Today, I'd like to share with you one of the most interesting and unusual plant I have ever grown: The Alligator plant.
Also known as Mother of Thousands, this succulent from Madagascar is extremely easy to care for. In fact, after doing some research on it, I found that there are lots of people who consider it invasive because of its nearly self-care habit.
The reason the Alligator Plant is so invasive is because of the way it reproduces. There could likely be other plants that behave similarly, but this is the only one I have ever had experience with, and I find it quite fascinating.
Along the edges of the leaves, tiny little plantets grow. And, these "baby" plants are complete with a tiny little root. After some time, they will fall from the leaf and root right in the soil below.
I can see how this could really get out of control if it were growing in the yard. That's why I think a pot is the better choice for growing the Alligator Plant.
Mine was given to me by my oldest son last summer and has grown nearly a foot since then. Even though we have relatively mild winters here, we do get a few freezing nights, so I brought it in for the winter. A freeze will kill this plant, which is probably why it is mostly considered a noxious weed only in the higher garden zones.
Still indoors this spring when the first plantlets began appearing
In spite of its drawbacks, I love having the Alligator Plant in my garden! It really does practically take care of itself. I only need to keep the soil moist and repot it when it needs a bit more space. We're past the stage of little people eating plants :), so its not a worry I have by keeping it around.
I sent Adam a photo of all the little babies a few weeks ago and asked him what he thought I should do. I could clearly see that I'm headed to quite a collection of these plants pretty soon. His advice was just to let them grow. For now, that's what I'll be doing, but it won't be much longer before I'll be seeking out some new homes for all these baby plants.
In the mean time, I'll just continue to enjoy watching this easy-care plant grow and learn more about its fascinating ways.
Have you ever heard of this unusual plant before? Do you grow it? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.
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