Before I bought my first gardening book and before I cared about containers that have proper drainage, I knew the importance of having certain plants in the home.  Since college, every time a friend moved to a new apartment I brought them an aloe plant for their kitchen because my family always used it for burns.  I’ve also kept jade in my apartments because my mother, a former Feng Shui consultant, taught me as a child that jade plants are a symbol of abundance. 

My first couple of jade plants struggled to stay alive, the first went neglected and the plump leaves shriveled up. I lavished the second with water but it died anyway. In retrospect, it probably had a bug problem that I failed to notice.

Which brings me to my current jade, lucky number 3 (my favorite number).  I bought it at a flower shop in Manhattan and was skeptical about its ability to thrive because it had been planted in a small glass fish bowl.  But I decided to go for it because 1. the price was cheaper than my previous jade (which also made me more skeptical about its quality), 2. I figured I would re-pot it later, and 3. there were 3 jade shoots in the container, lucky 3 again for a plant that’s supposed to bring prosperity.

So I took it home and soon found out that the glass container actually worked well because I could see when there was enough water.  The 3 little stems did just fine where they were and really thrived once I brought the plant home to Pennsylvania from Brooklyn.  It received extra afternoon sun and the petals changed from all green to a lovely bit of crimson on the bottom. The whole plant flourished, until about a month ago.

I noticed aphid egg casings on the new growth of the jade and didn’t know what to do at first.  If you read my earlier post from last fall you’ll know what a tough time I had after using horticultural spray on my other succulents.  Luckily the weather was unseasonably warm so I left it out on the deck, ready for the poor thing to die off.  But instead, my favorite little insect totems came to the rescue, two ladybugs.  One was female and the other male, I know this because they proceeded to mate before getting down to business on the aphids.

The two ladybugs hung out on my jade for 4 or 5 days and once they left the plant was completely clear of aphids.  My prosperity plant was saved by my favorite totems.  I like to think that this is symbolism, for good things to come.


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