Saturday, June 16, 2018

The 10-Year Rewind – Part 15 – Copper Spooning

Every day this month I am looking back on the 10 years since I started this blog in June, 2008. Part 145 is this one — Copper Spooning — from October 2014. I just had to include at least one post about succulents, which Pammy and I both love, and I guess our favourite, if we had to choose just one, is the beautiful Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons'.

The whole magical business of propagating succulents is one little by-way of gardening that never ceases to beguile me. Right now a pot full of leaves from our Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons' is producing babies, but it has taken a few months for it all to happen.

This is the parent plant in question, Kalanchoe
orgyalis 'Copper Spoons', a beautiful succulent
shrub which, so far, has reached about two
and a half feet tall (75cm). While it's named for
its superb, lightly furry, copper-coloured leaves,
its foliage colour is more complicated than
that, as you can see in the photo above.
And here are the babies, pale bluey-green and already lightly
furry, emerging from the ends of the leaf cuttings which I
simply laid on top of a lightly moist, sandy propagating mix
a couple of months ago. 
This is the pot in all its 30cm wide glory. I wasn't sure which
method of propagation worked best, so I added some stem
cuttings to the pot, but largely populated it with the leaves,
as this is what seemed to be the go when I searched online.
The pot then spent its first couple of months in my garden
shed, raised up on a little spot just under the window, so
it copped plenty of natural light, but no rainfall.
It's a little forest of copper spoons babies we have here. Almost
all the stem cuttings were duds, and about two-thirds of the
leaf cuttings have produced babies, so leaf cuttings it is!
While the cuttings of some plants need hormone powders, controlled humidity, precise timing and other methods to coax a beautiful little newbie to make its entrance, many good old succulents can propagate themselves simply by tossing a few leaves on the ground. With their moisture-filled leaves, the babies have all the sustenance they need for their first weeks or months of life. It's as if they're breast-fed.

Later on, once they've grown a bit more, I'll pot each one up and hopefully will have some pretty young Kalanchoe 'Copper Spoons' kids to give to gardening friends.

No comments: