Can a plant grow without soil?
Can a plant grow when it’s out of the ground?
A Frangipani plant can.
I made this surprising discovery this morning, when I walked past a bunch of sticks and saw growth from the top of the frangipani plant which was lying on the ground.
The garden is at the back of a rental property on the south coast of New South Wales, about 2 hours south of Sydney, Australia. The soil is generally fertile in a region famous for dairy farming and viticulture, although the garden had been stripped of much of its nutrients when I moved in, courtesy of the previous tenant’s neglect and a dry winter. The garden attracts quite a lot of sun, during very warm summer months and even during colder winter months in what is typically a temperate climate. The area is also famous for beaches and surfing, which is great after a day of hard yakka in the garden.
A number of small leaves were growing out of a protuberence at the top of the plant – the same plant that I had taken out of the ground about one month ago…because it wasn’t growing.
The small bulb is very green and the small leaves look quite healthy, despite the fact that the plant has been lying on the concrete under a bunch of sticks for at least a month.
I don’t understand how this happened.
The plant displayed absolutely no signs of growth when I planted it many months ago, after taking a cutting from a healthy tree at a friend’s place. I had subsequently decided that the plant was never going to grow because it had been in healthy soil for about two months.
The only explanation that I can find is that the warm summer weather and dry conditions of the last few months have promoted growth in a plant that obviously still has some life left in it.
I stuck the plant into my most productive garden bed and I’m hoping that with some healthy soil it will continue to grow. It’s unlikely to produce flowers any time soon as we are now heading into autumn and the colder months, but I may be able to admire it’s beauty and fragrance next spring.
Now that I’ve witnessed a minor miracle in my backyard, what should I wish for next?