(string of) pearls are always appropriate…

In my spare time when I’m not working, or parenting, or partnering, or being completely obsessed with plants, or thinking about how incredibly perfect a nice bourbon can be I spend a fair amount of time appreciating polka dots.

The polka dot is, in my reckoning, the perfect pattern. It’s versatile, clean, sophisticated, and whimsical all at the same time. And when I found that appreciation for polka dots and detached a bit from my goth-girl roots to realize that it’s okay to love polka dots I also invested in one of my first really nice purses. A black and white Kate Spade structured handbag with a pattern of tiny little polka dots. It was the perfect combination of fun and fashionable and every time I picked it up I thought of two things:

First “Wow this is a really nice purse… am I really responsible enough to have this?”

Second for some reason it made me think about Jackie Kennedy who seemed to wear pearls quite often and was famously quoted as saying “Pearls are always appropriate.”

Why am I rambling about polka dots and pearls you ask? Well because the plant I’m going on about today not only looks like a delicate string of green pearls, but is aptly named String of Pearls. Well that’s its common name because it’s a little easier to remember than Senecio Rowleyanus.

Now I tell you the little technical things… at least the little technical things I’ve picked up from the back alley plant dealers. And, you know, internet research and caring for my plant for a whole month.

String of Pearls is a succulent which means that they’re super easy to care for and super simple to propagate. They tend to grow in long dangling strands. Not up, not out. They hang and trail. Beautifully I think. As I said, I’ve only had mine for about a month but so far, so good. I’ve read a few folks complaining about how hard they are to keep alive but mine is as happy as can be.

Care tips to remember?

  • They love light. Yay light. But it shouldn’t be beating down on them.
  • Don’t over water. Those little pearls? They soak it up and store it for later.
  • Those strings? They’re like stems and they’re delicate so be careful with them, but…

If one of those strings happens to pop off it’s time to help that little string be a plant all its own. Gently pop off a few of those pearls and plant the end of the string from which the pearls have been removed into the soil of a new little pot, give it a good first time water, and wait for plant magic to happen.

Or you could try to wear it, but I wouldn’t actually recommend that…

 

pilea peperomioides – or as I like to call it – Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan

The first moment I realized this whole thing with the plants was a “thing” wasn’t when I lost count of how many plants I had. It wasn’t when I started talking to them. Or when I started frequenting neighborhood plant shops. It wasn’t even when I started following plant shops and plant accounts on the socials. It was when one of the local plant shops posted a picture of the Pileas they had just gotten in stock and I changed my plans for the day to include going straight there to get a plant as soon as they opened. You know, just to make sure they didn’t sell all of them right away.

It was then that I realized that there were three plants that I had desperately been wanting to add to my collection. Also it was then that I realized I had a collection.

I really hope that in the next few weeks I will have acquired and be able to post about all three (as of this posting I have only two of the coveted beauties), but today the spotlight is on my darling little Pilea. I’ve named it Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan (Lorne for short) after the Pylean demon lounge singer from Angel. Because I can. But this popular little plant goes by many names. Often called the Chinese Money Plant, UFO Plant, or Missionary Plant this thing just exudes whimsy.

Lorne and I are still getting to know one another so I’m certainly not going to pretend to be an expert, but I’ve picked up some tips and tricks for caring for Lorne from the shop where I picked it up and from the zillion posts about them on the internet.

  • they love sun (but indirect sun please)
  • you should let them fully dry between waterings
  • and for goodness sake turn that pot. like every damn day.

To me the most exciting thing about this plant, aside from how fucking adorable it is and the completely obvious reminder of Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan, is the fact that it’s so easy to share. Just a few weeks after I brought it home I noticed first one, then two, then three little baby Pileas just breaching the surface of the soil surrounding it.

In minutes I was able to harvest and plant all of those tiny little guys in their own tiny little pots. I’m just letting them grow up enough to make sure they’ll survive before I give them to some friends.

Propagating this plant was so easy in fact that I had never even thought to take part in the magic of plant reproduction until I saw the miracle of plant life happening right there in my very own pot. Since then I’ve been learning to divide and root any number of plants.

Because more plants, I’m sure we can all agree that’s just what I need…