Friday, February 22, 2008

Random plant event: Dieffenbachia x 'Tiki' flowers

Found these yesterday when I was rearranging stuff. I'm spending a lot of time rearranging stuff these days, because there's a bunch of new stuff coming in every week, plugs and seedlings that we're transplanting into bigger pots and then setting out on the tables. All of this is eventually going to be sold for people to plant outdoors, but it's in the greenhouses for the forseeable future, which kind of bites. All the new stuff gets the prime locations, so all the tropicals are mashed in together along the walls and above the heaters and in drafts and stuff. I mean, so far everything seems to be coping okay, but it pains me to have to put plants in locations that I know they're not going to like, or locations where customers won't be able to buy them without getting an employee to help dig the plant out of whatever tiny space it's been shoved into. There are times when it seems like we're just making a bunch of unnecessary work for ourselves, though it's not like I have any suggestions for how to make this work out any better. I just kind of have to hope that the plants can handle a month or two of being crammed together, I guess.

Making matters stranger: there's been talk about getting a new order of tropicals in, in about a month, which I'm always in favor of getting in more tropicals, but I don't see how that's going to be possible if the greenhouses are packed full of everything else already. This is kind of a shame, because there's some intriguing stuff on offer (most notably some Guzmanias with blue blooms, but that's not all).

So neither I nor the tropicals are entirely happy campers these days, but for some reason a couple of the Dieffenbachias are having a party. Life goes on.


sheila said...

BLUE guzmanias? MUST POST A PICTURE when they show up, pretty please?!

Be careful with all that rearranging. I did some rotator cuff damage after a week of stretching with constant (pointless) rearranging of flats of annuals.

The poor tropicals really do take a beating when all the outdoor plants show up, but what can ya do? Sales is sales.

Sarah said...

This is the only blue bromeliad I've heard of - kind of disappointing, since when I first heard of it I was picturing a blue guzmania-type thing, you know, ALL blue. But these are very cool plants, too. Can't wait to see what comes in your shipment.

Mr. Green Genes said...

Mr. S, incidentally to the random plant event...

You've mentioned Griffith's book many times. I bought it following your advice, and it has become my livre de chevet even if I am less than a serious amateur grower. Excellent.

What other reading advice regarding plants would you prepared to share with your eager public? (Apart from those books already mentioned in your blog entries I mean.)

Maybe an idea for a "Best 10 books about indoor gardening" blog entry?

mr_subjunctive said...

sheila & sarah:

WCW and I are also skeptical about the blueness of the blue Guzmanias, because 1) the "purple" Guzmanias that came in at the end of December weren't exactly our idea of purple, and 2) there was apparently an incident of some kind a while ago where some "blue" wave petunias turned out not to be. But still -- a Guzmania that was even approximately blue would be somewhat exciting. We don't get pictures when we order, we just have to kind of guess based on the (one-line) descriptions of the plants, so we'll see.

Mr. Green Genes:

I like Griffith's book, don't get me wrong, but it isn't perfect, and some of it isn't quite right for indoor growing, since he's more focused on what's needed for production of plants, and less about long-term care for the plants. So I do take it with a grain of salt occasionally. I think more books like that should be written, though: certainly it's nice to have some discussion of cultivars, native habitat, specific remedies for specific pests, and so forth, instead of the cursory description in a lot of houseplant books.

Tapla, on GW, suggested Plant Production in Containers II (A. M. Leonard); A Grower's Guilde to Water, Media, and Nutrition for Greenhouse Crops (David William Reed); and Growing Media for Ornamental Plants and Turf (K. A. Handbreck) to me a long time ago. I think they're all pricey and hard to find, and I don't have any of them yet, either, but I do more or less trust the recommendation. For practical use, though, I think GW is actually a better resource, most of the time.