The piggyback plant’s scientific name, Tomiea menziesii, is derived from its botanical discoverers—Dr. William Fraser Tokmie (1830-1886), a Scottish physician working for the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Vancouver and his colleague, Dr. Archibald Menzies (1754-1842), a naval surgeon by trade and botanist who was a great collector of North American plants. A novel feature of the piggyback plant is its means of propagation. Its common name may give you a hint. Piggybacks develop buds at the base of each leaf where it meets the leaf stalk (petiole). New plants develop a “piggyback” style off the parent leaf, forcing it to bend under the weight and touch the ground. The new piggyback will then develop roots and become a new separate plant. To propagate at home, simply push a leaf into some soil medium where it will easily root.

Whether using piggyback plants in a hanging basket or pot, place them in an area of indirect bright, moderate, or low light. An east or west exposure is best. Keep the soil evenly moist. Check daily and water only when necessary. Do not let your piggyback houseplant sit in water. Fertilize piggyback plants each month between May and September with a liquid fertilizer, following the instructions of the manufacturer. Thereafter, feed the piggyback every six to eight weeks for the remainder of the year. In May you can move the plant outside for the summer, making sure to bring it back inside in early September. This extremely tolerant plant will survive an array of temperatures, but prefers a temperature above 70 degrees F. (21 C.) during the day and 50 to 60 degrees F. (10-16 C.) at night. Lastly, while the piggyback can survive almost any condition that would kill most other plants, it’s no match for deer. Deer find the piggyback plant delicious, however, they usually only munch on them when other food is scarce. This is another reason why growing a piggyback plant indoors is preferable.

Non-Toxic to pets and humans

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