bonsai Buddy Jr. will soon be manicured as well. Little Friend was no exception. The problem was that Little Friend was about 6.5 feet tall. Yes, that little thing shown up top was over 1/2 a foot taller than I am. Sadly we have no final photos, we forgot to take them. You can chalk it up to us being busy, things being hectic, and the event itself just being unpleasant.
The procedure itself was fairly straightforward, I just chopped large portions of him away. I researched the best ways to make the cuts online and even sterilized the scissors beforehand. It took a good while and SB helped me some, but largely she left me to be the hacksecutioner. I think there was probably an hour involved, all things considered. But when it was all said and done Little Friend had been reduced from approximately 78″ tall down to 57″ tall. He had lost nearly two feet of height. To make matters worse, not only did he lose height he lost width. In order to maximize his ability to be moved all his really branching arms needed to be trimmed back. So, in other words, Little Friend achieved maximum efficiency with the Hollywood diet. This shot below shows him after the procedure was over along with everything that was cut off.
So.. yeah, you can see that I clearly was not exaggerating about how big this cactus was. However, all was not lost. Like most cacti, Little Friend is able to grow anew from his lopped-off appendages. So, we bought 9 pots, some cacti-specific potting soil and dug out an old bag of peat gravel from when repotted Little Friend (a second time) and set about making Little Friend children to disperse to friends and family. To do so we began a sorting process, which essentially divided the fragments into “Gift” “Plant Outside” and “Return to Earth.” Gift was those pieces which were deemed fit to be potted and presented to others, with the top most portion of Little Friend going to my Dad, since they bought him in the first place. “Plant Outside” were those pieces big enough to justify planting around our property (regardless of what the landlord thinks). “Return to Earth” where those small pieces we just laid to rest in a ditch, they likely weren’t big enough to grow their own roots. The photo below shows that process in action.
Once things were all said and done, Little Friend had created nine spawns of himself and they were prepped to spread across the world.
So, while Monday, July 14th is a day that will live in infamy for Little Friend, things turned out alright overall. He is now easier to move and less likely to be injured during the move. I trust in his hardiness. Last time we moved FIL accidently dropped a bookcase on him and despite a few gashes he was no worse for the wear. Heck, even the arm that broke off ended up growing into its own plant. So yeah, have no fear, Little Friend will live on. I just hope his spawn fair as well as their forefather.
Until next time,