Modern Living: Dr. Greenthumb

It was after midnight when the ambulance pulled up in front of an apartment building in Hartford, Conn. The patient, only six months old, was tenderly carried down three flights by a pair of uniformed attendants. "Looks to me," said one, "like an intensive-care-unit case. Visiting hours are from 9 to 6."

Thus last week a pampered philodendron was placed on the road to recovery from root disease. The indoor plant, belonging to a childless couple, had been wilting, yellowing and defoliating. Worse, when its owners—they prefer the term parents—talked to it, the...

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