Saturday, March 28, 2015

Anthurium no. 0275 "Yvette Horizon"

Yvette has surprised me this winter / spring. She'd bloomed once before, a year ago, and while that bloom was nice enough --

-- it was still only a pink / pink, and didn't stand out from the other pink / pinks, so I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it. It tried to produce a second bud as the first bloom was dying, but that bud fell victim to The Great Droppening, when lots of plants threw buds at the same time, likely to protest being sprayed with white oil.1, 2

But then this February, a new bud started to form, and I got interested in it when I noticed how large it was getting. Not long before the spathe started to open, an odd kink toward the bottom of the bud indicated that something was not quite right,

and then the bud actually did open, and it was an intense highlighter pink, as well as being bigger than most of the other seedlings' blooms, but that one corner really was screwed up so the whole thing was sort of a letdown anyway.

Worse, I don't know what caused it to do this in the first place. The kink appeared fairly early in the bud's development, so I'm inclined to blame drought stress, which is what I always blame for Anthurium problems I don't understand,3 but this is the first bloom I can recall getting holes in the middle of the spathe, and I know plenty of the other seedlings have been drought-stressed before, so that's clearly not the whole explanation.

Sort of waiting to see what happens with the next bud on Yvette, then. A new bud has just started developing, so by June or so, I should know whether this is something they're all going to do, or something peculiar about that particular moment.

It's worth noting, while I'm talking about Yvette, that she also has very nice leaves --

-- dark green, more or less flat, unblemished, interestingly veined, and so forth. And the spathe color is fading with time a lot less than many of the other pink / pink seedlings' spathes do.4 So there's definitely potential here, if future spathes can do a better job of holding themselves together.


1 White oil: mix of water, vegetable oil (soybean in my particular case) and an emulsifier (dishwashing liquid), which is sprayed on plants with bug problems in an effort to suffocate the bugs by blocking their breathing pores with oil. In fairness, this really did make a big impact on my thrips problem here, for several months, but it did not actually eradicate them. Also, being an unsaturated oil, it goes rancid when exposed to air, which turns out to be a problem, and a few plants react very badly to being sprayed with oils of any kind, the worst in my experience being Cordyline fruticosa, Euphorbia milii, and Breynia disticha. Ask your horticultural professional if white oil is right for you.
2 Though the cause / effect relationship is only speculation, until / unless I try spraying everything with white oil again. Which I'm hesitant to do. See above re: rancidity and not eradicating things.
3 (and you'd be surprised how often that turns out to be the correct answer)
4 Both 0241 "Megan Gigaterra" and 0126 "Erin Dirtylondry" get much lighter as they age. This looks better on Erin than on Megan even though they both lighten to about the same color; I haven't been able to put a finger on why that is. Curiously, Yvette's first bloom got very light within a couple months, so it's possible that there's a seasonal or cultural factor to work out too.

No comments: