In the early 2000s, I worked for a marketing company. Maybe my favorite job ever! We were a fairly small company with less than ten employees, doing co-marketing work for a large grocery company. I began as a temp – answering phones and whatever else was needed. My boss hired me straight-up pretty quickly, and then moved me into other roles. Because I had a knack for computers and technology, I ended up being the network administrator. And because I had a high threshold for plate-spinning, I also ended up being an account manager. So I got to travel some, and worked with people in various parts of the country while also helping keep the company going.

One of our in-house graphic artists had house plants all over her desk. I don’t know how she worked! They pretty much covered her useable workspace. Every time I had a project for her to work on, we had to move plants in order to collaborate. And then, one day, she just quit. Didn’t turn in her 2 weeks notice, didn’t ever come back. Just left. There was daily deadline pressure, and most of us handled it pretty well. I guess maybe it got to her? None of us know why she left. She truly ghosted – long before ghosted was even a thing. She even left all her plants!

No one replaced her right away, so those plants just sat on her desk, unattended. Most of them shriveled up and died. But one day, I walked by her desk and saw this one puny plant that was starting to shrivel, but still had some signs of life. I decided to claim the plant for myself, and took it home. There was just one section still alive. I put it in a glass of water and set it in our window sill. I’m no green thumb. Nor is my wife. We don’t keep plants around. We’ve tried, but they just never survive. This little plant, however, not only survived, but grew and grew and has been part of our home for over two decades now! Last year, it started to fade, though. I think 20+ years, in the same pot, same soil, might’ve been a bit too long. This time, just a couple of the sprigs were still surviving. So again, I stuck them in a glass of water and in time they began to re-root. Then we had to move, so we bought a new pot, got some new dirt, and replanted the two surviving sprigs. We stuck it in the window sill in our new place, and I water it fairly often.

Today, as I sat down with my computer, I noticed just how much that little plant has filled out! I had to take a picture for proof! It may seem silly, but recognizing that we have been able to keep this thing alive, and that it is now thriving again gives makes the corners of my eyes crinkle up a bit and the corners of my mouth turn upward a little. This little plant gives me joy!

I’ve always just called this plant an “Ivy”, and I guess that’s not technically wrong. Today I looked it up, and apparently the more accurate name is “Pothos”, also called Devil’s Ivy. That makes me laugh. The only plant we can seem to keep alive is the “Devil’s Ivy”. Hilarious!

I feel like, as long as we’ve had it, maybe we should give it a more personal name. Pothos is too scientific, and Ivy is too on-the-nose. But what should it be? I’m open to suggestion!

11 thoughts on “pothos

  1. Willow

    That plant looks good. They’re hard to kill, but it’s still an achievement to keep one alive for over 20 years. I’ve only had mine for 3 years and it doesn’t look as good. I like the other suggestion of Vinny as a name.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ellie Thompson

    That’s quite some achievement to keep a plant alive for twenty years or more, David. Your ivy looks extremely healthy and has obviously enjoyed spending its latter years with you. I’m glad that you decided to rescue it from work.

    As a couple of your other readers have commented, I, too, have a ‘wandering jew’ plant, also known as Tradescantia. I have a very special one of these with a charming story. I will try and keep this short. Two years after I lost my Mum, my daughter presented me with a pot plant for my birthday. She asked if I knew what it was, and I, with very little knowledge of plants, said I didn’t know. Then, she explained that she had taken a cutting from my Mum’s houseplant the last time she was over there and had grown it into a very healthy-looking specimen. I then spoke to my sister about my new plant, who told me that my Mum’s wandering jew had initially come from my late grandmother’s home. Cuttings had been taken and grown on for decades. It’s now sitting on my bathroom shelf very happily and looking like it could go on for a few more decades. Perhaps, I’ll take some cuttings and present them to my granddaughter when she is old enough to have her own home (that’s a long way off as she’s only ten currently.) It could turn out to be a very old lady of a plant, as your ivy could be, too.

    Going back to your Pothos/Devil’s Ivy, I will have to give it a lot more thought, although I agree that the name ‘Vinny’ would suit your plant perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person


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