In The Beginning
Have you ever wondered where your houseplants come from? Are they grown from seed? Are they grown from tissue culture? Are they grown from cuttings? Yes, yes, and yes. They are from all those things.
As I was walking through Cultivate ’16 (a trade show in Columbus, OH) last week, I came upon the Fleurizon booth, full of cuttings and small plants. Although a small booth, it is full of 100’s of potential houseplants.
What first caught my attention was the Sansevierias with the colored bottoms. Why are they colored? They are dipped in fungicide, so they don’t rot. I love Sansevierias and when I visited Glasshouse Works in Ohio many years ago, I saw a very beautiful Sansevieria I had to have. (Hard to believe, isn’t it? There are some very cool Sansevierias out there and I will do a post soon about all the different varieties that I have.) They didn’t have any more to sell, so they chopped the top off the plant and handed it to me for $35. What was I supposed to do with it? Root it in perlite, they said. I was skeptical and worried I had just spent $35 on a plant that was surely going to die. But it worked out very well. I rooted it in perlite and it is big and beautiful still today.
Notice the large stump above the Sansevierias. That is a ming aralia stump or Polyscias fruiticosa. Look at the Adeniums, completely bare rooted and ready to be planted.
Can you believe these sticks below will turn into large leaf filled Dracaenas or corn plants? Most people walking by these would wonder why a plant company is selling dead sticks.
This company sells cuttings, rooted cuttings, seeds, succulents, plumeria cuttings, adeniums, air plants, and so much more, shipping them all over the world. I hope I have given you a small insight into the behind the scenes workings of the houseplant industry. Next time you are putting that houseplant into your cart, think about its small, humble beginning. It may have come from a test tube…..