Propagating Synadenium grantii

Something possessed me today.  I had the overwhelming urge to repot my passionvine, oleander, Ruttya, Dracaena draco, Boweia volubis, Selenicereus, Pereskia aculeata, and mini rose bush.  Somehow I didn’t even have to struggle for more space, everything fit back into place just fine (though I did have to trim about 8 feet of hanging plantlets off of my spiderplant so that some light could get through).  It was actually really nice because I’ve been loosing sleep over all of this (when my plants are stressed I get stressed and then I don’t sleep and my entire world falls apart).  Also it gave me a reason to sit in the living room and watch the last Harry Potter movie.  Normally I’m too antsy to sit in the living room for too long but if I have a project I can handle it just fine. But anyways, what does all this have to do with my Synadenium?  Absolutely nothing!  I just felt like sharing that info because I felt so accomplished.

This is it before the great cut-back.  Yes that’s a 4″ pot, yes that plant is almost 4′ tall, yes I know there is almost no soil in the pot and yes it has clearly been cut back before.  For a great write up on just how ridiculously easy these plants are Plants Are The Strangest People has a great write up about them.

So how does one go about propagating this guy?  Simple.  They’re just about the easiest plant on earth to grow from cuttings.  All you do is lop it off however tall you want it to be (I’m sure you’re really only supposed to cut off no more than 1/3 at a time or some other lame rule like that but I’m pretty damn sure it doesn’t matter with these guys.  I bet you could douse them in round up and it would be like “oh ok, I’m just going to pretend that it was fertilizer and grow some more”).

One thing to note is that these are in the Euphorbia family (Euphorbiaceae) and as such they have a nice caustic latex sap.  See that lovely white ooze?  Don’t get it on your skin and keep your eyes away from it at all costs.  Better yet, wear gloves!  This crap hurts if you get a burn from it (I once got what could pass as second degree burns [do burn degrees work for chemical burns or just heat burns?]).  My arm was covered in blisters and the skin was bright red for about two weeks after picking up a Euphorbia tirucalli that fell over and broke at work.  This is what happens when you are too lazy to wash off your arms in a timely manner. ::sigh::  Anyways always play it safe with Euphorbias.

And here we are afterwards!  Aren’t we all adorable and precious and crap now?  Oh..wait… no, we’re not.  In a few weeks the terminal bud will start to swell and I’m sure by Christmas I’ll have at least one set of leaves if not more.  I saved the top part of the cut-off segment to replant.  It has to callous overnight and then you simply stick it in a pot full of potting soil and away we go!  They’re super easy and in time I’m sure they’ll both be 5 feet tall and I’ll be annoyed at them all over again (and still refusing to throw them away).  I’ll try and remember to post some pictures again once they’re up and doing something.

Oh and just because I’m so excited by how well it’s doing, I’ll post a picture of one of the flowers on my mini-rose!

I’ve had this guy for about 2 months now and it has been growing and blooming constantly.  I’m really quite shocked and pleased.  Part of me wants to pitch all the other plants in the bathroom and have a mini-rose garden but that would be absurd because all the plants that are in the bathroom are there because they’re cool and I want them to be seen individually (as opposed to being incorporated into one of the jungles in the other rooms).


Edit 12/21/11: The plant has begun to sprout again!

7 thoughts on “Propagating Synadenium grantii

  1. Ah an evening of replanting stressed plants, not a bad way to kill some time. Tis nice to relieve that itching feelings, you’ll sleep much better now. I just spent $60.00 on specialty seeds that I’ve yet to plant, and this is what keeps me up at night… Loosing viability day by day… hum de dum…

  2. 8 feet of hanging plantlets from your spiderplant. Haha! That sounds about right!

    I have some Synadeniums for the first time, thanks to mr_s. He sure is right about how easy they are. Pretty, too.

    I hope you take lots of photos of how yours grows!

    • Yep! I did love the curtain effect but my other plants are happy that they can actually SEE the sunlight again. I’ll try to remember to take pictures but I’m such a flake that I’ll probably forget. As it stands I don’t have any extra potting soil so I just stuck it in with my passionvine. We’ll see how long before I remember that it should be there and get around to potting it in its own pot.

  3. Pingback: Update on Synadenium grantii « Theatrum Botanicum

  4. Hi! Also in minneapolis (assuming you are based on your photo). I was wondering if you would like to swap cuttings? Particularly I am interested in other forms of Synadenium grantii–looks like yours is the “chameleon” form whereas mine is a bright green. Would you like to swap cuttings?

    • I’m not currently in MSP anymore but i’d be more than willing to mail you some cuttings next time my plant is big enough/it’s warm enough to not kill them

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