My succulent garden pretty much consists of two plants, and it started with one. A couple years ago John’s father brought me a little succulent from his garden. It was about four inches high, if that. That one little plant has bred hundreds since, some of which had grown into three-foot giants before the cold hit.
I never knew what these two plants were called, but our trip to Caspersen beach made me curious. We took the trail through the coastal hammock and spotted a couple familiar blooms.
If only I could tell you definitively what its name is! Common plant names are both obvious and confusing. Obvious because their names often reflect their appearance making them easy to identify. This is the same Chandelier plant blooming in my garden.
Just like the blooms by the beach, this one will open fully and drop to look just like a chandelier. The name is perfect. The problem is that it’s also know as Mother-of-millions and so is the little succulent that John’s father brought us. It’s all very confusing, and I didn’t have much more luck with the scientific names. The chandelier plant is called Kalanchoe tubiflora and Bryophyllum tubiflorum. Either way these names are ridiculous for the home gardener like myself. I require the simplicity of the common name. I can remember Chandelier plant. Bryophyllum tubiflorum – not likely. More often than not, the Chandelier plant is called Mother-of-millions, and the other one is called Mother-of-thousands. Of course, the names fit. These plants reproduce like crazy. The mother-of-thousands grow and reproduce so easily that I’ve planted them in cups, bowls, and shells.
They are fascinating plants and particularly self-preserving. Normally the buds that form drop from the leaves and root with no preference or mercy. You really have to stay on top of them. They’ve rooted between our brick pavers, the grass, potted plants, you name it. This shell has been a different story. It’s been growing on our kitchen window sill. There was literally no where for the buds to drop and take root, so they started rooting in the air.
Amazing! I love and fear both of these plants. I can’t even count how many Mother-of-thousands are around the house and garden at this point…thousands? And the story is the same for the Mother-of-millions. I started with one and now have fourteen! There are only 14 because I learned my lesson the first time around and kept my one little plant much more contained.