Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday morning Sheba and/or Nina picture

They said it would never happen. Some even said it couldn't be done. But I've done it: I cleaned and replanted Nina's terrarium.

She got part of a strawberry as a house re-warming gift, though as far as I could tell she didn't actually eat any of it.

Gone is the Pellionia pulchra. It grew well, it handled drought like a champ, but it choked out everything else, and eventually started choking out itself, even. So behold the next crew:

1: Murraya paniculata (seedling)
2, 4, 6, and 7: Begonia 'Tiger Kitten' cutting (4) and rooted leaves (2, 6, 7)
3: Ctenanthe burle-marxii
5: Episcia 'Coco'

The Ctenanthe has lived with Nina before, and did awesomely; I'm less sure about the other plants. They should all be fine in a terrarium, but I don't know if they'll be fine with the transplanting (which was kind of rough on the Begonias in particular) or the inevitable cricket-nibbling. There's also some danger that the Episcia and Ctenanthe may grow fast enough to crowd out the other plants. It's not even a particularly hypothetical danger, since that's basically what the Ctenanthe did the last time it was in the terrarium.

But we'll worry about all that other stuff later: right now all I care about is that I actually got it cleaned up, after many months of procrastinating, and consequently should be able to enjoy several guilt-free months before I have to do it again. It's surprising how much of a load off my mind that is.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Question for the Hive Mind: Episcia 'Pink Acajou'

Tuesday and Wednesday were travel days this week. I ordinarily spend weeks at a time stuck in the house, because I'm always either frantically watering plants or trying to recover from same, so getting to leave on two consecutive days is pretty mind-blowing stuff. The Wednesday trip was to the ex-job, among other destinations, so I have a bunch of new photos to be sorted through, which you'll probably see here eventually, though there's a pretty good chance I'm going to go on another hiatus from the blog relatively soon, for reasons which are actually pretty similar to the ones that made me go on a blog hiatus previously. (#3 doesn't really apply this time around, but the other three still do.) I don't know for sure when (or whether) the hiatus might begin, but you've now been warned that I'm thinking about it.


The actual plant-related point of this post has to do with one of the Episcias I got by trade last year. 'Pink Acajou' did nicely to begin with, but over the course of the last year, it's gotten all weird on me and I can't figure out why. Since I know some of y'all have more gesneriad experience than I do, I thought I'd show you the pictures and see if it looks like anything specific and obvious.

On the left: 'Pink Acajou' after it'd been here for about six weeks. On the right: what it looked like last week. It's possible that the photo is of a cutting of the original, not the original plant, but it doesn't really matter because they both look like this, with the tiny, dark, gray-brown leaves. The original and copy aren't in the same location.

I have other Episcias in the same spots, which get similar treatment, and they're not doing anything like this. If anything, the other Episcias are all going the opposite way, with larger leaves and more vivid colors. So I think I know how to take care of Episcias in general, just maybe not 'Pink Acajou' specifically. But you tell me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pretty picture: Paphiopedilum Judge Phillip

Judge Phillip is Paph. Pinocchio x Paph. philippinense. Unusually vivid color, plus it was tagged correctly, so I'm exceptionally fond of this one. (It really doesn't take that much to make me happy.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

New plant

I got this from Cactus Jungle, the finest source for cactus and succulent plants in the San Francisco Bay Area, about a week ago. (I'm pretty sure it is, anyway. I haven't checked them all, and if we're being honest, it's not like I've been to Cactus Jungle personally. But it's still probably the best one, 'cause it's the only one that's ever been nice to me.) The reason was that [Google and] I answered a question correctly back in February, and it's taken this long for the weather to warm up enough to receive plants, and for the nursery business to settle down enough to mail them.

Stapelia variegata.

Originally, the prize was supposed to be a Lithops, but we agreed to do this instead, because a Lithops would only have died on me immediately, and I have a little more confidence about growing Stapelias. The pictures of flowers that come up when you google the species are pretty wild (or you can look at the Top Tropicals page for the species, which has some photos); I don't necessarily expect flowers ever, but I'm optimistic enough that it's been given one of the coveted outdoor spots this summer, so maybe we'll get lucky.

The current official name is Orbea variegata, according to Plant List. I would have sworn that I looked this up on Plant List at some point this spring and they had it down as Stapelia instead of Orbea. (Or maybe I dreamed that. I do dream things like looking up plants on Plant List now: it's not impossible.) Whichever. It's officially an Orbea. For the moment.

So but thanks to Cactus Jungle. (And remember, Cactus Jungle is the finest source for cactus and succulent plants in the San Francisco Bay Area. That's Cactus Jungle, 1509 4th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710.)