Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Asian Plants

My tropical plants are dying in the winter. I thought that these plants would survive using my example as a metaphor, hardy enough to survive the new environment. Actually I miss read the instruction which I thought indicated that it would survive the coming winter. It was doing fine in the recent cold mornings but one particular specie seems to have died. It was about 32 degrees this morning and looks like it was too much for this plant. My wife said that maybe it’s hibernating. But I knew that it was either dead or near dead as it’s not a plant that is around here.

My co-workers have already warned me to keep the tropical plants in the house. I had thought that these plants where ‘all season plants’ after buying them in Wal-Mart. I explained that gardening in Asia means buying the plants and sticking them in the ground. Almost always the plant will thrive verdantly. Of course there are only 2 seasons in South East Asia, the monsoons and summer or when it’s not raining. So one is either wet or dry which makes it only 2 seasons really. Unlike in America where there are 4 seasons with winter coming as the plant killer.

Foolishly I had initially thought this Asian plant will survive the winter because winters are not as harsh as up north as in New York or Maine or Chicago or Michigan or even Canada. So I had the false bravado that like me, the plant will survive its new surrounding considering that it’s near tropical weather. But the cold spell this morning was the last straw. The leaves turned brown and the stems seemed to have collapsed. It's bright colors where replaced by brown and the other dark colors of death. Most of the nearby trees are bare and have already shed their leaves but I still foolishly thought that some how these tropical plants would survive.

I did not have the heart to go down and look at them. I was already late for work. So I had planned to bring them inside later to see if there’s still a chance for them to survive. Maybe they are just hibernating just like my wife said. But their dark shrunken image does not inspire hope. I guess South East Asian plants really need more care and effort. Perhaps I should have purchased plants from North Asia. Plants that survive the harsh winter climate of China, Japan or Korea. I should have researched these plant varieties more and looked for them in Wal-Mart or Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Going back to the metaphor, will a South East Asian survive the winter? Of course with enough clothing and sweaters and thermal underwear one can survive even the most terrible of winters. One should not be careless in the new surrounding and keep one’s wits about. The plants would have survived simply by putting them inside the house, away from the harsh weather. It was overconfidence and deluded thinking that equated the survival of the tropical plant to one’s personal situation that killed it. Perhaps this is a good example of behavioral economics where one’s overconfidence can result in disastrous decisions.

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