Saturday, September 29, 2007


One of the amazing things about California is that jade plants grow on trees! Or rather, they grow into gigantic proportions and are used as SHRUBBERY! Back where I come from, jade plants are painstakingly grown in pots and must be protected from all kinds of weather. They seem to take years and years just to grow an inch and although I love them, who has time for that? It's too much of a commitment; like raising a child! It could take decades and you never know how it's going to turn out. Instead of becoming a surgeon, he/she could become a derelict hobo and never move out of your garage.

Normally, I am opposed to plants in pots inside the house. No matter how pretty the plant, it just seems like a pot of dirt in your home! I already have a dusty, dirty litter box, why would I sign up for more pots of dirt? Especially since I kill plants. I murder them. I rot their little feet and I never give them nourishment. Again...sooo happy I never had children!

But last year my neighbor Gerry the Gay Gardener pruned his giant 4 foot jade plant and I got one of the cuttings. Either that or I surreptitiously snapped off a limb as I walked by in the dark when nobody was looking, secreting it into my capacious handbag of more than ordinary size and volume.

I stuck it into some dirt and left it alone, and Viola! it grew and grew and thrived. I completely NEVER watered it and it remained happy and content.

Then, I have this little habit of snapping off a bit of rosemary every time I walk by some. Out here in California, rosemary grows on trees! It's HUGE! It has little blueberry looking flowers on it and in certain light it looks like the same grey/silver color as a Russian Blue cat. I love the stuff, and you can use it in Rosemary bread. For that, I can countenance having it grow in a pot of dirt inside my house.

Propagating rosemary has turned out to be an entirely different thing than propagating a jade plant, however. I've had the rosemary in water for weeks and weeks and no little roots have shooted out of the bottom. Roots should shoot, right? A quick search of the Internet showed me that rosemary needs something called Hormone Root Growth and vermiculite and strangulation or distressing or something like that. I see that as the equivalent of having to buy diapers and baby food and bibs and things and that's just not me.

I decided to just stick it into some dirt and leave it alone, and since the jade plant had gotten bigger than the pot it was in and was becoming root bound and top heavy, I formulated my plan.

Outside, at the end of the building where Gerry the Gay Gardener used to live, there was a clay pot and drain dish that had originally been mine the last time I tried to grow a plant indoors. When it died, I left it for Gerry and he had used it and then left it behind when he moved. It has spent the last years living a dirtbag life as an ashtray so yesterday I politely asked the neighbors if they would mind if I used it for it's intended purpose. Or, maybe I just snuck down there after they had gone to work, dumped out the cigarette butts and brought it home surreptitiously in my capacious handbag. You may see it as depriving the smoking community of a vessel for their butts; I see it as a rescue mission.

So I repotted the jade plant into the bigger pot, thus freeing up the original one for my rosemary propagation project. It looks really good, too! Now, if I can just remember completely never to water it!

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