A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jade Tree Cuttings Update

I've been in Newsletter Hell for the past four days trying to get a first draft ready in time for a meeting this afternoon. I've had little or no training on any of the Microsoft Office programs, none at all on Publisher. There were times when I had to laugh at myself as I struggled to get it to do what I wanted, sort of like the proverbial man who refuses to ask for directions and just blunders around until he accidentally ends up at his destination. In the end, it was worth the effort. The Steering Committee liked it and the Ag Agent said we have the best newsletter in the state.

But that was not the best news I got today. The best news was when I checked on my jade tree cuttings. They have been having a hard time, losing leaves and getting knocked out of their pots by my cat. I've been trying my very best not to overwater them. My goal has been to keep them "evenly moist" while they grew roots. I like that term. I learned it two weeks ago at a Master Gardener event where there was a speaker on houseplants. Apparently everyone talks about "evenly moist" but no one can agree on what exactly it means. That reminds me of a professor I had in college telling us that whenever an archeologist labels something a "ceremonial object" it means he/she has no idea what it is!

Since that same speaker is also a contributor to the newsletter and I was going to see her at the meeting today, I wanted to ask her what I have doing wrong that my cuttings weren't doing well. I remember her saying that very often plants lose leaves because they are being overwatered but people continue to water them thinking they aren't getting enough water and end up drowning them. So I checked on my cuttings this morning to make sure the soil wasn't saturated (it wasn't) and that they were still losing leaves (they were). I also gave them each a tug to see if they were developing a root system. Both stayed firmly in their pots. Upon closer examination, both have new leaves developing, an excellent sign I learned today meaning they are healthy and growing. I also learned that it is normal for cuttings to lose leaves in the process of growing roots. They have to devote more resources to developing roots and so have less energy to put into leaves. Who knows? Maybe I will actually learn to successfully grow houseplants!


At 1:53 PM, Blogger Mel said...

How cool! That's the best feeling, to see new growth on things you've been tending! :)

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Beverly said...

You inspire me! so many fun gardening things you do:)

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

The same thing happened to me when I was trying to save the hibiscus shoot. I figured that I would just leave it until it absolutely, positively was dead, and before i knew it, it was resprouting leaves!

At 2:10 PM, Blogger kerry said...

Congrats on the Jade tree cuttings. I love trying to 'make more plants' and usually have the patio filled with pots to prove it. This weekend I began yet another attempt to root lowbush blueberry cuttings.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Patrick said...

check out: picture of zoroastrianism

At 11:45 AM, Blogger LL said...

Hey, hoping you can help me. My brother just gave me a three foot spoon jade with a trunk about six inches wide. It is gorgeous at about 35 years old. I recently repotted it and put it in my east window where it gets good sun for 5 or so hours. While it has new growth, it also has some leaves that are wilting and falling off easily. I'm wondering if it is just the stress or if possibly this is normal and it will continue to discard leaves as new ones grow??? Any info you might have would be appreciated. Since I haven't owned this plant but a week, I don't know what to look for, what is common, etc. but I feel very responsible for keeping this beauty at its best.



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