Thursday, November 7, 2013

Random plant event: Euphorbia leuconeura

The Euphorbia leuconeura story continues. When we last checked in, there were flowers starting to appear on one of the two plants. It's taken longer than I was expecting, but there are now finally some seedlings popping up:

Six so far in this pot (one has emerged since the photo was taken); I've also spotted one seedling in a neighboring plant's pot.

Not sure what, exactly, to do with these; obviously my initial impulse is to give them their own pots and begin mass-producing them, because that's always my first impulse, but A) that's going to take space, and I was already planning to start cranking out Coffea seedlings starting in December, so I really don't have the room, and B) it's kind of a stupid idea for me to be making more plants to take care of, what with the ongoing scale infestation.1 So I guess they're going to stay where they are for the foreseeable future. Hopefully root crowding won't be too big of a problem; I suppose I'll know based on how quickly the pots dry out.


1 I am now in the process of adding imidacloprid to all the plants in the house. (Last year I just did the basement, which was apparently not good enough.)
I'm doing it as I water, which means that I won't actually be done until around the end of November, and imidacloprid takes a month or two to reach full effectiveness, so I won't really know how well it worked until around late January.
And my chances aren't great, mathematically speaking. I don't know how likely it is to both fully eliminate scale from plants that are currently infested and prevent new infestations from starting on clean plants, but if it's 99.9% effective, which is optimistic, and all 936 plants are either infested or exposed, my chances of actually getting rid of the problem once and for all this winter are only (0.999)^936, or about 39%.
I can do things to help boost those odds: remove branches or leaves that have visible scale on them, throw out some more plants, wipe plants down with rubbing alcohol. And it's likely that not every plant is either infested or exposed right now. It could be that I only have to eliminate or prevent scale on like 75 plants, in which case a mere 99% success rate would give me roughly 50-50 odds of victory.
So there's some room for optimism. Just not, you know, very much.


Paul said...

Ah ... the invasion begins. I would suggest to start culling them now. Do NOT give in to your impulse to pot them up and propagate. They're almost as bad -- in some ways worse than Kalanchoe daigremontiana.

orchideya said...

Pretty leaf on the new header. What plant is it? It is real, right?

mr_subjunctive said...


It's real (Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Glennis'), though the color photographed weirdly.

PaulVA said...

Paul: in what way could this be worse than a Kalanchoe daigremontiana? I wont bring one of those near my plants. I learned that lesson the hard way. The leuconeura will seed up its own pot but ive only had one seedling end up in another pot (even though they can shoot their seeds. Ive even heard it happen one time) The daigremontiana will somehow end up with babies in everything!

Paul said...

MoT tends to simply drop its progeny right in the same neighborhood. (Mine is actually being fairly well behaved -- or extremely so considering it is a MoT -- but that is due to the conditions I provide it.) Leucs will invade hole new zipcodes! As you noted, they fire their seeds & over quite a distance. A friend of mine has a small greenhouse. He finds seedlings EVERYWHERE -- even up in a couple of hanging pots.