How To Grow Your Own Money Plant
The Silence Of Growing Things
Anyone that has spent more than approximately 45 minutes in my company since February will know how totally and utterly in love I am with the little guy pictured above. And no, I’m not talking about the charming ceramic cat, but instead about the adorable plant that he is also eyeing up.
I have a feeling that my father-in-law will be head over heels that two of his gifts to John and I have become photograph-worthy objects in my life. The never-sleeping and all-seeing earthenware cat brings me great joy, always beaming from behind his beautiful markings but never revealing anything more.
However, the money plant has brought me a different type of thrill.
I’ll be honest, when we were gifted the original plant, I was horrified. I cannot and will not be able to keep this poor thing alive, I thought to myself. Even within it’s first year in our care, I believe I watered it approximately twice (both times when father-in-law made surprise visits… to check up on us or the plant I will never know) as well as being traumatically dragged right out of it’s pot in a bizarre vacuuming incident, clinging on by the very tips of its roots for dear life.
And would you know, it survived.
Now, I don’t know if it has been the influence of Cornwall’s tropical flora, or if the subliminal messages of plant-growing-satisfaction from visits to the Hersey family house finally rooted somewhere in my mind, but in February this year I decided to give it a go.
Let me explain - the gifted plant, which now lives happily in the corner of my kitchen in a new unbroken pot, isn’t on it’s own. In fact, it has a whole family of sibling plants living in Birmingham no less. After years of dedication, encouragement and most importantly patience, Father Hersey now has an eclectic collection of associated, yet beautifully unique money plants.
It is so, unbelievably true that the earth has music for those who listen.
Suddenly, this fear inducing living thing that I was doing my best to not even wave a finger near was catching my eye. If you haven’t had the luck of meeting a jade plant yet, then let me tell you a little bit about them.
This endearing creature, also known as the lucky plant, money tree or even friendship tree, is grown indoors and grows like a miniature tree. Whilst they are sensitive in some ways, the money plant is extremely hardy if you water it correctly and allow plenty of light to reach it. With thick rubbery oval shaped leaves, you can expect to see a shiny palette of green with the occasional red colouring delicately applied by natures brush.
And now the fun bit – how did I grow my own jade plant?
I have heard various versions of how to propagate succulents, which I am sure would be applied similarly in this case, by placing a single leaf from your larger plant on a bed of soil. However, following quite precise instructions, I instead took a cutting from the tough-survivor of approximately 4cm in length and placed it in a very small vessel (think shot glass size) of water.
With two leaves bobbing above and away from the water and its branch soaking itself happily in the new home, I was excited.
Two weeks passed. Nothing.
One month passed. Nothing.
Six weeks. You guessed it. Nothing.
Now, at this point I was almost ready to give up and accept my non-green-fingered-fate, but for some reason, I just didn’t. No explanation. I just changed the water, which I did once a week, and left it alone to mourn its inevitable death.
Two months. A root appeared.
I don’t know if those that had to spend time with me were happy that my efforts hadn’t been wasted and my heartache spared, or were rather horrified that the seemingly imminent departure would have rather spared their poor ears. Needless to say though, I was stoked.
Trying my best not to damage what you would have thought was my new born child, I decided to sit back and let nature do its thing, because it seemed like it was already doing a pretty good job without me. I continued to change the water weekly and enjoy the daily transformation that this little miracle was performing.
After another month or so, when the root had reached about 3cm in length, I potted the little guy in a small terracotta pot. It is important at this stage to position in a pot that has a hole in the bottom for easy drainage when watering.
Basically, it is a slow process. If you want to learn the importance of being kind to everything that lives and the art of being patient, then go and get a cutting from a larger plant today. You might be able to be mega sneaky in a garden centre (it is just a small cutting after all) or perhaps you have a friend that will kindly donate to you from their plant.
Either way, there is a beauty in the silence of growing things and a beautiful tune that only nature can sing.
Any other tips I would offer you from my journey with this little plant so far? Regularly dust those leaves! Boy, do they get dusty. I always feel like he looks a little bit perkier after dusting too, but maybe that is just in my head. Other than that, make sure that the soil doesn’t completely dry out but definitely don’t over water.
I’d love to know if any of you are growing anything exciting at the moment?
Or perhaps you have more tips on jade plant care?