Field notes — September 2, 2021

Jade, Jubileum

  • Soil: moist (last watered three days ago)
  • Light: at 6:20 a.m., ~3 FC from the south-facing window (which faces the neighbour’s house) and ~15 FC from the kitchen lights. But who expects good light at this time?
  • Longest stem: ~6.5 cm from soil to node of top set of leaves
  • Number of strands: three
  • Largest leaf: 3 cm from node to tip; 2.3 cm wide
  • New growth: at tips. Pinched off 2/3 sets of newest leaves to encourage branching.
  • Signs of pests: none
  • Signs of care issues: new leaves at top had indentations three days ago; probably a sign of underwatering. I watered the plant immediately after noticing, and today, the indentations are gone in the smaller leaves. So that’s pretty neat.
  • Other care: Seems somewhat etoliated (leggy due to not enough light), but also is developing the red edges and undersides to the leaves (due to high intensity light). So… not enough light overall, but too intense when it gets it? Iunno, man. Probably.

None too jaded

This cutie is such an optimistic, cheery little plant. Look at the upward lift on all its little leaves, the plump roundness, the happy, bright green of new growth. Who wouldn’t feel better contemplating this little jade plant for a moment?

The IKEA pot might look a little large from this angle, but in real life it suits well!

Let’s get to know you

  • Binomial name: Crassula ovata
  • Given name: Jubileum
  • Native to: South Africa and Mozambique
  • Bought: June 16, 2021 at Terra Plants & Flowers
  • Grown in: Canada
  • Original pot (current): 2 inch plastic nursery pot

Field notes

  • Soil: moist; last watered 3 days ago
  • Longest stem: middle, 4.8 cm to base of leaf
  • Number of stems: three
  • Largest leaf: 2 cm wide, 3 cm from stem to tip
  • New growth: young leaves at the ends of each stem.
  • Signs of pests: none, but spider mites were last present about 2 weeks ago. Treated with rosemary spray about three times.
  • Signs of care issues:
    • Little white spots on leaves: excess minerals from the water; will switch to filtered water
  • Pruning:
    • Pinched back new little nodules to encourage branching

Research notes


  • Light: full sun at minimum of 4 hours per day
  • Humidity: dry is OK
  • Temperature: 18 to 24 degrees Celsius


  • Preference:
    • Filtered or distilled water
    • Avoid getting water on leaves
  • Frequency
    • In summer: when soil is mostly dry
    • In winter: when soil is fully dry

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: well-draining sandy soil, such as cactus or succulent soil
  • Soil pH: neutral
  • Fertilization:
    • Every 6 months with balanced, water-soluble fertilizer over already-wet soil
    • Every 1 to 2 months during growing season with diluted, balanced, water-soluble fertilizer
  • Repotting:
    • In early spring
    • Young plants: repot every 2 to 3 years
    • Mature plants: repot every 4 to 5 years or more
    • Keep somewhat rootbound. Choose a wide and sturdy to avoid tipping as plant is top-heavy
    • Water only after several days to a week
    • Fertilize at least one month after


  • Grow style: slow; 5 to 20 cm per year
  • Maturity: 3 feet or more; can live in the lifespan of several human generations; as they age, the trunks develop a bark-like appearance
  • Neat stuff: as the the leaves transpire, excess minerals from the water can form tiny white spots on the leaves, which can be removed with a damp cloth.
  • Common problems:
    • Too little water (signs: leaf drop, brown leaf spots, shriveled or wrinkly leaves)
    • Too much water (signs: leaves are squishy, waterlogged; may result in root rot)
    • Too little lights (signs: stunted, leggy)
    • Pests (mealybugs, scale)
  • Pruning:
    • In early spring, before new growth, pinch back to a healthy node to encourage branching
  • Propagation by leaf or stem cutting:
    • Remove a leaf or snip a stem 5 to 8 cm long with two pairs of leaves
    • Let callus for a couple days
    • Add slightly moist soil mix to pot
    • Place in soil:
      • For leaf, place horizontal on mix, covering the cut end with soil
      • For stem, place vertically into the soil
    • Place in bright, indirect light. Do not water.
    • In three weeks, give a gentle tug to see if roots have formed. If not, wait and test again until there is resistance.
    • Water gently and keep in bright, indirect light until well established.

Research sources: Wikipedia, World of Succulents, Gardening Know How, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Smart Garden Guide

Plants. Plants. Plants. Oh my god, plants.

In the modified words of Liam Kyla Sullivan:

Let’s get some plants.
Let’s get some plants.
Let’s get some plants.
Let’s get some plants.

Maybe I got too many? I mean, this whole weekend was all about

Oh, my God, plants.

Like, I:

  • brought my humidifier to the dining room and set it up for the plants. And then my essential oil diffuser (sans oils).
  • checked root systems, removed crunchy leaves/rotting roots, and repotted soleirolia soleirolii, aloe vera, divided oxalis, pothos props, spider plant props, kalanchoe props, and string of dolphin props into terra cotta pots to improve evaporation rate of water
  • repotted calathea lancifolia and philodendron brasil into custom planter pots to fit inside wall-mounted cachepots
  • moved plants around to desired light/humidity areas
  • started eleven other plant-bio stories (since I was already researching ideal light, humidity, and soil conditions, I noted them down and filled out some other bio areas, including capturing photos for most plants)
  • went out to by glass covers for soleirolia soleirolii, salaginella, and calathea ornata (but calaethea ornata didn’t quite fit the container I bought it and might not really need it, so OK for now)
  • searched amazon to order: humidifier, humidistat, activated charcoal for eventual terrarium for salaginella, yellow sticky paper to trap infesting insects, 3-in-1 moisture/light/pH soil meter (surprise! Husband already had just the one I wanted! And he gave it to me.)
  • determined there are spider mites on my jade; treated it and the nearby-sitting string of turtles with a pray bottle of rosemary essential oil + water; moved them to isolation (they should have started in isolation; will know that for future purchases)
  • added cinnamon to wounds on leaves to promote healing (will it work? Recommended by a friend. Excited to see.)

These plants rule.
These plants suck.
These plants rule.
These plants suck.

I love them. They are amazing. I hate them. My obsession is killing me. I have no thoughts, no life, except:

Oh, my God, plants.
These plants rule.
Having few plants sucks.
Having not enough plants sucks.
Not buying even one plant that I want sucks!

I also researched more plants to buy. I didn’t… I only added to my online shopping cart in three local stores…

I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!
I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!
I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!
I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!

But… I might have too many plants. They’re all I could think about this weekend. But I’m also happy. So shut up!

Stupid boy.
Stupid boy.
Let’s get some plants.
Let’s party.

Husband is indulging me after years of denying me plants.
I am buying so many.

These plants are three hundred dollars.
These plants are three hundred dollars.
These plants are three hundred fucking dollars.
Let’s get ‘em!

I mean, aren’t they beautiful? I also watched several hours worth of YouTube videos about plants. And rare plants. And plant care. And plant trends.

Um…your room runs small. I don’t think your plants are gonna fit.
I mean, these plants are kinda big.

So I’ll just stick them on more walls! I can put them on the floor — just walk around them! More shelves! More hanging pots! More! More Moooaaaar!

Oh, by the way betch,
those plants are mine betch
gimme those fuckin’ plants betch