Picture Post- Jades, Portulacaria.
Here are some pics I took yesterday, in the bright sunlight:
My Jade plant, looking bright and happy. This plant is six inches tall:
(Before you get excited, the white spots on the leaves are not pests; the plant is excreting minerals through its pores. Our water here has a lot of sediment.) The plant has two trunks; in the same pot is another, smaller rooted cutting, collected at the same time. Eventually I will move it closer to the larger plant, so that in the coming years it has an appearance of one plant with three trunks.
This is the plant that I now believe to be Portulacaria afra, Elephant Bush. I originally took this rooted cutting from the same pot as the mother to my Jade. Until a few days ago, it grew in the same pot as my Jade cuttings. When I decided that it was probably a different species, I moved it to its own little pot. This plant is about 2 inches tall. In this pic you can see the red-brown stem and the reddish underside of a leaf.
The same plant, from above:
Last week my best friend bought me a variegated Jade from a local nursery. Inside the 4-inch planter, there were actually FIVE plants. This one is the reason she bought the plant for me, and the one I am keeping as my own "main" variegata.
It has three main trunks, all part of the same plant. Once this plant becomes taller, I am going to wire the branches so they grow more upright and less spread. My long-term plan is for this plant and my standard Jade to have similar shapes as they mature.
This is an extreme close-up of another of the variegated plants. I found two things interesting about this plant: one, the purple color that has shown up on the youngest leaves, and two, the satiny, granulated texture that some of the mid-sized leaves have developed in the last couple of days. The large leaf in the left background is the original leaf from which this plant grew; it still has a normal texture. The leaf rooted itself and grew a stem and branch while still partially attached to the mother plant.
This last pic is of the second small Jade plant, growing in the same pot as the larger Jade. I took this pic to get a record of an interesting growth pattern. This plant was originally rooted at a slight angle, which caused some mild, harmless deformation of the second set of leaves. The visivle leaf of the second set has an odd shape, and its downward-pointing counterpart is almost nonexistent.
I love my little trees!