Friday, November 21, 2008


With winter hitting early and with us still awaiting more of the seed catalogs to arrive, we turned our attention to the house plants that dominate my classroom... and their needs for new homes.

The jades came first for it had been two years and some had finally out grown their pots. Most of the other plants in our space will get potted each time winter comes around to Pennsylvania.

In the midst of the jade plants are a handful of cuttings we took off a dieing plant given to me to save last year. The owner, who works with me at Pathway, told me the sentimental story of the jade. Now, I have brought some plants back from near death states, but this plant had roots which had too much rot, so we did what we could do...

2 inch long shoots, which appeared to be healthy, were cut and placed in sand till roots came to be. All survived and one will soon be delivered back to the one who first gave us the plant.

Here is some advice on growing Crassula ovata.

I go heavy on sand (1 part peat, 1 part compost, 3 parts sand) because with my life filled with students who love to water, I want to avoid having Jades with rotting roots.

The info you may need to hear the most is this: I asked a student to tell me a fascinating fact about jades. He says, "They are beautiful."

Their beauty can fascinate.

Jades can live for years and at a young age will begin to resemble a miniature tree. This shape may be what draws us to Jades. It will resemble a bonsai and with pruning you can maintain it at a small size. Give it time and sunshine and they will get taller than you stand. Given plenty of sun and a pleasant red will appear on the leaves.

and the next time you pluck off a jade leaf, give a whiff. A student did today and discovered a pleasant scent reminiscent of a banana. If you stick it in some sand... it just may sprout some roots. A desire to live can be strong.


Dawn said...

So nice these are, esp. when large, one can only think they have been around forever and hold so much wisdom in the succulent leafs. One of my favorites for sure.

Wayne Stratz said...

Dawn--- It is that tree/bonsai look that brings us this passion for jades. Thanks for stopping by.