Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Houseplant Rescue - Can This One Be Saved?

In the past I have written about my ability to salvage neglected houseplants, bringing them back from the brink. I've got a new plant in at the Whitelees Houseplant Infirmary. This poor Jade plant Crassula ovata was once was a majestic specimen that lived at my neighbour's place. I will admit that I did covet the plant from time to time as it was very beautiful. It started to lose condition a couple of years ago when the plant was moved to a north room in their house. Less light meant sparse growth and the thing started to look unloved. Then around Christmas it was knocked over. The jade plant was put in the (unheated) garage to be re-potted. Jade plants really don't like the cold at all. It sat there for weeks in the dark with its roots exposed. I offered to give it first aid and was told that it would be brought around to our place.

The jade plant arrived yesterday afternoon while I was out walking the dog. It was sad to see a once vibrant plant clinging to life. I dragged the plant in the house and re-potted it. The few remaining leaves are withered and the root system is all but missing. I have done what I can do. It is now sitting in a sunnier spot where I can monitor the progress. If it doesn't pull through, I know I have done my best. If it does rally, I'll have a wonderful mature jade plant.
In 2008 I wrote about a citrus tree I had over-watered. Over watering is a bigger and more final killer of houseplants than under-watering. I didn't think that the little bit of water that remained in the plant tray week in and week out would be a problem . . . . . It was a problem.
Look at our fecund little tree now! It took two years, but the little tree did it! I think I'll make some lemon curd or lemon marmalade with these efforts. I want to get the most out these hard won lemons.

11 comments:

dogbait said...

We have this lemon tree that used to sprout 1 lemon a year until I put kitty litter in the soil. Now we get a tree full of lemons and oranges!

Betty said...

I am always in awe of anyone who has a green thumb. I can't keep plants alive, except for a shamrock that I neglected and it seemed to thrive on it.

Toffeeapple said...

Why not take a leaf cutting and a stem cutting as well? Just to be on the safe side.

Anonymous said...

I bought 4 lemons and made lemon curd the other day - delicious. Your rescue plant looks like one I used to have which I called a money plant. Joyce

Peggy said...

Dogbait - Citrus trees are greedy plants! They are grateful for any and all fertilizer, but yuck kitty litter! :-)

Betty - Your shamrock (I suspect it is oxalis) is a good starting point. Who knows, you may have a latent green thumb! :-)

Toffeeapple - I have a cutting from about six years ago from this very plant. Jade plant Jr. is thriving in a window sill. :-)

Joyce - Money plant is another name for the same plant. Can I have your lemon curd recipe? :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you have an email address for me to forward my lemon curd recipe? Joyce

Anonymous said...

Real big lemons! I'm impressed! Are they out in the greenhouse? I can't think of any place in my Illinois house where there would be enough sun for those, but, then again, you're in Scotland! How do you do it?
--Cousin Susan

Peggy said...

Joyce - I'll call you! :-)

Cousin Susan - The pots are in a south facing window and obviously get enough sun. :-)

Shammickite said...

No wonder they call a place where tender plants are cared for with love and affection a "NURSERY"!

J-Funk said...

Do you think I could get citrus plants to grow in Seattle? That would be really neat! We tried to grow chiles one year and it didn't really work but now we have an east-facing room that gets tons of light so I think we'll have more luck.

Peggy said...

J-Funk - We can't grow chilis here either. Not enough sun. A citrus tree in a pot would do just fine I think. You're just a little bit further south than us, so I don't know why not! :-)