Of Hens & Chicks…or How to Neglect a Plant

I’ve had a pot of hens & chicks for three decades. I know it’s hard to believe that I could keep it alive that long with moving and all.

When we sold our house the pot was next to the porch, frozen to the ground. I worked at getting it loose but it was a long winter. My neighbor came to the rescue and pulled the sorry, busted pot loose.

Sunday we picked up the sad-looking pot of hens & chicks. Green life was showing, even in the chicks hanging over the edge.


I always kept them in a pot otherwise they would multiply all over the flowerbed, as do the forget-me-nots and lily of the valley. It also made them easier to move.

Why didn’t I leave them? I have some sort of attachment, as I do for the Christmas cactus’ of my mother and two grandmothers, which I’ve also had for decades.

I wonder how those plants survived at times. I would see them by the porch every time I went outdoors. Most of those times in a hurry going to work, sporting events with the Sweets, or shopping. Mostly I let nature water them, except when we’ve had an unusually dry summer.

Last year we had plenty of rain and they looked like this:

The rooster sticking up.

I had to ask my Facebook friends what was growing out of the top of my plant. Someone called it a rooster, (appropriate) and they appear occasionally. I never saw it so healthy and robust.

There are times when I am like that shriveled hen, browning at the edges and drying to a crisp. I find myself drooping when I neglect more serious talks with God.

I can read my Bible all the time, but if I’m not careful it will breeze right over my heart and become a meaningless thing: a duty.

I didn’t take time to READ it.

I could pray the same prayer, sort of a chant. It would mean nothing.

The Holy One delights in honest prayers. There are plenty of examples of that in Psalms.  David was so totally honest, I wonder if I dare say some of the things he said to a Holy God.

And yet, David was the apple of God’s eye.

As the earth renews growth in spring, renew your prayer life. Dig in the soil of your heart and plant new scriptures, and pray for your hearts renewal.

Today I bought new soil for the plants, and cleaned out the dead leaves. I picked up my favorite happy faces—the pansies before they were all gone.

Put some joy in your life. Grow a plant this spring!


6 thoughts on “Of Hens & Chicks…or How to Neglect a Plant

    1. Donna

      I just cleaned up and replanted my hens and chicks on Tuesday.. I took them from my great uncles’ cemetery near Bedford, Pa. many years ago. Your points on prayer was needed today. April 25 is a sad day for me. I lost my mom 43 years ago and it would have been my 53rd wedding anniversary had my husband lived past his 41st birthday.

  1. I can’t seem to keep a house plant alive . . .
    But I have a huge garden and grow flowers outside, so I try to enjoy them while they last. Bringing them inside is a death sentence!

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