Month: January 2020

Jade Plant

~ Crassula ovata a.k.a. jade plant, money plant, and friendship tree. ~

When I bought this succulent, I had no inkling about its name/s. I bought it on a whim from Next, along with Sedum pachyphyllum. Later on, I found out that it is commonly called as “jade plant,” also as “money plant.” It has strong oriental roots and has been used by the Chinese in the practice of feng shui in terms of wealth. In the RHS website, it is also labelled as “friendship tree.” I don’t know the story behind this last name. Perhaps it’s related to money: the more money you have, you find the more friends you have.

Crassula ovata is the botanical name of jade plant/ money plant/ friendship tree. As my horticulture teacher has emphasised, this is the beauty of a botanical name versus a common name: a botanical name is unchanging (unless recent genetic findings warrant a change). The botanical name allows us gardeners and plants people to know exactly which plant we are talking about, compared to using common names which may differ from country to country, region to region, locality to locality, and possibly, even garden to garden.

~ The other four Crassula ovata plantlets. ~

The original plant I bought has succumbed to stem rot, a section of the stem started blackening off and then the leaves turned yellow and fell one by one. Fortunately, I took some leaf cuttings from it one or two months before that happened, emboldened by the success of the Sedum pachyphyllum leaf cuttings.

Today, I have five healthy plantlets of Crassula ovata sitting on my windowsill.

“Two-Stemmed” Sedums

When does a succulent leaf cutting produce two stems, and when does it produce just one? Or probably, the better question is: why? I wondered about this as I watch my Sedum pachyphyllum leaf cuttings grow into new plants. I don’t know the answer.

~ A one-stemmed Sedum pachyphyllum plantlet. ~

Sedum pachyphyllum is the first succulent I tried propagating. The mother plant was a small plant, with less than 20 leaves when I bought it. I was eager to try and experiment with leaf cuttings propagation as I’d never done it before then. The instructions from the internet: ensure the leaf is whole when taking leaf cuttings, allow the “attachment end” to dry for 2-3 days, lay the cuttings on clean compost—preferably one suitable for succulents, mist the cuttings with water as needed—do not allow them to dry out, keep the cuttings in a warm area, and lastly, have patience, in a few weeks the cuttings should take root.

And indeed, just like that, my leaf cuttings were a success! I was amazed by how easy it is to reproduce Sedum pachyphyllum. The ones above are some of my latest leaf cuttings. The first ones (below) will soon need re-potting.

~ The first two leaf cuttings of Sedum pachyphyllum have grown well. ~

Winter Cherry

At Parc André-Citröen, Paris on 30 Dec 2019: Distinctly bi-coloured winter cherry. Delicate pink and white blossoms. I was quite surprised to see a cherry tree in full bloom in winter so, I googled at home what could be its botanical name and I found this: Prunus x subhirtella “Autumnalis Rosea”.