I guess it's been a while since I did one of these posts. I haven't been doing that much plant-buying lately, I thought, but I seem to have a lot of "new" plants anyway. (Some of these have been around for a month and a half, so they're not exactly "new," but they're still new, in that I have not previously mentioned them on the blog.)
The florist in town also sells some outdoor stuff, mainly (entirely?) annuals, during the early summer, and I got the first three plants of the post from her. Unlike some people, I like Gasterias, though I have a lot less experience with them than their close relatives Haworthia and Aloe.
She also had some cacti in 6-inch pots for $15, back in May (there are still a couple left, last I looked), and I'd sort of been looking for a Pilosocereus pachycladus for a while (since seeing one in Cedar Rapids, at Pierson's, several months ago). It was a good price, there were two plants in the pot, and they were reasonably good-sized. I don't know if Pilosocereus is easy or difficult, for a cactus, but so far, so good.
This plant, too, was a $15 6-inch plant from the flower store in town, and I'd also been looking for an Agave lophantha since the same trip to Cedar Rapids when I saw the Pilosocereus. These have since been divided into separate four-inch pots, and appear to be doing well in the basement under lights.
Crassula falcata is a plant I'd asked about in a walkaways post, and then went back to get after being told what it was. Crassulas and I have a very mixed history together, so I don't know that I expect this to work out particularly well in the long run. But it's an interesting plant: I figured I had to at least try.
This came from the hardware store that was selling the 'Jenny Craig' Dracaena. Andrew purchased one of these (or something very similar) recently, too, and came up with the ID of Aloe descoingii x Aloe haworthioides for his. Possibly this is a cross, and not a straight A. haworthioides, but that was the first ID I ran across that looked rightish to me, so that's the ID I'm going with until I get a clearer sense of the difference between the two, and/or see some good pictures of the two side-by-side.
Not a lot to say here. This was another plant I previously posted about as a walkaway; it was cheap, I have mixed but mostly positive results with Peperomia (though my P. argyreia is extremely unhappy with me for the last . . . ever), and I'm interested in what this will look like six months from now. So we're trying it.
Didymochlaena truncatula is also called the "mahogany fern," I'm assuming because of the brownish-red color of the newest fronds. We had a few when I was working in the garden center that got pretty big, and they were pretty nice-looking. Ferns are sort of a gamble, in that a lot of them also need conditions which are cooler or damper than I'm able to provide year-round. So I'm not sure how this will turn out. Googling about the plant turned up a 50-50 mix of sites saying that they're difficult (mainly talking about outdoor care) and sites saying they're easy (primarily talking about indoor care). Which is interesting.
The botanical name drives me crazy, by the way. I first learned the species name as trunculata, and I've also seen it as just plain truncata, but it's actually truncatula, which I try to keep straight with the mnemonic, "the cat you love is in my Didymochlaena." Mixed results so far, with the mnemonic: I still have to check every time I type it.
The genus name is problematic as well, but in a different way: I've never had any trouble remembering how to spell it, because I learned that correctly the first time, but my brain played with the pronunciation. Davesgarden.com says the correct pronunciation is "did-ee-moh-KLAY-ee-nuh," but my brain first pronounced it "DID-ee-MO-ka-LAY-nuh," which, I have discovered, easily corrupts into part of the Los del Río song (and cultural sensation) "Macarena." (DAle a tu CUERPo aleGRIa, MAcarENa / Heeeeeeey, Macarena --> DAle a tu CUERPo ale DID-ee-MO-ka-LAY-nuh / Heeeeeeey, MO-ka-LAY-nuh) Which is, obviously, super-annoying.
Even if I used the davesgarden.com pronunciation, I'm pretty sure "Macarena" would sneak in somehow ("DAle a tu CUERPo ale DID-ee-MO-klay-EE-nuh?"). It's probably hopeless. Perhaps in this one case, I should go against all my principles and call the plant by its common name, not the botanical one.
The Polypodium, like the Peperomia and
So they now have basically all the ferns: elkhorn (which is our boy P. grandiceps, above), rabbit's-foot (Davallia), bird's-nest (Asplenium), mahogany (Didymochlaena1), crocodile (Microsorum musifolium 'Crocodyllus'), Boston (Nephrolepis), 'Austral Gem' (an Asplenium cross), button (Pellaea), tiger (variegated Nephrolepis), upside-down (Arachniodes), holly (Cyrtomium), staghorn (Platycerium), bear's-paw (Polypodium), table (Pteris), possum-tail (Scyphularia), tree (Blechnum and Cyathea, among others, though they're not actually ferns) -- basically everything except maidenhair (Adiantum).
Which perhaps makes the fact that I bought a second fern, one I had never particularly cared about or wanted, somewhat more understandable. The odds said I was going to buy some ferns, 'cause that's what they had.
The last two plants came from Wallace's, in Bettendorf, IA, last Sunday. We hadn't been there since the orchid show in March, and the weather was such that I could survive outside the house without air conditioning (barely), so it seemed like a golden opportunity to go somewhere. And we did. Oddly, all the purchases from Wallace's had Jamaica-themed cultivar names.
I think I'd seen 'Reggae Time' at Wallace's before, maybe last October, but I asked someone and she thought they'd gotten them in new for this year.2 Either way, it's a big plant for the price ($7.99) -- nearly a foot (0.3 m) in diameter now, and the tag says to space them at least three feet (.9 m) apart. (It actually says 36-60 inches, or 0.9-1.5 m.) So it could, theoretically, get very large, though indoors it probably won't. Still, it's a big, scary, angry-looking plant, and I like those.
Finally, Dracaena reflexa 'Song of Jamaica,' because they had fairly cheap 3-inch plants I could buy and then pot together. It's not a plant I was searching for especially, but my little 'Song of India' has done well enough inside that I've concluded that Dracaena reflexa is not as much trouble as the rumors say, and I wanted a multiple-plant pot because D. reflexas tend not to be that interesting individually. So I made one, when we got home.
There will probably be a post about the walkaways from these trips within the next week or two.
1 (Heeeeeeeey Mo-ka-lay-nuh!)
2 The ones I remember were definitely not this big, though plants do grow. So these may or may not be the Agaves I remember.