Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why "The Variegated Thumb?"

This post really should have been my first post on this blog.  But it wasn't, and that's probably for the best.  There are actually a couple of people who read my blog now. :)

You may have (although probably not) wondered why I named my blog "The Variegated Thumb."  If you have wondered this, I wonder what you decided.  Did you decide that I am simply a lover of variegated plants?  Or maybe that my green thumb is not full photosynthesizing - implying that my skill with raising plants is sometimes lacking?  Pretty much anyone who knows a thing or two about plants (and by a thing or two, I mean things like "plants have leaves" and "plants can grow from seeds"), knows the common "green thumb" moniker applies to those who have an uncanny ability to grow any and every plant they toss in a pot or pile of dirt - or dark closet for that matter.

Well, I guess I took that oh-so-common moniker and modified it for a couple of reasons.  First, although some might confuse me for a green thumb because my house is filled with plants and I spend a lot of my free time tending to them, I don't consider myself a green thumb.  Maybe I'm trying to be modest, but I think it's more likely honesty.  I have more than once found myself killing a plant that I thought would be easy to care for - and I didn't even shove the plants in a dark closet! Now don't go thinking that I have a brown, black or dead thumb.  I have never killed a silk flower.  And I have grown a number of plants quite successfully, some of them considered difficult.

A variegated leaf, while having many cells that do photosynthesize, contains a variable number of cells which do not photosythesize and are usually white.  I feel that explains my success with plants rather well.  I just don't quite consider myself attaining the title of Green Thumb -- yet.  I'll consider it a future goal of mine.

Now, if you were one of those people thinking I named this blog after my love of variegated plants, don't let your heart be crushed.  (whispering) I'll let you in on a little secret... That was part of the reason, too. Actually, it was a big part of the reason.  The Variegated Thumb just matched me so well because of the abstract discussion above, as well as the fact that I tend to look for the not-so-ordinary in plants.  I know, variegated plants are a dime a dozen these days.  But you have to admit, they are more rare than non-variegated plants.  Most of my favorite plants fall in to the variegated category - from the Aglaonema genus to Scindapsus pictus.  If they aren't variegated, there is usually some other not-so-ordinary attribute for which I have picked the plant.  I really like to find the unusual, rare, exotic and quirky plants to put in my collection.

So, The Variegated Thumb is much more than a catchy name for my blog.  It describes me and my experiences with the great Kingdom Plantae.


  1. I really like your blog format. Did you design it? Interesting info on why you named your blog The Varigated Thumb. I'm in the group who would have thought you had a thing for varigated plants as the explanation for your blog name.

  2. Hmmm.....wonder if this is an inherited trait? Gaga could never crochet a solid color afghan, but only afghans with variegated thread? Interesting....

  3. Aiyana-
    Thank you for the compliments on the layout. I used a theme called aeros (available through wordpress) and made quite a few modifications to get it to look and work the way I wanted.

  4. I need help in growing and care instructions for a "Purple Shrimp Plant". I have never had one and had trouble finding it because another common name is "Brazilian Fireworks Plant."

    Thanks everyone!