Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Atheist Asks - What Plant Is This

The question has been haunting me since my days at UVM. What is the name of this plant? It was being grown at the University of Vermont’s greenhouse. Every once in a while there will be free plants to take home outside the greenhouse. I have obtained a few plants that way, but most of the time they died in my dorm room. Maybe because it was too cold, or too dry (I often did not sleep in my own room). This plant seemed tolerant of abuse (although I have been taking good care of all my plants since I came home). To my surprise these plants were laying on a ledge bare-root in perlite and water with a sign letting everyone know that they were free. I don’t know if they were cuttings or if they were grown from seed. I spoke to Colleen, the greenhouse manager at UVM, who gave me a pot and some potting soil to put 2 small plantlets in. I was growing them in my dormroom, unaware of their needs or even their name.

However horror soon struck one of the unfortunate plants. I moved from Burlington, Vermont to Soundview in the Bronx (the equivalent of moving from Hollywood to south Detroit in terms of safety), and during the move my moms boyfriend, Eddie. accidentally broke one of the small plantlets. I didn’t know what to do, so I took the small plantlet, which had been accidentally cut off from it’s roots, and placed it in water.

I do not drink tea at home, so this Nightmare Before Christmas teacup set, given to me by my lovely girlfriend, was perfect to place the cutting in. This was roughly 4 or 5 weeks ago. I kept on adding more water to the cup whenever I saw it was in need of some more. I guess my vigilance paid off! I pulled the small cutting from the water recently, and there were so many roots!

I don’t know what this plant is, but it certainly seems easy enough to grow (and possibly even easier to propagate vegetatively). The plant looks green from the top but the underside of the leaves is a greenish purple color (not red!), or just plain green in some cases. It is obviously a dicot, and has an extraordinary ability to root quickly (from no roots to roots the size of the plant in about a month). I have no idea what color the flower is, but this can be remedied (somewhat) by knowing what type of plant it is (if I get a response to this post). Here is another picture for identification purposes:

I do not have any pots or potting soil to place my cutting in, however, I do have four Nightmare Before Christmas teacups! If you know what this plant is, please let me know! I am willing to mention you in my blog (give you props, and give props to any website, or company you may have), just to tell me what this plant is and to give me some information on it. Knowing what color the flower is may also be a plus. You can email me at jmejia1187@gmail.com with pictures and information, or just click reply below.

On another note, my spider plantlets (taken from the stolons of the mother plant) are rooting well. Look forward to more updates (and plenty of pictures) on this in the future.

One last thing. Have you ever seen a seahorse giving birth? Here is the video of the week. I will also be posting one of my own videos soon!!!


  1. Its some kind of Plectranthus,maybe the common one called "Swedish Ivy", a trailing plant from Australia, I think. Should have bluish flowers if it gets enough light. There are many others from South Africa, generally trailing to upright plants that are easy to root and often with nice flowers. E

  2. After looking at some pictures on Google Images, I was sure that you were right. However what species is it? I am still wondering about that. Perhaps it might be easier to tell if I had the plant flower (although it is way too small for that now, I think). Thanks, I will mention you in a future post for the ID!