Winter plant bargains: think small

I did a little spur-of-the-moment plant shopping the other day while picking up building supplies at Home Depot. I certainly was not intending to even look at plants while there, as the houseplant selection is usually pretty uninteresting to me. The succulents though, they sometimes surprise.


Euphorbia tirucalli 'fire sticks' is a plant that I've grown and overwintered indoors for several years -- in the past, as my plant died last winter when I neglected it a bit too much. So I've been on the lookout for a replacement, and I found one.

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Actually, I found more than one, because the small pot was just packed with newly-rooted cuttings:


I could tell they were newly-rooted because some of them appeared a bit droopy, and a couple clearly did not have any roots at all.

Same for the tiny pot of 'Gollum' jade plant:


There are at least five or six separate plants jammed in here!


So it's time to give them some space. I collected all of the small clay pots I could find, and cut squares of used dryer sheets to cover the drainage holes -- it's the best thing I've found for keeping sandy mixes from leaking out of small pots. I suppose that my usual window screen pieces would work too, but this is much quicker.


Not too many roots on any of the fire sticks cuttings:


But it's enough. I've grown these from cuttings before, but Loree at Danger Garden admitted to me that she doesn't have much success with getting these to root. Keeping that in mind, having pre-rooted cuttings like this ensures success (I hope).

So one plant has become five:


I put the bigger, branchier cuttings into their own pots, then grouped a few of the smaller ones together. If each small cutting got its own pot, there would have been probably five more.

Same for 'Gollum', which had more roots, and the distinction between different cuttings was more difficult to discern sometimes:


So five new fire sticks, and five new 'Gollum'. Nice bargain, as the fire sticks cost $4 and the 'Gollum' was $3. I'm eager to see what sort of growth I'll be able to put on each of these by the end of the summer.

Oh, one word of advice. You may have noticed that I was doing this potting on the kitchen counter. Not the best choice, but should have gone fine. My advice...


Make sure you check the integrity of your clay pots before reusing them, especially if you're going to be lifting them by the edge.

That piece that is missing stayed between my fingers, while the pots sandy contents went directly into the sink. No real harm done, but it's a mess that I would have rather avoided.


Do you look for plants during the winter? Find any bargains?

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Mark and Gaz  – (January 8, 2015 at 8:25 AM)  

We look for plants all year round :)) those two succulents look extra strange which makes them extra nice!

Jean Campbell  – (January 8, 2015 at 8:27 AM)  

Thinking small is a great idea when the weather is cold and the available space is already limited. They should grow quickly.

You found something great; my Home Depot thought more of their desirable plants than I did. Tiny Tillandseas were priced the same as the big pots usually run.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (January 8, 2015 at 12:00 PM)  

Two plants become ten. You gotta love succulents. Great finds that have to potential to be with you for many years to come.

outlawgardener  – (January 8, 2015 at 1:20 PM)  

Great idea to separate plants as soon as you bring them home! Great buys. I am always on the lookout for plants although I haven't visited a nursery in 2015 yet so I'd better remedy that!

danger garden  – (January 9, 2015 at 12:33 AM)  

You know I'm always on the look out. I bought a great ceanothus the other day on sale for just over $3, however reports are it's not reliably hardy so who knows how long it will last. Also picked up a Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'...

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