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Propagation and Persistence

This past spring, a neighbour asked me to care for her money plant while she stayed with her boyfriend in Colorado.

This money plant of hers is abundant. Multiple branches constantly giving off new leaves. She asked me to trim it often, which means one thing: propagating.

Now, I'm a new plant mom (in fact half of my plants are fake). So I did what every responsible gardener does and Googled "how to propagate a money plant".

I was given two options, both allegedly work.

You start the same with both strategies. Get a clean pair of scissors and cut of a branch at its base. Pick one with new leaves starting to sprout. Dip the end of the cutting in stem powder, which I did. Here's where you can diverge.

I tried the first option, which was to put the cutting directly in soil in water continuously. It's normal for the original leaves to dry up and fall off. Keep watering and the cutting should take root.

It did not.

The original leaves all fell off and new sprouts dried out before they could become leaves. This plant was in direct sunlight and never got enough water to take root.

But I was not discouraged! Instead, I took a new cutting and tried option B. Instead of planting directly in soil, I soaked it in water for a few weeks. Long enough for new roots to emerge at the base of the cutting. Then I planted it.

The plant was still in direct sunlight, but the original leaves did not wither and die like the first cutting. And after a few weeks, some baby leaves came out.

Then I moved. In the jostling of moving from one condo to another, the new leaves fell off.

I was worried this new propagation would also fall apart before my eyes. I thought "maybe I should just give up and buy a new plant online".

Thank goodness I waited.

Here's a progress report on the money plant five weeks after moving in. #1 is the leaf group that first sprouted when I moved in. #2 is the next grouping taking shape. And #3 is a circle of two more leaf groups starting to form.

The new condo faces north, which is apparently the exact amount of sunlight the money plant wants. At night I turn on a desk lamp for a few hours, but that's it. The money plant is flourishing in indirect sunlight.

This journey mirrors how I've felt about my business this spring and summer. I've been making changes to make this company more sustainable and profitable.

There have been times I've wanted to quit.

There have been times I've wanted to completely revamp my program again.

But each time, I take a look at what I'm doing. What is working? What isn't? What tiny tweaks can I make to create the results I want?

The tiny tweaks I've made in propagating cutting #2 are subtle: immerse in water first, keep away from direct sunlight, water weekly. And they've made all the difference.

Sometimes things don't work out the way we expect them to because we're meant to learn. That doesn't mean it's a failure. It only means it's time to try something a little bit different and allow it to grow.


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