I heard that snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata, formerly Sansevieria) were excellent house plants. They have good air cleansing properties, they release a relatively high amount of oxygen, and they’re next to impossible to kill. All of these points are important to me, as I want a plant that’s going to improve my living situation and look out for my health, while also being able to occasionally survive on its own while I’m out on extended business travel.
Today, I decided to buy a snake plant. I searched Google Maps for the closest Home Depot and headed west towards the Garden Center of the Home Depot on the 800 block of South Rainbow Boulevard. I went inside, only to be massively overwhelmed by way too many plants.
After a few minutes of browsing, I discovered a small problem. All the plants out in the Garden Center were potted in flimsy plastic temporary pots, and I would have to move the plant into a better home by purchasing a separate ceramic pot and some dirt.
You may be asking, why is this a problem? Well, I didn’t want to buy a bag of dirt, only to use just a portion of it and have a leftover half-bag of dirt. This scenario wouldn’t matter much for most people, but remember that I live 400 feet up in the air in a high-rise condo. I don’t have a backyard where I can dump the remaining dirt, and I don’t have a garage where I can just store the leftover dirt for future use.
But, for this to even be a problem in the first place, I would have to find a snake plant that I want to bring home. I decided to save some time by asking the Garden Center attendant.
The attendant was obviously wearing a mask, which isn’t too confusing if you’re reading this blog post not too long after I published it, but in case you’re someone from the far future and aren’t aware, everyone needs to wear a mask right now because there is a COVID-19 pandemic. However, this attendant decided to wear her mask so it was covering her mouth… but left her nose hanging out over the top of the mask.
I approached her and stayed six feet away from her like a good social distancer, but she slowly crept closer and closer to me until she was within a foot from my face. From here ensued one of those comical scenarios where two people with different personal space requirements are in a conversation, and one person is functionally “chasing down” the other. I think we traveled literally from one side of the Garden Center to the other while she told me how there were no live snake plants I could buy, but there were some fake ones available, they had a great selection of different plants, and there were also some real snakes for sale if I wanted to go three miles west to the pet store.
I thanked her for her help and left Home Depot.
I don’t get discouraged that easily. I decided that my next stop would be the Garden Center at Lowe’s Home Improvement. I made it there to find that there was as equally of an aggressive selection of plants there as there was at Home Depot. However, I managed to actually find a snake plant. Now I had to go back to resolving my problem of not wanting to buy a bag of dirt.
I flagged down another Garden Center attendant and asked her if I could just pay someone at Lowe’s to move the snake plant from its plastic container to a ceramic pot. She was a bit confused as to why I needed someone to do that, and insisted that the process was very easy and that I could do it myself. I then had to go through an extended conversation where I explained that I live on the Las Vegas Strip and I don’t really have a place to do home gardening, let alone a place to use leftover dirt.
The reliving part about this conversation was that this attendant appeared to know how to wear a mask. … The unfortunate part was that she removed her mask every time she was talking, then placed it back on her face every time she was done talking.
She may or may not have ultimately proposed a valid solution to my problem during our conversation, but I was so confused at how a country could possibly be so incompetent at using personal protective equipment during a global pandemic that I don’t even remember what she said.
The only thing I recall is thanking her for her help and leaving the store without a snake plant.
So yeah, I still need to go buy a snake plant.