Monday, 27 June 2016

The 40 year old rubber plant

I inherited a small rubber plant from a cousin about 10 years ago. It was in a strange 60s/70s pot that looked vaguely familiar, but I gave it no real thought, and just started caring, in my haphazard way, for my new plant.

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 . 


  1. An heirloom!

    1. Hi Janice, I love the idea of family members having offshots of the same plant growing in their homes. That would also be meaningful between good friends. You have sparked a great idea for me to carry out. Thanks!


  2. Dear Janice, what a beautiful and poignant story. I love that your mother's plant lives on and multiplies. My father recently died, and I am currently striking a significant plant with plans to hand little pots around to my siblings. A living, breathing plant really does provide a link in the family history. I do hope you are well, love n hugs, P.

  3. I love your family stories Janice and now you have added plant DNA to the mix.

  4. What a lovely story, Janice, which has echoes in my own life. Over 35 years ago my mother gave me a cutting from her spectacularly large and flourishing Christmas cactus, which has been a feature of our childhood. My cutting too has flourished, but is now ageing, so I'm about to try propagating it for the future. So glad your second generation is thriving.

  5. Can't think how I missed this one, Janice - but so glad I found it. I would have thought much less of that rubber plant if it had failed to thrive in your generous and tender care. Good work all round. Axxx

  6. How perfect your plant looks Janice.

    For many years I was successful in looking after a lily I inherited from my grandma. It gave me such pleasure every year when it flowered. Unfortunately it stopped flowering and the plant died a couple of years later. Now I just have the photos to remind me.

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