I killed the damn plants again…

An update on my attempt to grow those skeleton flower plants.

This morning, I thought it would be a good idea to take the plants out of the house and let them get fresh air and water.  I put both pots on the porch sill, and went to the day job.

I came home … and the wind and rain tore the stalks on both plants to shreds.

Damn it.  I failed again.  The plants are ruined. Continue reading “I killed the damn plants again…”


K-Chuck Radio: Music to help pretty plants grow

As you know, I’m trying to grow some “skeleton flowers” – Diphylleia Grayi, to be more precise – and in addition to adding soil and fertilizer and sunlight and whatnot, I thought my plants deserved some soothing audiophonic music.  I’ve heard of such studies where relaxing music can actually cause plants to grow larger and bloom brighter; so why not try growing these plants with their own specific K-Chuck Radio blogcast?

Sounds like a plan to me, don’tcha think?

All right, little plants, let’s start with…

Tangaroa Whakamautai

This woman’s voice is incredible.  I have absolutely no idea what she’s saying in these lyrics (sorry, my Māori is a bit rusty), but damn this track is super-awesome.  Grow, little plants… Continue reading “K-Chuck Radio: Music to help pretty plants grow”

Searching for Skeleton Flowers

Recently I caught a glimpse of a very special flower … one whose delicate white petals turn translucently clear after a rainstorm.  The plant’s clinical name is Diphylleia Grayi, but it’s more colloquially known as the “Skeleton Flower.”  The rare plant comes from marshy, shaded areas in China and in Japan, and they are quite a treasure.

By the way, did you hear the part in this YouTube clip that says that you can purchase these flowers in the States for about $20/plant?

Yep.  I did that.  I actually did it last year, purchasing three Diphylleia Grayi plants from a nursery in Washington State.  I transferred the plants to pots, and everything looked great.  This is going to work.  I put the pots out on my porch so they could get sunshine and rainwater …

And they got hit by a snowstorm the next morning.  The plants were destroyed.  Urgh.

I tried to order some replacement plants, but the nursery’s stock was depleted.  Guess I gotta wait until 2017.

Oh wait.  It’s 2017 now.

I purchased three more skeleton flowers from the Washington State nursery, and just to be safe, I purchased three more Diphylleia Grayi plants from a nursery in North Carolina.  The North Carolina plants won’t arrive until May – apparently they know what I did to the plants from last year – but the Washington State plants arrived safely last Thursday.

I immediately transferred two of the three Diphylleia Grayi plants to pots, and put them next to the only morning-sunshine window in my apartment.

Yes, it was still kinda cold out when I put those plants by the windowsill…

So now comes the fun.  See, in the past, I’ve tried to grow various flowers and plants.  And the only ones that seem to have grown with any consistency or success … were either plants made of crabgrass or thistleweed, and flowers made of plastic.

No, I’m not kidding.  I could swear that I’ve developed thumbs that are made of RoundUp.

Oh, and yes I did order three plants … but I asked a friend of mine to take care of the third plant.  She could watch it and let it grow, in exchange for me photographing the plant when it blooms.  Then she could have that stalk if she liked.

When I potted these plants, their tiny leaves looked withered and worn.  But after a couple of days on the sill, and a fresh cup of water mixed with their soil and Bio-Tone mixture, the plants are at least developing nicely attenuated umbrella-like leaves.

Good morning little stalks… #skeletonflower #diphylleiagrayi #gardening #dontkillitchuck

A post shared by Chuck Miller (@kchuckradio) on

And now … where do I go from here?

I wait.  I have to wait.  I can’t get plants to grow any faster, God doesn’t have that in His plans.

On Sunday, one of the plants – who I’m going to refer to right now as “Plant A” – unfurled its beautiful umbrella leaves.

Three days and look at the little guy grow! #skeletonflower #diphylleiagrayi #gardening #dontkillitchuck

A post shared by Chuck Miller (@kchuckradio) on

There definitely is hope for this little project.  In fact, I even went out to the furniture store and bought a little plant stand, so that Plant A and its sister Plant B can comfortably reside in suitable ease.

I just really want this to work.  I want to be able to have those amazing whisper-thin white petals and have them become wet with rainwater, turning them into crystal clearness.  And if I can photograph these little treasures… oh you know that would be fun.

Wish me luck.