29 March 2015

pretty

unfolding cyclamen bloom- the best plant in my house right now

28 March 2015

dead?

I had given up on my baby aloes. All brown. Pulling them up to toss in the compost, but this one actually had some roots growing. So I tucked it back in, just in case it has a slim chance of making it.
Looks awful, doesn't it?

27 March 2015

pepper

My pepper seems happy with the increasing sun in the window.
It keeps putting out more buds and flowers, but it's far too early to set it outside again.

26 March 2015

a few more

The herbs were not all. I didn't want to stop there. I mixed the rest of my saved vermicompost with tired dry soil and moved some more plants up to new, bigger pots. First to get a boost were the parlor palms. I'd found this tiny seedling in one pot. My youngest insisted I save the baby plant, to see what it grows into.
The biggest parlor palm was very crowded- its roots all growing round in a tight circle. I started loosening them out,
then kept going, worked all the soil out of the root ball because I kept finding these guys!
They were in the last bit of vermicompost saved in the bag, too. I thought surely they would have died out by now- the compost has been stored in that bag for four months, with just the moisture it retained and some holes punched for air. Seems the worms survive- every time I get the compost out to mix into some soil, I find a few baby worms, and many that have full girth but are short in body length, stunted perhaps. I'm also continuing to find worms in the soil of my potted plants- I'd read that a pot is not good habitat for a worm and eventually they will just die. But mine aren't. Maybe I don't let my pots dry out enough between watering. I have to figure out how to get the worms better separated from the compost, before I use it on the plants!

Back to them. The second palm got leaner soil mix, as I was nearly out of vermicompost when I started working on it. It wasn't quite as rootbound, but I spread its rootball (both got a slight trim to the roots too) and moved it up as well.
Here they are together, in their new pots.
The other plant that got refreshed was coleus. Not looking so good lately. I tipped it out, cut its head off, repotted the base
and put the cuttings in water to grow new roots.
I would have done more- my schefflera could use a bigger pot too, but I'm out of fresh soil until I harvest from the bin again...

herbs new and old

Few days ago I helped my boyfriend's sister plant some hosta, herbs and roses in her yard. It wasn't a big job, but I wanted to enjoy having my hands in the dirt again (sans gloves). She gave me some cuttings off her rosemary
and thyme. I'm glad to have a new start with these favorite herbs!
Usual method, I stripped the lower leaves off the stems and dipped them in a bit of rooting hormone powder.
Then cut the tops off, to encourage branching and keep the top foliage minimal while it grows new roots.
And just to see if more would grow, I stuck the cut tops back in the soil too.
I also cleaned up this pot of lemon balm. It's been looking poorly all winter, edges crisped and brown.
But I saw that at the base of the plant, new growth looked healthy. So cut back to that.
And while I was at it, gave my parsley plant a reboost. It has been looking so lovely, but just noticed there are signs of ill health again- leaves mottled pale. This one I upended entirely- loosened the roots and threw away all the old soil. Cut out all the sickly looking stems, gave it new soil, new clean pot, and new shards. If that doesn't clear out the pathogen I don't know what else to do.
Its roots look healthy enough.
In the new pot:

25 March 2015

still going

I thought the poinsettia was done with its modest show, as it is beginning to drop lower leaves. But a few of the bracts are still red- more than I expected.

24 March 2015

spider plant

the stem is growing and growing!

pink nutmeg

So happy with the blooming cyclamen,
and its lovely scent