Years ago, my mother gave me a cutting of a plant that a friend had given her years and years before that. The friend was one of her childhood friends and my mom asked me to keep the plant growing as a reminder of that friend [Aunt Peggy] who was part of my childhood.
The plant never did much in D.C. and New England but it was cool looking and so I kept it growing. It was one I had in the car with me when I left Vermont and eventually moved to Oregon.
Two other plants that made the cross-country trip were a jade plant and a Christmas cactus from my friend Freda who had given me cuttings about 15 years earlier. [All my other plants were given to friends as I had no spare room in my car and was not going to land anywhere for a long time.]
I eventually learned the plant from my mom was an epiphyllum and that it just loved Portland’s weather. In a few years it began to bloom and outgrew many pots and got too big and heavy to bring inside in the winter.
The other 2 grew more slowly and so I had room in the house for them each winter.
Fast forward to last winter and our artic blast and record setting cold 🙁 My epiphyllum was wrapped in layers and was well sheltered or so I thought. I checked it regularly and one day it seemed "funny" so I managed to bring it in. Seems it died from the roots up so I did not see the damage until it was too late.
I found one small piece of solid green and put that in a rooting mix and in a small pot. I watched it daily and as long as it remained green I repeated the rooting powder and watering.
Then this past August – a full 8 months after I started this tender care – it started growing…At that point I realized more fully that it was my mother’s presence in my house.
I really feel good that her request of me to keep it growing had been accomplished. So Aunt Peggy and Mom – your epiphyllum is still alive – as are my love and thoughts aobut you.
My Freda plants are doing well – but Freda died this past July.
Love you too Freda and will keep the plants healthy.
P.S. ALL houseplants are now in for the winter