What is this plant?

Asked April 16, 2018, 4:06 PM EDT

My Mom passed recently and had this plant rooting on her windowsill in Harrison, MI. I have since planted it in soil and it has been doing well.
I have no idea where she got the cutting she rooted - as I have never seen it on the property.
Any ideas?
The leaves are between an 1/8 of an inch to a 1/4 in.

Macomb County Michigan houseplants

3 Responses

Thank you for contacting Ask An Expert.

How wonderful to have a "memory" plant that belonged to your mother! I am so sorry your mother has died and I hope this plant and cherished memories will keep her close to you.

This is a bit hard to identify because I do not believe this is it's normal growth habit. I believe the plant has not received enough light and hence has grown "leggy" or stretched trying to get more light. From the larger fleshy leaves in general, you have a succulent type of plant. These require a well drained soil and bright light. Do not let it ever get soaking wet and don't let it go completely dry. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch about an inch down in the pot. A south or west facing window would be best but I would increase the amount of light it gets gradually otherwise it may burn.

I'm going to guess that it is a member of the Crassula family which includes what are commonly called Jade Plants. I suspect your mother's plant is Crassula ovata perhaps a Mini Jade. Again this is only a guess. Grow the plant in the conditions I wrote above and see if resembles this plant identification.

Hi Susan:
Thank you for your kind words and for your help in identifying the plant. Here is a picture of the plant when it flowered in the dixie cup (rooting in water) Do you think that this is still a jade? and if so - a special kind? I didn't know that jades flowered!! (Although I did a little research and saw that they did!) Do you think the leggy behavior could have been from it's start in water? When I re pot - should I leave all the existing growth intact?
Thank you in advance for your help!

Thank you for the follow up. You are correct Jade plants do bloom but not frequently in the home environment. From the flowers (with eight stamens) in the photo and the leaf on the lower left I would say this is possibly Sedum Sieboldii, a sedum commonly planted in Michigan gardens. They are also common in flower arrangements and gifts. Interestingly the sedums and jades belong in the same family. They also have the same culture requirements so follow the advice in my previous email.

It's leggy growth happy could have been caused by growing it in water but low light is probably a bigger factor. I would gradually let the plant get used to more light letting it grow a bit. You could pinch out the growing tips at the end of each stem and the plant should branch. Sedums from the floral arrangements will bloom in the spring .