Monday, June 16, 2014

Knowing What's Growing: Alligator Plant







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.

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 plantlets grow. And these "baby" plants are complete with a tiny little root.

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.

Also know as Mother of Thousand, this succulent from Madagascar is easy to care for.
Still indoors this spring when the first plantlets began appearing

One additional drawback to this plant is that it is toxic to humans and animals. If you have small children or pets that might ingest the plant, this would not be a good choice for your home or garden.

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.

This post may be linked at these great parties.


16 comments:

  1. I have not seen this plant in our area. Thank you for this post introducing me to the Alligator plant. Love the babies!
    Kathy

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    1. Aren't they cute? I don't think it will grow outdoors just anywhere. It can't survive a freeze, but can grow indoors well. Thanks for visiting Kathy.

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  2. Just found your blog from the click and chat link up! Excited the be following along via bloglovin!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and following! I'm thrilled you stopped by and look forward to visiting you at your place. Have a beautiful day!

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  3. This is wonderful! Thanks for joining Merry Mondays!

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    1. Thank you for visiting Marilyn. I enjoy joining the party each week. Have a great week!

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  4. What a cool plant. I had never heard of it - but know a lot about it now! Thanks Karen!

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    1. Hi Susan,
      I thought it was very unique, but wondered if it is not so uncommon and I thought. There are so many plants out there…
      Thanks for visiting Susan. Enjoy a wonderful week!

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  5. What a cool plant! I haven't heard of it before.

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    1. Thanks Barb. It's a really fun plant to grow.

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  6. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate every one of them!
    I love gardening and discovering new plants . . . Yours is quite unique and beautiful!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Have a great week,
    Suzanne

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    1. Thanks for visiting Suzanne. I'm having lots of fun with this one.
      I'm looking forward to trying your ice cream pie soon. It's perfect for these hot summer days!

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  7. I've never seen or heard of this plant before. Maybe people like me with a less than green thumb would have good luck with it. :-)

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    1. Hi Crystal,
      It's so easy to grow and doesn't require much fuss. Believe me, if it were a fussy plant, it probably wouldn't do well here! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Cool plant! Pinned. Thanks again for being a part of our party. i hope to see you tonight at 7 pm.. Lou Lou Girls

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    1. Thanks Kimberly. I'm looking forward to joining your great party again this week!

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