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27.10.05

"My Name is Perle"



This past summer I came across an Echeveria in the garden section of the Home Depot. It had a fantastic pinkish purple hue to it and I fell head over heals for it. I bought it that day and took it home. Some times I would sit and hold the plant in my hands and study the complete perfection of the plant. The symmetry of the leaves was perfect and my eyes would wander around the lines the leaves made.

It was like a baby and I was like a father. I doted on this Echeveria and would move it around the yard so that it would get as much sun as possible during the day. It really seemed to like all the sun it was getting because it colored up in dramatic fashion, almost as if it blushed at all the attention I was bestowing on it.

Can you love a plant? I know it sounds crazy-but sometimes when I was away from my little Echeveria I would wonder if it was doing ok and if it needed anything. One day while admiring my Echeveria it dawned on me that perhaps my little Echeveria was lonely. So I went out and bought it a companion; I came home with a little pot of Hen&Chicks. I sat it next to my Echeveria and hoped that they would be the best of friends. Being that I was now the parent of two succulents I decided to see if I could give my Echeveria a proper name. The helpful folks at the GardenWeb thought that my Echeveria might be a Perle Von Nurenberg. There was some debate but I decided that it looked like the closest ID. So now Perle had a name.

One day this summer Perle started to look a little down. At first I blamed it on the Hen and all of her Chicks that had sprouted in the pot next to Perle. Maybe they were making too much of a fuss or keeping her up at night, I thought to myself. I decided to move Perle to another area one day where maybe she would not be bothered by the Hen&Chicks. While doing so I decided to take a few leafs from Perle and propagate them to see if she liked being aroud her own kind better. When I removed some of the leaves I spotted them. The most hated of all houseplant bugs, mealy bugs.

They were crawling all over just below the surface of the soil at Perle's base. I quickly searched the internet and found various remedies. I decided a full out attack would the best approach. Night and day I worked at getting rid of those little bastards. In the end I lost the fight, but Perle left me with four little starts. Three of which can be seen in the picture attached to this entry.

If you find your Perle some day in a Home Depot, make sure to take some leafs from her and let the cuts callous over and then insert them into some clean soil. In a short time you'll have more plants that you can manage.
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