Sunday, April 3, 2016

Unfinished business: Murraya paniculata

I've had a bunch of seedling update posts planned for seedlings that aren't Anthurium or Schlumbergera for five or six weeks now, but between taking pictures of everything and then having to do a bunch of pre-writing on the orchid posts,1 I haven't had the time, so I've been pushing posts back over and over. However, I've finally finished the orchid post preparations, two weeks after the show, so I can start thinking about other stuff now.

I don't know for sure how old this seedling is, but I think it's somewhere between 4 and 4 1/2 years old. I started a few seeds between November 2011 and February 2012, and they did okay, but in January 2013, I had to throw out all but one of them because of scale. The one that survived, I had planted in the terrarium, and so it didn't get infested with the scale like the other seedlings that were in the basement. And I know the terrarium plant was in the terrarium as of June 2012, from the above link. So.

That seedling looks like this, as of February 2016:

The pot is 6 inches (15 cm) on the diagonal; the plant is 18 inches / 46 cm tall above the soil-line.

It's doing remarkably well, all things considered, and although I'm scared of it contracting scale at some point, the parent plant appears to have actually shaken its scale infestation (through a combination of a few years, a summer outside, imidacloprid, lots of rubbing alcohol sprays, and pruning away of branches that had signs of scale on them). So even if it did catch scale, that might not be the end of the seedling's world.

It could have been getting better light while in the terrarium; the internodes are further apart than I'd like. It's been moved to a spot close to the (south-facing, glass) plant room door, so that will probably improve. It's already started to branch a little bit, from near the base of the trunk, though you probably can't see that in the photo. It hasn't tried to flower yet, but we haven't had a lot of sun lately: as the days get longer and it gets more direct sun, I imagine it will try. The parent plant doesn't bloom inside anymore, partly because it's too big to get anywhere near a window, and partly because, I realized while writing this, it's been in the same potting soil for literally nine years now. (Yikes.) So maybe I should just be impressed that it's still even alive, I guess.

For the most part, I haven't been trying to start new Murraya plants, from seed or cutting, because I'm more concerned about having enough space for the Anthuriums and Schlumbergeras, but I may rethink that this summer and fall if I see any berries forming. They're nice enough plants, and they don't fruit so heavily that I could start a few seedlings without getting completely buried by them. We'll see what the parent plant has to offer after I change its soil. And apologize.


1 Looking up names and ancestries, checking to see if I've posted about the same plant (or a similar/related plant) in past years, sorting through the photos and editing them, trying to work out a schedule for all the orchid posts, writing down any details I still remember from the orchid show before I forget them, etc.

1 comment:

Virginia Burton said...

We've come full circle, Mr Subjunctive! I first found you via a Google Image search when I was trying to identify a plant and it turned out to be Murray paniculata.