Trial and Error and House Plants

Just like in anything gardening requires trial and error in order to get it right, which sucks because I’d rather just get it right the first time. While I feel like I should succeed the first time around with new plants, it’s just not plausible or practical. As a new gardener of house plants and edible plants, I’ve found that there are some things that are trickier than others. Here are two things that have proven to be challenging for me:

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

The succulent pictured on the left is Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, which is an evergreen succulent that produces some of the most bountiful and beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen. This plant has been one of my more difficult plants to figure out. Through trial and error and reading online I’ve found that it grows best in clay pots, but they have to be those orange terracotta  clay pots. I think unglazed clay allows the roots to breathe more. I’ve also discovered that I can’t water it once a week the way I water my other succulents and cacti. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana needs watering a few times a week because all of the apartments I’ve had have been dry. In terms of blooming, I’ve had this plant for a year and a half and it’s only bloomed once in the summer. These plants are supposed to bloom in the late fall to early winter, so I’m thinking it might be confused about the seasons. There was a time when I was living in an apartment with hardly any sunlight and I thought my Kalanchoe wouldn’t live to see another month. Luckily for it and for me  this little beauty is a survivor. My biggest success with this one is that I’m learning what it likes and in doing so I have yet to kill it!

Sprouting Sage

Pictured on the right is a sprig or sage that I had taken from a store bought package of cut sage. The idea was that I could sprout this sucker in some water, plant it, and never have to buy sage from the store again. Unfortunately, my sage dreams were not to be. While it lived in water for about 3 weeks it didn’t sprout so much as one root. I blame myself for thinking water was the only thing my sage-plant-to-be needed because I should’ve known things just aren’t that easy. In doing some follow up reading I’ve discovered that sage likes bright light and humidity. Strikes one and two for my living room: it’s partial light throughout the day and it’s dry as a bone. The third strike: the sage I tried to sprout wasn’t technically alive. It’s best to sprout herbs and veggies from living plants, but it absolutely can be done with cut herbs and veggies from the store. The best way to ensure the survival of sprouting herbs and vegetables is to maintain the plant’s desired conditions as consistently as possible so it can regenerate more completely and healthily. Obviously without sun and humidity my attempt at getting my sage to root was ill-fated. So, the next time I try to sprout sage I think I’ll put the vase in my bedroom window where it can get far more light than in my living room.

If you’d like to learn more about Kalanchoe blossfeldiana and sprouting different kinds of edible plants you can visit these links here: How to cut and multiply sage, Care of the Kalanchoe Plant, 10 Vegetables and herbs you can buy once and regrow forever, Making more plants with Ken Druse and how to avoid damping off, 5 Foods You Can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps, and Peculiarities and Plants: Romaine Lettuce.


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