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Water Babies

October 13, 2011

My kitchen counter may not be the best place for them (not the most well-lit place) – but they look so pretty!

Left to right:

    • Oca (Oxalis tuberosa): I got the parent plant for free at a balcony gardening workshop I attended this summer (they’d brought some plants to show that they gave away at the end of the day – pretty awesome!). I haven’t harvested it yet, though I probably should do it soon – last year, I left my plant out too long, and it froze. Which is why I took cuttings this year, instead of relying on tubers to re-plant. I took the cuttings on Friday, on Monday they already had a few small roots (interestingly, above the water).
    • Cissus antarctica: The last surviving bits of my very unhappy plant (which is now completely dead).
    • Coleus (Plectranthus or Solenostemon scutellarioides, depending on who you listen to) ‘Inky Fingers’: I have two rather big plants in one of the railing planters – I’m not quite sure I really want them any more, but if the cuttings root, well, I’ll just keep them around for another year.
    • Abutilon pictum var. thompsonii: I cut back my plant when I brought it inside, and will try to root these bits – I’m think they’d sell well.
    • Portulacaria afra: I accidentally snapped one of the two stalks of my plant when moving it around so I could open the window, then cut off the other one because I want the plant to branch anyway. Since I happened to have a pot full of water standing nearby at the time, I stuck them in there.
    • Oxalis spiralis subsp. vulcanicola: I just think it’s pretty, and why buy another plant for the balcony next year if I can just take cuttings myself and try to keep them alive over the winter?
    • Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) ‘Marguerite’: same thing as with Oxalis spiralis – why buy what I can grow myself? They’re rooting amazingly quickly – I took those cuttings last Thursday, late in the evening, on Saturday morningI already noticed the first roots, on Monday, they were 5 cm/2 inches long – nearly ready to pot up! I think I’ll just take more cuttings in spring!
    • Chinese Lantern/Flowering Maple/whatever else you want to call it (Abutilon x hybridum, red flowers): similar situation to A. pictum above, although I don’t expect them to sell as well.
    • Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) ‘Blackie’: again the “grow rather than sell” thing.

I had a lot of fun arranging them just right – no two plants of the same species/genus next to each other. No two plants with similar leaf colours next to each other. No plants in the same bottles next to each other.

Almost too pretty to move them to a better place if one becomes free.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2011 03:50

    Oca! I want Oca! I’m jealous!

    • October 16, 2011 18:37

      I was so happy to get that plant for free! I’d been kicking myself for losing the plant I’d had last year (forgot to take cuttings or bring in the tubers before it got too cold.

  2. October 17, 2011 03:14

    I don’t think I’ve EVER seen Oca available. The fact that you’ve had it twice is just making me more upset.

    • October 17, 2011 07:13

      It’s not available in regular stores, either – I got the first from a seed saver market, the second at a workshop organised by the same seed saver organisation.
      If the US would allow me to, I’d send you a few tubers, if I get one…. but sadly, that’s not allowed.

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