08 December 2017

some are happy, some are not

A small survey of a few of my houseplants. My kalanchoe have done poorly. Top leaves started to droop and wither brown. I thought I was over- or under-watering and tried adjusting the schedule. I thought they were getting an overdose on nutrients and gave them tapwater instead of tank water. Over the past several months they had more leaf drop until finally I gave up and threw them out. This was the last pot of them:
I'm pretty disappointed. I really liked this plant and not sure where I went wrong. Funny thing, I had given pots of young kalanchoe to two friends of mine- and theirs also withered and died around the same time. Perhaps the plants were sickly, something in the soil I used?

I have a few babies left, that sprouted up in nearby pots of jade and elephant ear. Have to read up a bit on kalanchoe so I can try to get these to grow larger size without failing again.
The jade nearby has fully recovered from its bout with pests last winter. I should probably repot it into a larger container soon. I have a few of its offspring in two smaller pots nearby, as well. Thinking to make gifts of those soon (running out of space with good light again).
Quick snapshot of my boston fern:
It never really got lush and full this year, but still lovely when I see sunlight through the fronds.
And a complete surprise in its pot, near the edge: I swear this is a baby cactus. Sure looks like one, above the seedling leaves. I don't know how it got there- my teenager has a cactus in her room upstairs, but it has never flowered. The fern sat outside most of the summer, perhaps seed drifted in from somewhere? it's a puzzle.
My foxtail fern looks really happy on its pedestal near the worm bin. Quite a few of its arms are near touching the ground!
Charlie plant is also doing well in its new location on the "rock table" in our front room. The spot was unoccupied because a few months ago I gave away my bird's nest fern. I was so glum about that I didn't mention it here... the plant had been in a slow, steady decline in spite of my attempts to give it special treatment- humidity in the bathroom, washing dust off the leaves periodically, watering lean on a schedule- it drooped more and more severely, looked very sick so finally I decided its best chance for survival was in someone else's hands.

Creeping charlie wins: it looks much better here than its previous spot. I placed it up on a short pedestal (upturned plastic container I usually keep as a deep plant saucer) and I even got a compliment on its appearance from my husband. He likes having plants all over the house but doesn't often remark on them. He seemed unimpressed when I first brought this one home- couldn't understand why I was so happy to finally have one. So I'm glad he noticed its improvement enough to say something!
I am still not sure what this plant is. It's getting taller, and still looks healthy. I'm hoping it will sprout a flower someday, that will help me identify it.
Another loss is one of the lithops- my kids call it "the butt plant". They were growing leggy so I moved to a spot with more light. Following instructions, I kept holding back when I wanted to water it on twice-weekly schedule with the semi-succulents. I gave it just a small bit once a month, and only tapwater. Maybe I should have used rainwater, or given even less? One of them has withered and died. I hope I can keep the other alive but not too confident about that, honestly.

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