Class Grows Love for Horticulture

As a student in HORT 2000, I have been assigned many projects. And all of them, as you could have probably guessed, are related to plants. So far, I have been assigned to make a pot-luck dish with a specific horticulture crop, walk in the shoes of a real horticulturist for a day, and complete a plant monograph. But the project I have enjoyed the most was one that was assigned at the very beginning of the semester. I was given a small plant and told, simply, to keep it alive. And although, it sounds easy enough, it has proven to be quite the challenge.

My plant, which I have identified to be a Nephthytis, more commonly known as a Cream Allusion, came to me as a small sprout with only three little heart-shaped leaves. But after re-planting it into a larger pot with nutrient-rich soil, giving it lots of water and sunshine, and even a little bit of love, my plant is flourishing. It is now about three times the size as it was when I first got it and sits happily on my desk, next to a sunny window.

This project ends on April 28th when I have to return my plant to class to be judged. The judges are looking for the most creative pot and the largest plant. And after intensive care and a weekly dosage of a little water-soluble fertilizer, I would like to think that I have a chance in winning the prize for largest plant. But even without a prize, this project has been enjoyable. I liked watching my plant grow and I am going to continue to care for it even after the class ends. I am curious to see how big it can get.

This project, and class, has inspired me to continue to grow and care for plants. Next year, when I will no longer live in the dorms and will have a little bit more room, I plan on growing some herbs. It will be nice to have a little rosemary, thyme, basil and cilantro growing out back. And I might even go a little crazy and try my luck with tomato plants. Even if you weren’t blessed with a green thumb, like some of my friends in the same class who managed to kill their plants within only a few weeks of being assigned the project, I encourage you to get out there and grow a plant! If you can keep it alive, it is pretty rewarding in the end.

Happy growing,

-Katie Tharp –sophomore at the University of Georgia, Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism major

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