Tag Archives: just ask

Christmas miracle?

Since when do plant cuttings flower?!

I grabbed some cuttings of a wandering jew from a restaurant near my workplace a few weeks ago. I saw it while walking back from a holiday market with a colleague. I went back the next day with my trusty shears and just asked if I could take some cuttings (I may have said “a cutting”). I don’t think the hostess knew what to say; she’d probably never been faced with such a question. I took about 10 cuttings. The plant was pretty scraggly, actually; I did them a favour by cleaning it up a bit.

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I like this purple variegated variety

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I expect cuttings to put all their energy into making roots to secure and feed themselves, but to flower?! A definite surprise.

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A tiny blue flower forming on the right

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I’ll have to read up on care.

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Either I’m a glutton for punishment or I’m just stubborn. I don’t want to give up on things I really like.

I bought myself two Thanksgiving cactus a few weeks ago at Tiny Flower, one with red blooms and one with pink.

The red blooms dropped in transit but there are still plenty of pink ones

I’ve owned and killed two (or was it three?) full plants over the past two years and I haven’t been able to start new plants from leaf cuttings. When I bought these, I regaled the lady behind the counter with stories of  my failure with this plant and asked for tips of how to keep it alive. She said not to water too much; that’s usually what kills them. Once every 3 weeks is good enough. So that’s the plan. Fingers crossed that these two will make it.

To my horror, my prized pilea dropped all its leaves after I moved it away from the window when the temperatures started dropping.

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Growth picked up in September. At it’s healthiest, it had 10 to 12 leaves

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It looks done for, doesn’t it?

I was upset but couldn’t bring myself to toss it, especially after building up the courage to ask for it.

I convinced myself that perhaps this was normal. I noticed earlier this year that my rubber plant was dropping leaves. Eventually it stabilized after forming a trunk. I thought perhaps the pilea was doing the same thing.

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You can see where the leaves used to be. Many dropped but there were new leaves at the top of the plant

So I brought it to work to get more light and low and behold, new leaves are forming!

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Patience is a virtue!

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I have my first hoya!

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One of my Facebook gardening groups identified this as a hoya. A Google image search helped me narrow it down to a Hoya Carnosa.

I got the cuttings from a beautiful, climbing mother plant at the place where I get acupuncture. I was so attracted to the striking dark green waxy leaves with their interesting white markings that I inquired about taking a cutting.

I’ve had it in water for about 5 days. I’m not sure how long it will take to make roots. I was initially worried that it was hibernating, but this post from a Master Gardener says that they don’t hibernate in winter; great news! I just need to be patient…

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The post says the carnosa is the most commonly cultivated species but this is the first time I’ve ever seen this type.




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Alien invasion!

I guess my “ask and ye shall receive” luck started with this weird plant I saw in my colleagues office one day. He was helping me pretty-up a poster in Powerpoint that would be going to the printers. I went in to have a discussion and my eyes caught this beauty!

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Absolutely love the pot!

I was so enamoured that I asked if I could have a cutting. He said yes, if I could figure out how to do it. So I posted it on a FB gardening group asking for an ID and how to propagate it; found out it was a peanut cactus and I could propagate by root divisions or just by snapping off a piece and sticking it in the soil.

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These guys sticking out can be plucked off and stuck in the soil.

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Ripe with babies below. I separated them by root division.

When I finally did separate it (I used both methods), I was surprised by how short the roots were. The plant was literally sitting on top of the soil and it was at least 3 years old.

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I tossed the two brown ones on the left. Growing some at home as well as in my office.

I potted a small one for his office mate who thought the plant was just too weird, like space creature (I thought she needed to learn to appreciate its beauty). She likes it now, nice and stubby, but it has yet to reach its creepy fingers in her direction. Good thing it’s a slow grower.


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Ask and ye shall receive

I tend to get a little obsessed with things. Like when I see a plant I like, I can’t stop thinking about how I can acquire it by any means necessary. Like the giant snake plant I saw at offsite meeting several months ago. How could I sneak home a cutting without anyone noticing? I decided not to chance it; didn’t want to make a bad impression on people I’d just met.

I was walking home one day in May and very near my home I spotted a recent obsession, a pilea peperomioides! This plant had been coveted by many people on several of the Facebook groups I followed so I was excited to see one right in my neighbourhood.

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And most importantly, it had babies!!!

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Babies hiding underneath the mother plant. And a leaf breaking off.

Problem was it was in the window of what looked like a place of business, but there was no information about the business or opening hours.

Sometime later I was taking the bus in to work than usual and I noticed someone walking around in the office. Perfect!, I thought. I would muster up the courage to ask for a baby. I’m pretty shy so this was a big step for me. And you know what? I was successful! The lady was nice enough to open the door when I knocked. I told her I’d been walking by when I saw the plant and asked if she’d be willing to part with a baby; she gave me two.

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The leaf from the mother plant fell off. She was going to throw it out but I said I would take it, even though I’d read the best propagation method was root division

I gave one to my garden friend and she was nice enough to pot it for me.

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I haven’t found the perfect place for it at my home yet. It didn’t seem too happy on the west-facing windowsill and it still remains a bit droopy on my plant table near the less-bright east-facing window, which has a tree in full bloom in front of it at present. I hope it will find it’s way and make some babies in the near future.


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