L is for Lily

Last summer, my mother-in-law was gifted with a calla lily. She loved it. She has respiratory issues, so not all plants, especially not most flowering plants, are good for her home.
(She has great aptitude for growing African violets, which stay green and lush all year, with or without blooms.)

She lamented to me that she had killed the lily. She asked me if I wanted to rescue it. I looked at it and I smiled, saying, “Sure, I’ll give it a whirl.”

MIL thought she killed her calla lily. Shh, she didn’t.

She’s just not familiar with the dormancy period of flowering plants, tee-hee.

The reason I’m giggling is because I took the lily home, carefully groomed it, gently pulling its dead leaves off as they withered, stuck it on the highest shelf in the bathroom, where it received constant low light over winter, and last week, I pulled it out, set it in the sun, gave it a little water, and poof! the calla lily knows it’s spring!



I fed it Monday, and am hoping by the time Mother’s Day rolls around, I will be able to re-pot it in a pretty permanent container, and give it back to her. Then I will explain the magic of dormancy.

This is a woman who tells the children that Jesus painted the pretty fall foliage, so she will no doubt love the resurrection.

In the meantime, I gave her an orchid for Christmas, and explained how easy it would be to care for, if she did x, y, and z. The orchid is still going strong, so I think that’s a good sign. I know it’s a boost for her confidence.

You see, that’s why I didn’t tell her how to do it. MIL would fuss over it and worry about it. And if it didn’t come back, she’d take it personally. They don’t always come back, but the odds are in her favor. If she wants me to keep doing it, I will, but I really think she can manage.

For me, this is one of those things I’m so eager about, I actually get giddy! The anticipation of returning the calla lily to her is intoxicating! I’m getting so excited!



About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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18 Responses to L is for Lily

  1. Awww, that’s so sweet. And I know she’ll love it!

    Stephanie Faris, author
    30 Days of No Gossip


  2. you are such a sweetheart! I totally get your excitement.

    I don’t do houseplants partly because I have cats, and well, you know how that usually ends… but I really don’t have an indoor green thumb. Out of doors, a different matter.

    Would love an update, especially when Mother’s Day rolls around.


    • I do know how that goes! My girl cat plays with them, but she doesn’t eat them or get sick. I’m fairly certain my boy cat is afraid of them, lol, he’s so neurotic.
      Out of doors plants are the best! True splendor.
      I’ll post an update 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Maggie!


  3. Kat's Den says:

    All my plants are at work, and I love them. But if I brought them home, either the dog, the cat, or maybe a grandchild would destroy them pretty quickly. But at work I get to visit them every day. Congrats on the resurrection; I’m sure MIL will be so happy!


  4. suzjones says:

    She is going to love it! What a lovely thing to do.


  5. Sherry says:

    I confess, I’m not the most patient gardener. I have two pineapples attempting to grow though one didn’t do very well during the winter in the sun room. Too cold at night i think…still it may be hanging on. I have a christmas cactus that has never bloomed…so I’m a bit lazy I guess.


  6. spacurious says:

    You had me at ‘Jesus painted the pretty fall foliage’.


  7. Carrie Rubin says:

    I admire those of you who can keep plants alive. Every plant I’ve ever had has died. My cactus lasted the longest. I know I didn’t give them the attention they deserved because I’m not that into them, but some I really did try with. Just not my forte…


  8. See, I always wonder how y’all kill plants. Now and again, they just die young. I killed my first houseplant in February, he was a jade plant, may he RIP. I have no idea why he died, and I consider it a fluke. But to repeatedly kill them…do y’all know after awhile, you gotta give em food? or put em in a larger pot? Do ya overwater? underwater? put them under/over a vent? *shrugs* Black thumbs remain as much a mystery to me as my green thumb remains to you.


  9. Luanne says:

    Haha, what a great character sketch you painted here (sans fall foliage) of your dear MIL! And what a great gift!


  10. meg68 says:

    The only plant I have that has survived is one that Fitty gave me for my 30th Birthday, (long before we were a couple).
    We still have it now, proof that plants have hearts!


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