Adventures in Houseplant Propagation

I tried to save a succulent that was stretched, it did not make it. I also tried and failed to grow an avocado, complete failure… It happens.

Jade: It has started pushing out growth very slowly, it took about 6 months before there was new growth.

Geraniums: I am always skeptical of sticking a cutting directly into soil and having it turn into a plant. This was not the right time of the year for this but I am experimenting, the mother plant is really healthy and sprawling at the moment so I snapped off a branch, cut away the flower stalk and dipped the end in honey and stuck it into some new dirt. It’s been doing really well and has put out new growth.

Sansevieria: It sprouted a pup right after I bought the plant so as soon as it had a few strong leaves I snapped it off of the mother plant and put it in it’s own pot. It’s growing and healthy.

Coral Reef Sedum: When I bought this Coral it was sending out roots so I decided to let part of it grow into a new plant. I  placed a few inches down flat into the soil and covered over it gently, then watered it. After a few months it has started puting out three tiny rosettes of new growth.

Old Mans Bones Sedum: I broke off a piece when I was putting it in a hanging planter, so I dipped it in cinnamon and stuck it down into some dirt. I cant really tell where this one is going, it hasn’t grown any since I stuck it in dirt, it also hasn’t died either.

Oxalis: I divided and repotted one of my shamrocks, it had not been growing well all year so I broke up the root cluster into about 8 plants and gave it new dirt and some food. I left the leaves on if I could. They bounced back dramatically and are full of flowers. I moved them next to my aero gardens, they want a lot of light and a lot of water. When one of the leaves dropped off while I was transplanting it I stuck it in water and it has sprouted roots. I divided up and replanted another pot of purple oxalis and they are starting to come up now. I’m going to have to start giving them away at this rate. I love how many flowers these will produce when they are happy.

Lavender: I am incapable of keeping lavender alive in any form, this died shortly after the picture was taken. I put three Mona Lavender cuttings in water and two of them are starting to root.

Vanilla Orchid: Not propagation but I repotted and fed my Orchid. At one point during the winter the roots died when it got too cold and I cut several inches and rerooted it. It has started new roots which are doing well but it’s a scrawny little thing. It has had a good growth spert start after repotting.

Cassia and henna hair dye

I have used Rajastani Twilight Henna for years so I am switching to Rajastani Monsoon which is a lighter red, I will be mixing this with Cassia, which dyes hair a golden yellow color. My hair is already pretty dark so it wont make much of a difference. but I do have some pure white hair and ashy lighter colored roots, the length of my hair is a deep red.

It’s interesting that three ingredients can dye hair from blonde, red, brown to black if you know how to mix the colorants right and you hair doesn’t need to be lightened. And most of these natural dyes are good for your hair instead of damaging like chemical dyes, and in terms of red’s they do not fade like chemical dyes.

To prepare the dye I have mixed roughly 25 grams of henna powder and 75 grams of cassia powder together in a bowl. I have selected ordering from the Mehandi website but another site I would recommend by word of mouth would be The Henna Guy’s though I have not ordered from them directly. Not all henna is the same. The dye requires a mild acid so I have used the juice of two lemons by hand, and a little bit of water. When working with Henna never use your bare hands or metal implements, it is best to get some plastic gloves and to mix it by hand, mix thoroughly with the lemon juice and then add water to make it into a thick paste. You could do with just the juice of one lemon even. Alternately some chamomile tea or a little bit of vinegar can also do the job as well. Then let it sit for 12-24 hours. If it is in a warmer location it will release the dye faster, the summer time I cover it from the light and set it in the sun to gather warmth, in the winter I set it near the stove or near a heat source to gently absorb warmth. After it has sat I will add some luke warm water and mix it until you get a plaster or pancake batter type consistency. I prefer to leave it a little thick so it doesn’t drip. Apply to your hair and scalp until all hair is saturated, use a roll of plastic wrap to wrap your head then once everything wet is covered wrap your head up in a towel and keep it warm. After 4 hours rinse thoroughly and shampoo and condition your hair twice to get all of the dye out.

Cassia is a mild dye that will make pale hair look golden yellow. it is great for changing grey or white hair to blonde. Henna is a much more powerful dye that builds and darkens over time and with following applications. The combination of 3/4 cassia and 1/4 henna is a light red or strawberry blonde color. Because my hair is darker it may just tinge my ash color red and shift the color of my white hair to reddish blonde. Later on I plan on lightening the length of my hair as I get more grey’s so I am shifting my henna to a light more blonde color and will start doing more roots only treatments so I stop darkening the length.

These are my roots right before and after adding the dye. My natural hair is an ash toned color that just tends to look grey naturally in some light and my grey hairs come in pure white.

Henna will oxidize and darken slightly over a few days.