Alas, Poor Charlie!

I can’t even say I knew him well! I can say I knew this was going to happen, but against all odds I did it anyway.


I’ll admit it, I spent $11.99 for another houseplant and the proceeded to systematically kill it off. Not on purpose, you understand, but it’s like Mark always said, the plants are saying “Please don’t buy us!” whenever they see me enter Orchard Supply. I was so hoping to change that stereotype about myself.

What you have to remember is, if you grew up in the 70s, creeping charlies were the plants everyone wanted for their handmade macrame plant hangers (don’t laugh, you know it’s true, and you probably made one!)  These plants were very popular, just like Boston ferns and spider plants.

(No, these are not pictures from my college dorm room! I found them online, mostly from Pinterest.) But I digress.

So, being the nostalgic one that I am, I recently realized that you never see creeping charlies anymore. I decided I would like to have one again, but not before looking it up to see if they’re poisonous to cats. (The ASPCA website says they’re not.)  So when I saw a spectacular one at a store near me over the summer, for a mere $14.99, I didn’t buy it. It was the best creeping charlie I had seen in years. But I thought…$14.99 for a plant?  (Insert Mark’s voice here: “$14.99 for a plant that’s going to die anyway?”) I thought, that’s okay, if I decide to get it I can always go back…but when I did go back, it was gone. Well, that plant must have been living right.charlie-price-tagSo  a couple of weeks ago I happened to be in the same store, and I saw this rather dilapidated creeping charlie for $11.99. I decided to get it, thinking, okay you already blew it by not getting that other one over the summer, and even though it’s pretty ratty it is still a creeping charlie and you never come across them anymore, and you can always take cuttings and root them in water to grow more plants. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

creeping-charlie-in-bathroomSo I brought it home and immediately hung it up in the bathroom, because even though it’s supposed to be nontoxic, that still doesn’t mean I’d want Foster to eat it. After deciding it wasn’t getting enough light in the bathroom, I put it in the sewing room for a while.climbing-toward-plantsThe sewing room didn’t work out either, for reasons we won’t go into here. And it was starting to look a little wilty. I decided it was time for drastic measures.creeping-charlie-2

I started by trimming off some of the stems that still looked decent and putting them in water. I got the pitcher at Goodwill for 99 cents, for this express purpose. Good idea, huh? I put the pitcher with the cuttings in the sewing room.

Then I repotted the rest of the plant into a nice container and put it in the guest room by the window. You can see it at the far left was going well, or so I thought. Then the other day I decided to check the plants to see how they were doing.creeping-charlie-wilted

As you can see, the cuttings in the sewing room were majorly wilted. Needless to say, no roots either.creeping-charlie-mold

creeping-charlie-mold-2Then I checked the plant in the guest room. It was wilted too, and somehow those little spiky white things didn’t look exactly normal to me. Figuring it was mold, I knew there was only one thing to do. I relegated it to the patio outside, with the other plants which, in true Scarlett O’Hara form, I have decided to “think about tomorrow”.


Then to top it off, while looking for creeping charlie photos on Pinterest, I came across this! I clicked on the article and apparently, if they get into your yard, creeping charlies can become quite a garden pest. There was even the heading “Why is creeping charlie so hard to kill?” Now, that is not even right!