A few months after it came into my possession, I was looking through some old photos and found one showing the plant, in its 60s/70s pot, in my parents' front room.
It seemed that my cousin had " inherited" the rubber plant from my mother.... who died over 30 years ago.
It was pot bound, still in its original pot, and had clearly belonged to my mother.
Suddenly this plant took on greater significance. It's survival became paramount ! I could no longer fail to water it. I had to organise a neighbour to look after it if I went away. I had to re pot it..... and actually look after it. I have done that for 10 years.
Earlier this year I decided the responsibility of keeping mum's plant alive was too much. No one else in the family was prepared to take on the responsibility. So, I decided.... This plant need to have children of its own.
It had grown huge, it reached the ceiling. So, having read various articles about taking cuttings, I took 5 cuttings.
The mother plant became more manageable and I kept my fingers crossed that at least one of the children would survive.
I potted one of the cuttings in my mother's original 60s/70s pot.
Just before I came to France this year, I gave one thriving baby plant to my step daughter in law, Sarah Jane, one to Mark's ex wife, Carole, one was promised to daughter Jess, and one to step daughter Jodie.
I have brought the child plant potted in the original pot to France.
It is thriving. It has 4 new leaves, and clearly loves the warmth and the sunshine of Caunes Minervois.
So... a neighbour is caring for mum's original plant while I'm away, and I am the proud owner of a second generation/ back in the original pot/ child of my mother's plant .