What Am I Doing Wrong?

August 6, 2007 by Kailani  
Filed under my family

See this plant?

Two days ago it was a healthy, thriving plant filled with Forget-Me-Not flowers.

It all started about a month ago when I received some free flower seeds in the mail. Who would have thought that sweet gesture would turn into a nightmare. Girlie Girl decided that she wanted to try her hand at gardening, and since I know my history with plants, I suggested that we go to Grandpa’s house and have them help her.

Now, my father can grow anything. He’s had grapes, papayas, guavas, lilikoi, squash, even pineapples growing in his yard at one time or another. I figured he was the perfect person to help her. They decided to plant these little seeds in a pot and soon it was growing wild.

Two days ago, they decided that it was time for Girlie Girl to take this plant home and take care of it herself. “It will teach her responsibility”, they said.

So, every morning, she would wake up, fill up her watering can, and tend to her precious plant. She even talked to it like Grandpa showed her.

Well, this morning we woke up to a dying plant. What did we do wrong? The only thing I can think of is that we live in a very hot and humid area on the island and maybe the Forget-Me-Nots are just too fragile to survive here.

Any advice on what to do to save it? Poor Girlie Girl is heartbroken!

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About the author:
Kailani is the owner and founder of An Island Life. You'll find her sharing her daily life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


35 Responses to “What Am I Doing Wrong?”
  1. Karen says:

    Maybe they were overwatered? I know it’s fun for kids to water plants, but most don’t like watered every day. How often were they watered at grandpa’s house?

  2. Waya says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry but I have black thumb and not green thumb when it comes to planting. What great effort by GG though.

  3. Lorri says:

    I would also guess it’s overwatered. Teach GG to check the soil every day and only water when it’s almost dry. Once you figure out how long it takes for the plant to need watering, like every 5 or 6 days, you can even put flower stickers on a calendar to remind her to water – bonus calendar skills, too! ;)

  4. BeachMama says:

    I was going to suggest the over watering too. Did you check with Grandpa to see what he says? It could be a change of climate too. Some plants are fragile and don’t take well to change.

  5. Lulu says:

    I’m not much on planting or gardening, so I couldn’t even begin to tell you what’s wrong!

    On another note, if you’d like to send your father to Georgia to grow pineapples and papayas in my back yard, I have a spare bedroom. And I promise to feed him!

  6. tracey says:


  7. Lissete says:

    Sorry, I’m no help either. I kill everything . And it’s not for a lack of trying. Right now I’m trying to keep a sago palm bonsai alive. Can you kill bonsais?

  8. Jamie says:

    I would guess overwatering…maybe just water it every three days?

    Then again, I am killing my “lucky bamboo” plant at my office! :(

    Good luck! My mother has a green thumb…her flower garden is amazing!

  9. exskindiver (chesca) says:

    can’t advice. no luck with plants.
    i kill everything.

  10. Sparky Duck says:

    too much water?

    or start growing jade, Mrs Duck has a black thumb and she could not even kill it.

  11. Deb says:

    Maybe overwatering? Or underwatering? I tend to do one or the other so have no luck with plants myself either. Good luck!

  12. Jill says:

    I’m afraid I won’t be much help. You should see the flowers at my house. I only have them becuase our realtor suggested flowers would make our place look more homey. I think it just looks like we like to keep dead flowers around. lol

  13. Renee says:

    If the plant was overwatered the leaves would be yellow…they aren’t.
    I’ve noticed with plants that they can be picky about where they want to live in your house. Definately call Grandpa and ask about the living conditions of where it was in his house…light, humidity everything he can think of. I have plants that like to be in front of the windows and some that would rather not be that close to the sun. Almost all of them hate to be near the dishwasher (too hot & humid there!) and there’s one that was doing really well and now is trying to croak on us.
    I could grow anything in FL but here…not so much.

    Good luck. Perhaps Grandpa can resusitate it for you.

  14. Melissa says:

    I’m not very good with plants either… overwatering like some of the others suggested might be the cause. Did you have it in direct sun? Some plants don’t do well in direct sunlight. I’d call Grandpa… good luck!

  15. Haley-O says:

    All I can say is I AM NOT THE PERSON TO ASK! ;) Good luck with it, though!

  16. Shannon says:

    WOW. Wow. Your blog design is gorgeous! Did Swank do it? LOVE it.

    Sorry I can’t help with the plant thingy. I have zero plants in my house… for a good reason.

  17. Carrie says:

    I would say overwatering. And from what I can see in the pic, there isn’t much dirt in the pot. When all else fails, call Grandpa!! :) The flower stickers on the calendar for GG is a good idea too! Good Luck!

  18. pinks & blues girls says:

    I can TOTALLY relate. I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to plants. Wish I could help!!!

    Jane, P&B Girls

  19. Pamela says:

    I’m guessing over watering too.
    plus some plants have a very short season

  20. Tammy says:

    I have a purple thumb, as well…but all I can think of is that either it got too much water, or perhaps not enough sunlight?

    Other than that- call Grandpa! :)

  21. Write From Karen says:

    I’m so sorry for the plant, Kailani! Poor Girlie Girl.

    Thanks so much for the shout out!

  22. Amy says:

    I agree with the others~too much water. I’ve learned this myself by killing everything that came to me. After my father died in January I received two beautiful plants and I was determined that they would stay alive. We check the soil and when it starts feeling a little dry we water it~about every fourth day, but I know all plants are not equal!

    Good luck!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I hve so advice, I just wanted to share the misery of losing a loved plant. so sorry

  24. summershine says:

    I wish I could help but houseplants don’t last long around me.

  25. Stacey says:

    Hmmm…I’m no expert, but seeing this is your laundry room plant, did you use Clorox Bleach or Biz? Might make a big difference.

    (sorry, had to–I know nothing about plants!) xoxo

  26. Christine says:

    I’m sorry Kailani, I can’t help you either. Both my mom and grandmother have green thumbs, it skipped me. I even bought some desert plants that require very little water, I should take a picture of them, they’ve died. And I’ve watered them. Join the black thumbs club!

  27. wendy says:

    We did the same thing a few weeks back. I finally threw our poor plant out when Jayke wasn’t around to see. It sounds like over watering to me, but obviously I’m no expert either. Hope you can save it!

  28. rach says:

    Sorry about the plant. Perhaps, the humidity is a big factor. Sometimes changes in weather conditions have the abilty to affect plants.

  29. Kelly@PTT says:

    Oh that’s such a bummer – I hope they can be salvaged. I know I’ve drowned plants before. I can never quite get the right rhythm for watering:(

  30. The Foo says:

    I can never succeed in growing plants indoors. It either dies because I water it too much or never water it at all.

  31. Dana says:

    I have one of these plants at home, too. Mine is hanging on the porch fully watered, with the best light and it looks the same way. I think it’s just the season. Or something.

  32. @nnaliza says:

    hmmm, that looks exactly like my plant: dead one day later…

    hahaha, you’re not the only one!

  33. Dianne says:

    Nice blog design!
    I think there wasn’t enough soil in the pot and if your daughter watered it everyday, then there’s bound to be rot. Also Forget-me-nots aren’t really a houseplant and though you could have started them indoors, you should have transplanted them outside. A nice green foliage plant would be pretty easy for children to take care of. African violets arent’ too hard, but of course watering, feeding and pruning is important. At least they flower too.
    ~D ☺

  34. donetta says:

    Soil level is very low, transport to your home may have stressed it. Change of location too. Any change minor or major effects flowers more than plants.


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