This photograph makes me a little sad... just a few short weeks ago this was a lovely Jade plant measuring about 1 and 1/2 feet high and 1 and 1 1/2 feet wide. As you can see, something went very very wrong.
After the main trunk began to close itself off I cut it and tried to replant it in the dirt, this was a mistake and a blessing...
... you see if I had not done this, I would not have realized the issue plaguing my beloved plant, gnat larvae. I looked around, and the only reason I could find for this is over watering and the presence of fruit flies in my house, neither of which were the case were, at least to my knowledge. I was confused, and the only research I was coming up with was not fitting the bill.
Luckily, with in the depths of my house-plant-confusion/grief I remembered something I had heard about on our local public radio station, the CSU Extension Office. Each county in Colorado has one (as is the case with agricultural universities in many states) and luckily the day I called in, they had a master gardener on call. After speaking with her for a few minutes and describing my problem she asked if she could do a little research and call me back. I worried a bit that maybe I was getting the brush off, but no, with in an hour she called back with some answers and a solution! Yay!
Indeed, as I thought, the larvae were the problem. The solution... replant in fresh soil. But there was a little more to it than that. Luckily I had read that if you plant a freshly cut segment of Jade straight into the dirt, you run a high risk of rot, and larvae once again. So before I replanted my cuttings I let them dry out a bit, and develop a bit of a callus on the cut end. Next I planted them in moist potting soil (you can use cactus/succulent specific soil too) about one inch down into the dirt. The information I read said to let them rest in a darker place with little water for a month before slowly reintroducing them to bright indoor sunlight and once weekly waterings.
I'm very much hoping this works. This much loved plant was a house-warming gift from my parents three years ago, and to loose it might just break my heart a little bit.
Crossing my fingers!
P.S. if anyone has any other tips I'm all ears!
*Last time in Nature: Sunflower Sprouts