Monday, September 15, 2014

Who Doesn't Love a Piggy Back Ride...or Plant?

Tolmiea menziesii

Since this week is National Indoor Plant Week, I'm going to try to write about a different houseplant every day. I'll see how it goes. 
I had one of these plants a long time ago-at least 25 years ago. I don't know what happened to it, but it is no longer with me. Plants come and go around here (not as many go as come, much to my husband's disappointment). I have since read on line that they aren't a long lived plant and need to be started over quite often, so there is the answer.
Anyway, this plant is called the piggy-back plant, mother of thousands (not the kalanchoe), or youth-on-age. Tolmiea menziesii is the botanical name. It natively grows in the Pacific northwest of north America as a groundcover. Who knew? Another reason for me to go see the Redwood forest!

Tolmiea menziesii baby
 The most interesting thing about this plant is the way it reproduces itself. Little baby plantlets grow on top of the mother leaf where the the petiole meets the leaf. To make more plants, just cut off the leaf with the baby plant intact and place securely on top of a pot of soil. The little plantlets will grow roots and become its own plant.
 The important thing to remember is that this plant likes evenly moist soil at all times with high humidity. If it doesn't receive these two things, it will have brown dry edges on the leaves. I will say, from experience, it does recover well from wilting, but I do have some brown edges from allowing this to happen.

Notice the hairs on the leaves

So if you find one of these plants, which wasn't easy for me to do, you can start new ones and share with your friends. 
Remember its National Indoor Plant Week and we all need some green in our homes and offices. Plants make you happy and clean the air!

1 comment:

  1. Who makes up National Indoor Plant Week anyways? Is there a houseplant association? I love this plant you shared and to celebrate I went out and bought a few houseplants for my home.