Category Archives: House plants

Houseplant Heaven – Propagating Succulents

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Houseplant Heaven – Propagating Succulents

Most of my houseplants have been ordered online, and I’ve been really impressed how they have survived their journeys to my house.

However, I have found that the succulents tend to lose a few leaves in transit, which of course I can’t resist trying to turn into new plants!

The baby donkeys tail in particular lost lots and lots of leaves, which is nothing to do with how it was posted, it’s just a delicate plant!

I’ve propagated plenty of plants from cuttings, but have never tried succulent leaf propagation, so I thought I would give it a go.

I put about an inch of cactus compost in a seed tray, misted it with water, and scattered the leaves over the damp compost.

This tray (from left to right) has baby donkeys tail leaves, string of bananas leaves and variegated string of pearls leaves.

I have put them on a sunny windowsill with a plastic lid to keep the heat and moisture in. These photos were taken on the 20th January.

I received the baby donkeys tail plant about a week ago, and I have had the leaves that came off in transit in a plastic bag since then. One of the leaves already has some roots on it, so I’m hoping the rest get roots quickly. If they do, I’m going to have a lot of plants to give away!

Here is an update, on the 8th February, so less than 3 weeks later – some of them have shrivelled and died, but the vast majority are looking fine, with little roots forming on some of them.

I’ve been spritzing them regularly so they don’t dry out, and it’s been quite sunny, so they get quite warm in the daytime.

And another update on the 22nd March (so two months after I put them on the compost)- some tiny plants forming! I think I’m going to separate out the ones with plants forming and put them in their own individual modules.

And again on the 13th April. I’ve taken the largest ones and given them a small plug cell each to stop their roots getting tangled with each other.

The string of pearls has done really well (on the left) – actually better than the parent plant, so I’m glad I have some back up.

Nothing has happened to the string of bananas, just some roots forming, so I’m leaving them in the main tray for now to see if anything eventually happens.

You can see below how big the root systems are on them.

Eventually the piece they grew from will wither and die as they are getting all their nutrients from their root system.

It’s quite remarkable that in just three months I have almost 40 viable new plants for free. My friends and family will be happy, and my daughters schools fete plant stall will do well! If I was minded to try and make some money, the costs stack up well. The parent plant cost £17.50, so even if I just sold the babies in a few months for a couple of pounds each, I would be quids in, for very minimal effort!

Update… these are the plants at the end of June. Time to put them into proper pots. I’m thinking a couple put together in a small pot will soon make a nice little plant.

The ones I left in the original tray because they were too small to pot on have also done well, and one of the string of bananas finally started generating new growth. They have been joined by some leaves from some other succulents that have rooted really well just by laying them on the soil and keeping it moist with a spray. I’ve now turned them over to encourage the roots to grow into the soil. Free plants really are the best.

Houseplant Heaven – Bathroom Jungle

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Houseplant Heaven – Bathroom Jungle

I recently re-decorated my bathroom, and am sure that adding lots of green is going to work beautifully with the black and white theme.

I’ve had an aloe there for a while now, and apart from a mealybug infestation, it’s doing ok.

Recently I added this variegated Philodendron, which I’ve already blogged about here.

I completely fell in love with this small zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) at Knights Garden Centre. Apparently they are a bit tricky to take care of – they like warmth and humidity. Not things we have a lot of in the British Winter! So I thought my bathroom would be the best place for it. I have a towel radiator in there which means the room gets reasonably warm, and it gets nice and humid when the shower is on. Fingers crossed it’s gets on ok. The pot is from Burgon and Ball.

The zebra plant has a couple of new friends since I started drafting this post. All from the lovely Suzanne at The Ginger Jungle. If you like unusual house plants, you have to check out her site. She has a very small business, and imports houseplants from all over the place. She has ones you won’t get anywhere else. I went to pick up my new plants from her today (she does mail order, but doesn’t live so far from me, so I went in person). Her house is a veritable jungle, it’s awesome!

The pink edged one at the back is Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah,

and the smaller one at the front is Hoya carnosa variegated ‘tricolor’, which has some pink leaves. I wanted some pink in the bathroom as I have a pale pink shower curtain, and I like things to match (but not too much). The pot is a gorgeous Wedgewood one that I bought in the RHS Wisley gift shop sale last year.

Hanging out above this gorgeous trio is a Fishbone cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger) also from The Ginger Jungle. The pot is from Burgon & Ball

I just love it’s crazy shape. And together I think the four of them have a great mixture of shapes, textures and colours. I’m very happy. Now I just have to keep them alive!

Related Posts: Houseplant Heaven – The beginning of an obsession

Houseplant Heaven – The beginning of an obsession

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Houseplant Heaven – The beginning of an obsession

It’s the beginning of 2019, and, as usual, I’m behind the trends! Apparently 2018 was the year of the houseplant, and I only caught the bug at the very end of the year. I think it was a combination of seeing a lovely lush garden in Morocco (and knowing that I could only grow most of the plants indoors), the sadness of not getting out into the garden/allotment in Winter, and too much Pinterest browsing that has started me down this track.

I bought the RHS Practical House Plant Book to help me. It has sections on designing with houseplants, and profiles of 175 plants. It also has a helpful explanation of different types of light in a room, which is very helpful. And of course there is Google for information and Pinterest for inspiration.

I have to confess a love of variegated houseplants. I really like the irregular way the white shows up on the leaves.

Look at this gorgeous sweetheart plant (Philodendron Scandens Brasil). I have put it in my bathroom which is north facing, but with a large window, and it seems happy so far. It is about 1metre tall, and pinned down over the moss stick. I’m hoping that it’s going to get really long, and I can unpin it and train it over the end of the shower rail.

The best thing about is that you can make it climb or trail.

I also bought a Devil’s Ivy (Scindapsus pictus Trebie, also known as silver pothos) at the same time from my local garden centre Priory Farm Nursery. It looks similar to the philodendron, and was climbing on a 50cm moss stick. But being a contrary sort, I wanted it to trail. I undid it all (it was pinned to the stick with small metal pins), and it had one long and two shorter limbs (I’m sure there is a proper name for them!). I’m absolutely thrilled with how it looks cascading down the side of a wardrobe in my dining room. It is in the middle of a knocked through room, but gets quite a bit of light because I have huge 1930’s windows, and it’s near one which is south facing.

I’ve also taken cuttings of both of these. I plan to take cutting of all of my new plants, as an insurance policy! I’m putting them in water on a north facing windowsill. They look pretty, and hopefully will root soon.

Related posts: Houseplant Heaven – Bathroom Jungle