27 July 2017

Elephant bush — Portulacaria afra

Natasha woke me up at 4:30 this morning. I was definitely not ready to get out of my comfortable bed, but I was afraid Nature might be calling. Calling the dog, I mean. I had no choice but to get up and stumble around in the dark to dress for a trip outdoors.

So I'm pretty tired this morning, and I don't have a lot to blog about right now. The weather has been gray and damp for days now. Anyway, that's just one problem. The other is that Natasha seems to have fleas. She gets Frontline monthly, but it seems to have lost at least part of its effectiveness against dog fleas.

Oh, yesterday we were talking about rooting plant cuttings. The photos here show some that I've rooted over the past month or two. They are cuttings from my elephant bush plant, or dwarf jade, that CHM gave me many years ago. It grew nicely in San Francisco, outdoors. When I left California to come live in France, I had to leave it behind. I left it with CHM. In 2004 he brought me a cutting.

In 2017, I've taken some more cuttings and started a bunch of new plants. Portulacaria afra is easy to root, or clone. You take cuttings, let them dry for a day or two, and then stick them in soil. They grow, as you can see above. To the right is a 2012 photo I took of the plant that I took the cuttings from this spring. It started from a single small sprig of CHM's plant. It was already eight years old then.

By the way, I was thinking about the word route that we discussed yesterday, and its pronunciation. It's probably complicated because it's a French word that has not yet been entirely assimilated into English. Thus the two common pronunciations, rowt and root.

9 comments:

Diogenes said...

Your nature calling line had me laughing. I hope to get a clipping from that plant one day. We have a souvenir from chm's house in Salton City that we enjoy.

The "route" discussion reminds me of yet another US pronunciation: "rut" similar to "foot."

Paul said...

We had the same issue with Frontline and changed to "Advantage", its a Bayer product and widely available - since changing (both on the cats and dogs) not a flea in sight!

Christina said...

In the UK we have Bravecto. I changed to it a couple of years ago. It's ace! A chewy pastille that my dog loves and it gives protection for 3 months.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Do you mean "root" pronounced as "foot"? We have both pronunciations for "roof" so why not. English is a mess when it comes to how different spellings are pronounced. Boot vs. foot. Bow (tie one) vs. bow (lean over). So many examples...

Ken Broadhurst said...

We'll look into Advantage.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Walt said our vet here has Brevecto — he went over there this morning and got some Nexgard.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I agree, Advantage works !!

Emm said...

That's an impressive jade plant. I had grown a few bits from a single leaf, and earlier this year they just keeled over in their pot, kaput. No idea why, and I never got around to getting rid of it. Next thing I knew it was growing again, and now it's putting out multiple leaves.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Jade plants — the classic or standard ones (Crassula ovata), with big fat leaves — are taking over here. I keep growing more and more of them, and there must be a dozen of them in pots on the front sun porch, inside the house, and in the greenhouse. I can't bear to throw any of them into the compost heap. I almost admire people who don't keep any houseplants at all. The other plants that are spreading like wildfire around here are umbrella trees (Shefflera arboricola). They grow tall, I cut out the top, can't bear to throw it into the compost, root it in water, and voilà ! Another potted plant.