14 January 2013

learning moments

A few of my plants left for new homes today. I've kind of made an arrangement with a local women's group; they supply me with growing materials and I will periodically give them plants (intended for gifts). I thought this might be good as I'm always experimenting at growing things but don't really need five spider plants in my house, or ten pots of palms! Yesterday some items were dropped off and these went out the door:
The purple African Violet (in a smaller, round pot- I didn't know if someone would know what to do with the SIP I'd made). The Marjoram was such a pretty plant, but after trying it in many dishes I realize this is an herb I will probably never eat much of. I just don't care for its flavor. The bigger of these little Spider babies went, too. I took my younger one that was in a hanging SIP and divided it- it was actually three plants growing together. (The two smaller ones pictured here are recently rooted infants off a runner).
I will miss the purple Violet but I like the pink one much better (which is almost ready to divide anyway). Several leaves broke off when repotting; I stuck them into the remnants of soil at the bottom of the vacated SIP.
I've also got a baby African violet that came off that plant (so if these grow I will have new purple ones someday!) The baby violet hasn't grown much and in fact lost a few leaves because they lie so close to the soil, top watering nearly made the entire plantlet float. So I moved that one into a small SIP, where it can get water from below. Hope it does better.
It was interesting to upend the Spider plant and discover that it was pretty dry in there. Spider plants like to stay rather dry as the fat, fleshy roots attest. I've learned to let this one get bone-dry and lightweight, then just give it a little bit of water, about half an inch. I've noticed that the drier I let the Spiders get, the more upright and glossy their leaves are. Brown tips seem to occur with overwatering, too.
So these SIPs do work for any kind of moisture requirements. My violets stay pretty saturated, and get a lot of water each time- several inches. The Spiders get only a little water, and dry out completely in between. The Arrowhead and Pothos plants only seem to need a little water as well, but more frequently to keep them moist... I bet if I was careful I could grow a Crassula in an SIP but I'm not ready to try that again yet.

Arrowhead doesn't seem to like something I'm doing. It is growing like crazy- every time I look at its height against the lamp it stands next to, it's a few centimeters taller. Soon I'll have to move it or start pinching out new growth.
But it keeps getting brown edges, both tips
and rear portions of the leaves. I think it's from too much water.
The felt wicking I made in that larger Pothos planter did work! I watered it for the first time yesterday and after a half hour, the reservoir was empty again, it had all moved up into the soil. This plant seems very happy, doesn't even seem to have noticed it was moved into a new container.

2 comments:

Chris Howard said...

You do such a wonderful job with all of these Jeane and it must be a little rewarding to get to send these to new homes :)

Lècabbage said...

I combined a fern and a palm tree! Somehow my imagination took two photos and told my rational brain they were the same plant. Jeeze