Friday, February 12, 2010

"Blogalong" plants

I noticed recently that Carol, over at May Dreams Gardens, has a word for a concept I didn't know needed a word (she actually has a lot of those: Carol's a big word-coiner): blogalong plant. A blogalong plant, or just blogalong, is: "A plant you learned about through garden blogging and planted in your own garden. If the plant was given to you by another blogger, it is a blogalong passalong." [emphasis mine]

So since I saw her post, I've been thinking about my own plants, and whether any of them would qualify as blogalongs. Mostly, the plants I've got, I have because I had to look at them every day for weeks at a time, while caring for them at work, and eventually I just couldn't take it anymore so I bought them. In a few cases, I got them by trade through Garden Web, and WCW and I exchanged a few plants, I impulse-buy occasionally, and there are a couple plants I became interested in through Garden Web or another plant forum.

I can't think of very many cases, though, where I went out and got something I would not otherwise have been interested in specifically because somebody blogged about it. What few plants I can think of that qualify as blogalongs are all either cactus or Euphorbias, which is probably coincidence, but somehow it seems meaningful.

I bought Myrtillocactus geometrizans because Cactus Blog said something about them once (and also bought Stenocereus pruinosus because I thought it was Myrtillocactus, before realizing it wasn't, which maybe counts as another half-plant for Cactus Blog).

Myrtillocactus geometrizans.

Stenocereus pruinosus.

I'm pretty sure Mammillaria spinosissma is with me because of Dee at A Desert Observer, who has posted about hers from time to time.

Mammillaria spinosissima.

Aiyana, at Water When Dry, is responsible for me getting the Euphorbia bougheyi variegata, and also gave me a blogalong passalong in the form of Euphorbia anoplia variegata.

Euphorbia bougheyi variegata.

Euphorbia anoplia variegata.

The more common situation for me seems to be that I see a plant and think about buying it, but don't, and then when I post about it, one (or several) of y'all talk me into going back for it. This has happened, notably, with Hoya pubicalyx, Leuchtenbergia principis, Monstera deliciosa 'Cheesecake,' and Phlebodium aureum 'Mandianum,' and I bet I could think of more if I tried. It's possible that the whole point of me writing the walkaway posts is, on some subconscious level, so that y'all will "force" me to go back and buy stuff anyway, which if that's the case then we've reached some new and disturbing heights in the plant-obsession. But I digress.

So now I'm wondering: is PATSP responsible for any of the plants in your home right now, either by telling you about a plant you wouldn't otherwise have heard of, or by praising a plant you hadn't liked very much initially? And if so, which ones? Do I need to be more careful about using my powers for good? Less careful?


Unknown said...

PSP was originally responsible for me looking up hoyas on garden web.

It went downhill from there.

With that said, hearing about interesting plants and subsequently having them migrate over into your living space of their own accord isn't a -bad- thing...

Emily said...

Your desire for a Haworthia truncata has now made me want one, too, and has made me more haworthia-aware in general. I bought a near-dead clearance Chlorophytum x 'Fire Flash' because of your profile on it, then accidentally exposed it to my sister's massive mealybug infestation and pitched it in fear, so I still want one. Your success with aloes has made me more willing to purchase them. I'd also give you partial credit/blame for my lithops and ZZ plant just for reminding me about them, and I was less afraid to try to keep a guzmania due to you.

I'd say your influence tends not so much to completely determine a purchase so much - "I've got to have that" - as sway me more positively or negatively toward a plant if I happen to come upon for sale. I think this is partially because I'm not proactive enough to actually mail order or trade so it limits the variety I'm exposed to, and also because I currently live in a NYC basement apartment with many drafts, heating vents, and only one tiny window facing a brick wall.

screamnggreenconure said...

my two hawarthia plants are blogalongs from this blog, and it's got me more into buying plants in general, mainly because this is my main source of houseplant info and the first blog I found that treated indoor plants as a serious hobby.

Anonymous said...

I know there are a whole bunch of plants I HAVEN'T bought because of negative comments you've given them but I don't have any (yet) that I've bought because it was on your blog or someone else's.

Anonymous said...

I can't remember any that I've bought because I've seen them on your blog, but I definitely check to see if you have any care instructions on the ones I buy. I also check out your comments on the ones that have 'passed on' while in my care, and you have usually had bad luck with the same plant, which tends to make me feel a little better! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Agave victoriae-reginae. Why did the label 'psychopath' make it a must-have? I probably don't want to know.

Anonymous said...

Your writing has inspired me to work to keep my Codiaeum alive, even when it gets sad, or gets spider mites. Not sure if that counts. =)

And I really, really want a Maranta now, too, even though it's rated as difficult, because your profile was so amusing (and the plant is pretty). If I break down and buy one, it will be a blogalong.

Diane said...

I wanted a Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa after reading about it here. Then I totally forgot about that, stumbled across one and loved it and bought it, then searched it here and discovered that I had commented that I wanted one. So I think my subconscious remembers things it sees here!

Tina said...

You know, I can't think of one single plant I have because someone posted about it.
Of course, if it ain't on sale, I ain't buyin' it, so that pretty much cuts the spectrum to...nil.

Ivynettle said...

In three cases, there was a combination of factors: Seeing the plant at work and thinking it looks nice, then noticing it's kinda rare, and then reading your posts about them and wanting them even more. Those three cases being Pandanus veitchii, Chlorophytum 'Fire Flash' and Tetrastigma voinierianum. There's actually a blog post coming on involving two of those, should be up later today. So I suppose they're partial blogalongs.
(Hm, if I have three plants that are each 1/3 blogalong, does that make a total of 1 blogalong?)

Karen715 said...

Only sort of, because I don't actually have the following plants yet:

I want to get a new Hatioria salicornioides. My old one died a few years ago, and I didn't think I wanted another, but you convinced me that I do. I haven't found one yet; I want it to be a fairly good size, rather than a small "starter plant". I also want to try another Murraya paniculata because yours looked so awesome. But again, I want to find a fairly large specimen--I think the small sizes tend not to be particularly well-established plants, and need too much babysitting.

Oh and if Monstera deliciosa 'Cheesecake' shows up around here, it will be mine--but that would be true even if I hadn't seen it here first.

Andrew said...

Hmm... tough call. I don't think there's anything yet, but there are a few plants I don't have yet that will be considered Blogalong plants once I actually get them, but haven't yet. Most have already been mentioned in the comments: Chlorophytum x 'Fire Flash,' Dracaena (any of these), vriesea splendens, various cacti-like Euphorbias and so on.

For one reason or another I've either disliked them for some reason and they've been brought into new light, or I thought something would be more difficult than it really should be, or I'd just never really seen them around too much.

I suppose I could ultimately blame you for the Agave/Aloe/Haworthia, though that blame is shared but you were an early contributor to that "problem."

mr_subjunctive said...

I suppose if future-tense plants count, I have a lot more than what I said in the post: my sidebar wish list includes some plants I've learned about via blogs.

Aglaonema 'Key Lime' from Plant Daddy;
Aloe polyphylla from Cactus Blog (as well as other blogs and some non-blog locations);
Billbergia nutans from Plant Zone and The Phytophactor;[1]
Tradescantia sillamontana from A Succulent Life;[2]
Vriesea gigantea 'Nova' from Tuysonvien.

And I'm fairly certain that there are more out there; I don't update the wish list as often as I ought.


[1] I think I may have wanted one in a vague, aimless kind of way before seeing the one on Plant Zone, but once I saw that -- and then another one at The Phytophactor -- it became more or less a sure thing that I'll buy the next one I see.
[2] I already knew about the plant, and had even tried to root cuttings of it from work, but it didn't work out and I kind of forgot about it until Julie mentioned them. Now I want one again.

Mike said...

If I see a plant that looks interesting, then I'll check your profiles to see what I might be in for as far as care requirements and pests (usually - but not always - before I buy it). I would qualify an Adenium Obesum as a "blogalong" plant, except I don't have one yet (I've got seeds, though).

I will say that I've gotten better at identifying and remembering plant names since I started reading PATSP, though I still get mixed up at times like "Which of the D-something-or-other had PITA pest problems?", or "Is this a Dracena? No, I think it's that other D-something plant (Diffenbachia)".

Kenneth Moore said...

Mr. Subjunctive, you're responsible for a significant portion of my plant collection.

The late Gynura aurantiaca was a plant I thought was pretty--looking it up on your blog convinced me to buy him.

Not to mention the Philodendron bipinnatifidum, the Alternanthera dentata that I orginally bought for Mr. Yogato but ended up rooting a cutting and keeping in my apartment, and the Pandanus veitchii.

You have an assist with a lot of my plants just by virtue of me reading about you growing awesome stuff all the time. That, and I don't need much excuse to buy a new plant.

Tigerdawn said...

Most of your influence for me has been to help me take better care of the plants I already had. I have learned to give different plants different things to help them be happier. But you are responsible for my realization that I like philodendrons. I always thought I hated them but I had them confused with Epipremnun. I do not like those at all! Now I have 2 philos- P. hedereaceum micans and Brazil.

Deb said...

Can you possibly tell me where you got your euphorbia bougheyi variegata? I'm dying for one, but can't find it online anywhere. email me at Thanks!

mr_subjunctive said...


I e-mailed, but if you see this first or if I somehow botched the e-mail address, my recommendation is that you try Arid Lands Greenhouses; they have 4-inch plants for $12 (plus whatever for shipping).

Anonymous said...

First time I had heard of Ledebouria socialis was your profile about it. Later I saw it in a garden shop and remembered that your profile had been pretty positive, so I went ahead and got it. I probably wouldn't have noticed it or considered buying it if not for your blog.