Newest Review: ... chose grew tougher and tougher, even box trees and euonymus perished until I learnt my lesson and bought three little succulents about 4 i... more
A Succulent Success Story
Member Name: springtide
Advantages: Very easy to care for, inexpensive to buy and so easy to propagate.
Disadvantages: Branches may break off easily.
I love plants and come from a family of enthusiastic gardeners but for 15years the only plants that we had were two cactus that lived with us on our 46ft sailing boat. We still have them even though they have taken a few tumbles over the years. When we eventually decided to get a place on shore I was all excited to think that at last I could grow something. We decided to base ourselves in Spain as that is where we work a lot of the time and the apartment we chose had a lovely big terrace with a sea view which i proceeded to fill with pots and planters. Every spare margarine tub was filled with seedlings which I would bring out during the day and back in at night.
Eventually I planted out my precious charges of pansies and busy Lizzie's and within a few weeks most of them had died. They could not cope with the harsh sea air and the wind that whistled up the cliff face. The same happened with the conifers, burnt by the air we moved them down three flights to the communal gardens. The plants I chose grew tougher and tougher, even box trees and euonymus perished until I learnt my lesson and bought three little succulents about 4 inches high a crassula, an echiveria and an aloe. That was 4years ago and I still have all of them, in fact I now have LOTS of them as they are so easy to propagate, and the most successful of these has been crassula ovata commonly known as the money plant or the jade tree.
Money, money, money!
Although I am fortunate to be able to grow mine outside a sunny window will do just as well inside the house. The plant can grow to about three feet in size and has glossy, fleshy green leaves which are oval in shape and about 1" to 2" in size. Some of mine have red edges to the leaves, others are a dark, shiny green. They overlap each almost like green dragon scales attached to tree like branches which join to a central woody trunk. They look like miniature trees and do a good job of imitating much more expensive Bonsai trees for a fraction of the cost. Placed in an attractive eastern designed container they can look quite stunning.
Looking after your money.
This is the easy part, first plant it in some free draining compost with some stones in the bottom of the pot and put it on a window sill with as much sunshine as possible. They like a contrast in temperatures between night and day as this is what happens in their natural environment, they like average warmth between spring and autumn and cool in winter.
From spring to autumn water thoroughly when the compost dries out and in winter, (what joy!) water only about once every one or two months. They do not need misting but love the fresh air, take them outside for a treat in the summer. Only repot when really necessary and then only into a slightly bigger pot. I very occasionally feed mine with Baby Bio plant food but I do give them a drink of any left over tea
Making more money!
This is so easy that I now have lots of money plants, simply break off a little branch of the tree and let it dry for a couple of days, the bigger the branch the longer you let it dry. Then just push it into the potting compost and water very sparingly, soon you will have another little money tree!
Trouble with money.
Get the amount of water right, too much water in winter may cause soft brown spots and if the water is too cold it may cause leaves to fall off. Conversely make sure you water more generously in the summertime.
This is such an easy plant to grow and look after, it can even ocassionally get some little white flowers on it if you look after it well. It can look very attractive in an elegant pot and they are very inexpensive to buy at a garden centre, better still get a cutting from a friend. It is an ideal plant for someone who does not have a lot of time to spare and will not suffer from a little neglect. One thing to watch out for, the branches can break off easily, our dog has broken a few with her big swishing tail!, so keep it in a safe place and hopefully you too will have money plants for years
5 stars from me.
Thank you for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao under splishsplash.
Summary: An attractive easy to care for plant for your home.
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