adventures in propagation

by Kaylah Stroup

For the past few months I’ve been working on propagating some succulents from the leaves of a plant I owned that got a little bit too leggy. (See the previous two posts on them here + here.) When I went on vacation for a week I just closed my blinds so that nothing got too much sunlight and hoped for the best. I came home and my babies had shot up! Perhaps shutting the blinds was a bad idea since some of them look a bit leggy now but I’m not fretting if worse come to worst I just propagate again (and become a grandma! Awwww!) That aside – they’re doing so well! I’m still having a hard time believing I grew these!

A few days after coming home from vacation my “my cats never bother my plants” speech came back to bite me.  I’m positive it was an accident, although I didn’t witness it. It happened over night. Jeff spotted it first and said “Someone made a mess!” My first though was “Oh, someone puked. Couldn’t they do that when Jeff isn’t around?” But the closer I got I realized Jeff’s face wasn’t an I found cat puke face, something was worse. My next though was “Aw man, someone pooped on the floor. They’ve literally never had an accident. Why now?!” Then I saw it. My plants – nearly all of them knocked over. All the succulents I was propagating and had meticulously arranged were scattered. Planters upside down. Broken succulents. Dirt covering the floor. It was a war zone. At least it looked like it to me. My reaction was embarrassing, to say the least. I let out a whole string of cuss words, and plopped down on the floor to cry.

I spent a good portion of the morning cleaning up the mess. I came to the conclusion that Professor had to have been chasing a bug (the mayflies are crazy here since I live so close to the lake!), got a little too carried away and knocked over my smaller pan of succulents that was on the edge of my vanity. That falling most likely scared him into the rest of the plants, where he just Scooby Doo-ed his way out of my little forest of plants. The little guy was probably just as upset as I was. It had to be loud, I have no idea how it didn’t wake us up.

I’m over it now. The mess broke a ton of plants which just gave me that much more to try propagating and helped me clean out my collection of plants which admittedly was getting a bit crazy. You best believe my office door is now closed every time I leave the room though!

As well as all the things from the great plant disaster of 2015, I’ve been collecting pieces from all my other plants to see how well they’d do. So far, so good! I snagged some lil cactus babies from another one of my plants just because I felt it looked like it was growing funny, plopped them in here, and a few weeks later they’re got some nice little roots growing.

Below you can see the stems from the original plant. The three stems are growing six new, super healthy plants. I mean, those are some dang good looking babies, right?! They’re actually living outside on my deck right now. They’re in a big planter along with two large cactuses and a few other assorted plants none of which were looking so hot. I figured I’d put them outside to see how they’d do and whatever happened happened – no big deal. Well they’re LOVING all the sun, and rain. Everything in that planter is thriving, stems of my old plants included.

Propagating plants is seriously just so much fun. Growing things is incredibly satisfying. I never really thought I’d get this into it. It’s neat to think that I grew these things from nothing, from something that in the past I would have just thrown away. Now I save every little thing that is wiggly or falls off a plant in hopes I can grow from it.

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