by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

From Chivas Regal to cheerful green plant

Last Christmas and New Year saw me saddled with a one litre bottle of Chivas Regal.  After being partially responsible for scaring me with headaches in the New Year, the fine brew one day managed to disappear.  I guess as winter gave away to the spring of 2012 and the fair city of Chennai began to warm up, so too did the rate of evaporation.

So whether it was vaporisation or some other cause, in the end I had one empty bottle of Chivas Regal in my hand.  For quite some time, I have been admiring a glass vase in a friend’s shop.  Whatever was its original purpose, the 3 litre glass vase, which resembled a laboratory conical flask, now houses a thriving Money Plant floating in water.

The Epipremnum Aureum plant, a.k.a Money Plant is one of the favourite indoor plant throughout India.  I’ve seen people growing them indoors, in balconies, verandas, gardens and on roof tops from Chennai to Mumbai and Kolkata to Goa.  The extreme winter in the North of the country, from Delhi above makes them a strictly indoor plant in those regions.  Now armed with an empty one litre bottle of Chivas Regal, it was time to grow my own Money Plant in water.

The best part of growing a Money Plant is that it does not need soil.  To be accurate, with modern hydroponics, it is possible to grow every plant without soil.

But Money Plant is one which does not need any care at all.  Replenishing the evaporated water in the container is all the Money Plant needs to thrive.  I have seen one such plant spread out to more than 10 feet from a 200 ml glass tumbler.

While the basic idea was good, the bottle itself presented a problem.  As this bottle of Chivas Regal was bought while travelling to India, it had that peculiar plastic-cap-stopper-with-a-metal-ball.  In case you are unaware, most liquor manufacturers cap their liquor bottles destined for countries known for fake, spurious liquor with such an anti-pilfer cap - and India is the best known country for such knock-off.  It is often said that more Scotch is sold in India  than what is produced in Scotland.

Here is the Chivas Regal bottle with the Security Cap.


This is how you cut the metal foil - doesn’t that Swiss Army Pliers Gerber tool look cool?


The exposed plastic cap has been hack-sawed away, taking care not to score the bottle.


Then the bottle was washed to remove the stink of liquor and the labels.  The easiest way I found was to let the bottle soak in water for half and hour or so.  The labels just peel away.  The most eco-friendly idea I could think of was to soak the bottle in the flush tank.

Here is the Money Plant sitting pretty on the balcony sill.


Now to wait for it to grow to 10 feet!

PS:  The cutting of the Money Plant was taken from the remnants of the wild growth on the terrace of my Apartment blogged about in March 2010.


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