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Too Many Tradescantias

April 20, 2012

One to sell:

One to keep (and take more cuttings from):

But what the flamingo did I keep this for?

This was one of the few plants I found I could simply throw out, with no regrets at all. The first one got taken along to work the next day. Two plants less  – actually, more than that, I also sold a couple of Tradescantia zebrinas and a fluminensis, and two Chlorophytum orchidastrums. And six currant tomatoes today, except that I didn’t actually sell them, but traded them in for some oregano and marjoram.

But that still leaves another six Tradescantias. And the other 150ish houseplants. And the balcony. And I need to take more cuttings for plants to sell, and I need to start more seeds, and right now it just feels like it’s all too much. Too many plants, too much watering, too much dirt, too much cleaning, too much housework in general…

It’s mostly my own fault, of course. Too much reading leading to too little sleep, several evenings of looking after the Clown Brother, medieval dance, and a few evenings of extra work in a customer’s garden, all meaning I came home very late and fell behind on everything – guess I have to learn to say no! (Well, it won’t be much of an issue for the next few weeks, it’s simply not possible with the overtime I’ll be working… though I really really regret missing medieval dance!)

I kind of wish I didn’t have so many plants… but at the same time, I don’t really want to give up any of them. Well, maybe the Ludisia… maybe my mother would like it? And the Streptocarpus that doesn’t seem to want to bloom again – I should have known better, I don’t get along with Saintpaulia either. And I wish those Chlorophytum orchidastrums would sell better so I can take the rest of them in to work. I’m definitely selling my second Monstera obliqua (why do I even have two?). Not that that is really going to help with bringing the plant-count down…

But, if I had fewer plants, I’d just buy more. The current feeling of being unable to keep up with all I have to do at least keeps me from buying new plants. Or at least, too many of them. I did get some herbs today, but I needed them, and I might actually plant them this weekend. I did, however, resist buying the plants I don’t actually need yet – we’re really in no danger of running out of cucumber plants or variegated sweet potato vines yet – and I’ll probably be able to resist the Fuchsias, too. Even if there are a couple of really pretty small-flowered varieties. I do have a little “wanna have” fit every time I see them, but I just don’t want to deal with keeping them watered and bug-free. Not to mention that I don’t actually, you know, have room for them. I should just take my camera along and take pictures and start another wish-list for some hypothetical future with more space and spare time.

Speaking of time, I should stop babbling on here. I still have to do my daily bit of story-writing. And, tomorrow, back into the fray – showering all my plants, and then spraying them all with neem, and cleaning up the mess all this moving around of plants is creating… why am I doing this again?

Oh yeah… for thisand thisand thisand thisand this

14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2012 22:53

    And the Streptocarpus that doesn’t seem to want to bloom again – I should have known better, I don’t get along with Saintpaulia either.

    High-five me! (I am happy that someone else has this problem.[1])

    [1] How are you with Episcia?

    • April 20, 2012 23:06


      I don’t think I’ve ever even seen an Episcia, let alone tried to grow one.

      (Damn, and now I want to go dancing again, because there’s this one dance that includes a high-five-like motion.)

  2. April 21, 2012 01:43

    I think you should put bows on some of your least favorite plants and leave them on other people’s doorsteps. A little surprise for your neighbors (or people across town).

    • April 21, 2012 08:34

      I don’t know… that would feel too much like abandoning a kitten or something…

  3. April 21, 2012 14:33

    I’ve been a lot better about not accumulating plants that I don’t *need*. I only bought like 10 plants total all winter! I’m so proud of myself. I always have trouble with streptocarpus as well but my mom (who generally does no special care at all) gets them to bloom no problem. It’s really not fair.

    Episcias aren’t worth growing, Kohleria is far superior!

    • April 21, 2012 16:06

      You’re so, so mistaken that it makes my heart break for you. Episcias rule, Kohlerias drool!

      • April 21, 2012 17:09

        Girl please. (Actually I happen to really like both of them, I just prefer the upright nature of Kohleria better).

      • April 21, 2012 17:21

        I’ve tried two Kohlerias so far. The first produced one bloom and then died of what I’m assuming was underwatering, the second is still alive and doing pretty well, but I’m feeling kind of is that all there is? about it. Also it hasn’t bloomed yet.

        It’s not that Episcias are any better about being underwatered; it’s more that I know if they’re drying out all the time, I can cut off pieces and start new plants without having to worry about whether the cuttings will make it, because the cuttings always make it.

      • April 25, 2012 19:05

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Episcia or a Kohleria, and I don’t know if I’d buy one even if they were available. I think Gesneriads and I just are a bad fit – not just because I apparently can’t get them to bloom, but also because I prefer tall, narrow plants that will fight for attention/visibility on the windowsills. Low plants just disappear between them, and then what ist the point of having them?
        I’ll only tolerate that sort of behaviour from Tradescantias, because they’re easy to propagate and sell pretty reliably.

  4. April 22, 2012 02:30

    Ok you win. I never thought about that.

  5. May 12, 2012 03:24

    Cool wandering jew plants, I’m a fan of the pruple heart wandering jew plant. Do you know where those plants are available at? These are very interesting plants!

    • May 12, 2012 06:15

      I’ve never seen them for sale – my mother had a passalong plant, and we had them at the apprenticeship place (which is where my cuttings came from. We didn’t sell to the general public, though.)
      If you were in Europe, I’d offer to send you some cuttings… but to the US, it’s just not possible (and obviously, I don’t know where they’d be available there.)


  1. Oh, Right, That’s Why I Do It « Letters & Leaves
  2. Did I Say I Have Too Many Plants? « Letters & Leaves

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