Ask A Broadsheet Reader



Trim me?

Bin me?

Or FEED me?

Alan O’Regan writes:

Years ago I brought a plant into work because I thought I’d ‘take care of it better’ than at home. As it turns out (mainly due to workload) I’ve basically neglected the thing only throwing in the odd cup of water and Miracle-Gro to keep it alive. A kindly work colleague re-potted it for me about a year ago. Basically I’m wondering is it shagged? If it’s salvageable I’ll take it home and do what has to be done to revive it. If it’s a lost cause I’ll bin it. I actually feel sorry for the thing.
If any of your readers know anything about plants and they can tell me what to do to bring it back to life I’d be very grateful. Do I trim the leaves down for example? At the moment it’s Fugly.


26 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Continuity Jay-Z

    I say you take off and nuke the thing from space. It’s the only way to be sure.

  2. Gers

    You can trim it back, I have a same plant and they need so little water is mad, must be from the Cacti family!

    1. peckerhead

      It is indeed a succulent, of the Crassula genus — possibly a variety of “bluebird” — and Continuity Jay-Z’s advice is sound. Better to be safe.

  3. berlincafe

    So.. looks like a larger pot is required. The money plant is growing. It s time to split into two plants or transfer into a larger pot. It stores water in its waxy leaves so if they are wrinkly it needs water. A little grooming of dedl foliage will help it look the part.

    1. scottser

      was about to post the same thing. re-pot, into a bigger unit, or split and re-pot each.

  4. Sharon

    You can trim that back. It’s a succulent so it doesn’t need a lot of water. The reason it’s shaped like that is because it’s searching for light. If you put it in direct sunlight it will grow straight up again. It’s a money plant, by the way. In feng shui you should put it in you money corner and it will bring you wealth. Check the window of the next Chinese restaurant you go past – there’s one in every window.

  5. WetPlanties

    If you want a plant that looks ‘perfect’ heatons do a good line in artifical flowers and plants.. There is nothing wrong with this one. Do you have strict rules that symmetry = beautiful ?

    It’s what ‘people in the game’ *Snorts* call a succulent, would usually be found in arid environments where survival traits trump aesthetic qualities – A bit like Leitrim on a cold wet day in March. . The beauty of it is in the fact that it needs very little water, very little feeding, very little pruning and it still lives – unlike you… It will flower when conditions are absolutely correct which in your manky dark, air conditioned old musty office is probably, never.. really the only thing you can do is google it and read up on it. It’s called a ‘money plant and then use this impressive info to woo the ladies/gentleman/whatever you’re into.. It will appreciate the odd dusting so it’s stomata (which usually only open at night) don’t get clogged up.. Google ‘stomata’…. ya philistine.

  6. kerryview

    I was told yonks ago that it’s called a Money Plant or Jade Plant (it has other common names) or Crassula. I have two here.
    You don’t really need to do more than you are doing – it’s still alive after all! But it’s easy to train into a more bushy or compact shape. Just trim out branches not going where you want and if you pinch the tips it will bush out. It will live forever – so keeping it bushy is a nice effect.
    I’m off now.

  7. Just sayin'

    Mine looks worse – I brought into work lately and several branches fell off in transit. Colleagues tell me it looks sad but I’ve had it 16 years so I’m holding on to it. It used to have nice pink flowers once too.

  8. Clampers Outside!

    That plant looks healthy from here. I know nothing about plants though, I trimmed the fluff off of a cactus I had once, I thought it was mold…. it was flowering…

    So I took off off and nuked the thing from space. It was the only way to be sure I’d killed it.

  9. Stewart Curry

    Alan, the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

  10. jade

    As a few people said, its grand. they dont need much care. if the leaves get wrinkly just throw in a bunch of water and it will come right back.

  11. formerly known as

    It is a succulent. You can create a lot of clone plants by taking a cutting from it.

  12. Domestos

    I don’t have the money to head off into space and nuke my plant from orbit, so I’ll send in a picture of it next Wednesday at 11am to see what the craic is.

  13. Cup of tea anyone?

    When the leaves fall off they take root and grow again. You can see the little roots already growing in the pictures there. They are the little white things dangling down. You could always replant it in bits and then sell. make money from your money tree.

  14. Someone

    “I actually feel sorry for the thing.”

    Says he as he chomps down on a lamb chop.

  15. Verbatim

    It’s a mistake to work so hard that you don’t have time to take care of nature.

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