Friday, December 6, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not

A few weeks ago I bought a goldfish plant (columnea x banksii) - I think it was probably at Home Depot - and while repotting it this little branch broke off, so I stuck it in a tiny bottle of water. That's what I usually do when something like this happens, even if it's not the preferred method of propagation for a particular plant according to the gardening authorities. The worst that could happen is that I have a pretty mini-bouquet for a while, but if I get lucky, the cutting roots, as this one is doing (the roots - all 2 of them so far - are still very small and not visible in this photo, in which the plant appears larger than in real life). The added bonus - totally unexpected! - is the 3 blossoms! It's obvious where the plant gets its name. No sign of buds or blossoms on the parent plant, but it looks nice in its new pot, which will go well with the blossoms when they appear.
 The begonia below is about 5  months old and also came from branches broken off while the parent plant was being repotted. The lovely blossoms make me think I should move the mother plant into the kitchen too, since the light seems better for it there.

But in some ways, I'm most excited by this little plant that's growing out of the bottom of a head of celery. Here it is after about a week floating in water,
 and this morning, about 2 weeks later. It's definitely celery, even if it doesn't seem to want to stand up straight with the stalks tight together the way we find it in the store. Since the end of the original stalk is looking pretty funky by now, I suppose I should dust it with rooting hormone and put it into a proper pot with soil. It hasn't really produced any roots, but it may if I do that. I found the idea on another blog some time ago (and apologize for being unable to cite my source, an anxiety especially strong among current and former English teachers); that blogger said to pot it up in soil right away, which just wasn't convenient at the time.
So I guess my point is that it's fun to see things grow, fun to make something from what we'd normally throw in the garbage or at best the compost. And if you have kids or grandkids, or any kids, around, both you and they can have the pleasure of watching something grow and of learning together.

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