Sunday, January 31, 2010


Three years ago I stuck five bryophyllum plantlets in my jeans pocket, carried them around the rest of the day, brought them home and dropped them on top of soil in some small pots. Three of them survived and a year later I gave one to a friend.

Mothers-of-Thousands (bryophyllum).

About two years ago we were feeding cats, watering plants and checking on a friends house while she was visiting family. I broke a few plantlets from a different variety of bryophyllum that she has and brought them home. In the end I gave some away and tossed the remainder except one.

Both varieties did well, perhaps too well. Over the last few weeks I watched two sitting on a counter race toward the ceiling. In the end it was a tie as both touched the ceiling about the same time. They were 62 inches tall. I wondered how tall they would grow if moved from the counter to the floor but we don't have floor space in the right location.

Mothers-of-Thousands touching the ceiling. Notice the difference. There is a narrow leaf and a broad leaf variety.

For the last few weeks Julie has been suggesting we toss the plants. Rather than tossing them I suggested cutting them about an inch from the soil and permitting the young plants that were rooted around the mother plant to grow. Julie cut two but the third was too woody so I used metal sheers.

I'm going to grow a few crowded plants in three pots to see how they fare. Hopefully, crowding and cautious feeding will keep them from getting too tall and may make an interesting display.

Julie took this photo before cutting the plant. I measure it at 62 inches from the bottom of the pot to the top leaf. It was being supported by a piece of metal conduit.



Blogger jules said...

OMGosh! I have those! Only the narrow leaf kind. I got a tiny sprig from a friend, now I can't get rid of it. It has taken over every plant(er) that was around it, any nook and cranny it could find, and even moved in on my potted century plant. I'm always loath to kill any plant, but I was really glad when we had that big cold snap in January that seemed to turn them all to mush. Whew! Mine grew at least 4-5 FEET tall, outside. The flowers are spectacular.

2/04/2010 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...


Mine have never flowered. I've got to research how to encourage flowering. The weather is too cold for them to survive outside so I'm thinking of moving some out to the deck this summer. We, too, have them in several pots in the sun room bu we keep them under control.

2/04/2010 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Discovered them while living in florida in the 1980s. Liked them ever since. Found one in a friends flower pot and now have it inside. I want to grow some outside as an annual since I live in the north.

8/16/2015 12:40:00 AM  

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