Thursday, November 7, 2013

Random plant event: Euphorbia leuconeura

The Euphorbia leuconeura story continues. When we last checked in, there were flowers starting to appear on one of the two plants. It's taken longer than I was expecting, but there are now finally some seedlings popping up:

Six so far in this pot (one has emerged since the photo was taken); I've also spotted one seedling in a neighboring plant's pot.

Not sure what, exactly, to do with these; obviously my initial impulse is to give them their own pots and begin mass-producing them, because that's always my first impulse, but A) that's going to take space, and I was already planning to start cranking out Coffea seedlings starting in December, so I really don't have the room, and B) it's kind of a stupid idea for me to be making more plants to take care of, what with the ongoing scale infestation.1 So I guess they're going to stay where they are for the foreseeable future. Hopefully root crowding won't be too big of a problem; I suppose I'll know based on how quickly the pots dry out.


1 I am now in the process of adding imidacloprid to all the plants in the house. (Last year I just did the basement, which was apparently not good enough.)
I'm doing it as I water, which means that I won't actually be done until around the end of November, and imidacloprid takes a month or two to reach full effectiveness, so I won't really know how well it worked until around late January.
And my chances aren't great, mathematically speaking. I don't know how likely it is to both fully eliminate scale from plants that are currently infested and prevent new infestations from starting on clean plants, but if it's 99.9% effective, which is optimistic, and all 936 plants are either infested or exposed, my chances of actually getting rid of the problem once and for all this winter are only (0.999)^936, or about 39%.
I can do things to help boost those odds: remove branches or leaves that have visible scale on them, throw out some more plants, wipe plants down with rubbing alcohol. And it's likely that not every plant is either infested or exposed right now. It could be that I only have to eliminate or prevent scale on like 75 plants, in which case a mere 99% success rate would give me roughly 50-50 odds of victory.
So there's some room for optimism. Just not, you know, very much.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Texts From an Anthurium

Preface: as much as I'd love to claim credit for it, I did not create this form; it belongs to Mallory Ortberg at The Toast, and she's done way better things with it than this. (I particularly recommend Text Messages From a Jack-O-Lantern, though be warned: it's sad. Texts From The Lorax is also really good, and more upbeat. They're all recommended, though.)


Im touching the top of the thing now

what thing

i dont know its solid and clear
and making me bend



ill get you yr own pot soon
dont rot first ok?

its just kind of uncomfortable is all
my petiole hurts


my roots feel funny

yeah the potting mix
isn't the same as the vermiculite
i know
youll get used to it tho

its not bad exactly
just weird

well give it some time

it tastes different
i dont feel anchored properly
like i might come loose and fall

you wont fall
itll be ok


i dont know if im supposed to
talk to you abt this or what
but the soil feels dry

oh geez
i should have watered yesterday
instead of playing the sims

no worries
i think im ok
just maybe water soon ok


aaa aaa aaa aaa

what is it

theres something on me


theres something on me and
oh god
i think its eating me
do somethign pls

ill be right there

where did it come from
what is happening

its probably scale
a scale insect
ive been trying bu
theyre hard to get rid of

well hurry up
i dont like scale insects

im coming
i dont like them either



hi bob

did you mean to turn out the light

i didnt turn anything off

cause the light above me is dark
and usually its bright
at this time of day

probably one of the bulbs burnt out
they dont last forever
or maybe the fixture went bad
sometimes they break
can i come down and fix it in like half an hr?

its just darker
and im hungry

do you want me to come down right now?
i could do that

well if its not aa problem 4u
but you dont have to

no its ok
ill do it now
im not doing anything important anyway
just the blog


theres sometihng on me again

more scale

no its different
it moved really fast
i dont know if its still there or not
but it was big
lots bigger

was it trying to eat u

i dont think so
it just ran across
its gone now

it was probably just a spider
did you count the legs
spiders have 8

i didn't count
i was distracted

well let me know if it comes back

thank you
sorry to bother you


bijoux just made a funny leaf
its all red
and theres a weird dangly bit
are they ok

what like a flower

whats a flower

oh god

why is it bad
to have a flower

i dont know how to explain
its not bad
maybe kind of embarrassing
its where seeds come from

seeds like i used to be

i cant believe i have to give the birds and bees talk
to a plant

what are birds and bees

actually its probably not birds and bees
for anthuriums
its probably beetles or flies or something
maybe i shoudl google that
before i try to explain

as long as i know
theyre not dying

not at all
its a good thing
it shows theyre growing up
and humans like me
think flowers are pretty

so you wish i would make a flower?
are you disappointed

no no no
its not like that at all
youll bloom when you bloom
theres no pressure at all
i like leaves too


ive got a surprise for you

a happy surprise?


should i come down now and look

not yet
its not ready yet
wait a few weeks

should i guess?
is it a flower?

youll just have to wait and see

when shouldi check

couple weeks



so what did you think

about the flower?
it was nice

omg i am so horny right now
do you think theres a way i could

tmi tmi tmi

get my pollen over to bijoux
its hard to think about anything else
but was the flower nice?

tho i wondered why you went with

dont know
it seemed like a nice color when bijoux did it
you dont like pinksh red?

i mean its a fine color
its just that most of you guys
are doing pinkish red
i was thinking thered be more variety maybe


but thats not to say
its a bad color
i mean its not white
if all of you did white flowers then
that would be really boring

i can try to do something else next time

i dont think it works like that
but seriously dont worry about it
im sorry i said anything
ppink-red is great
and youre right bijoux does wear it well
and so do you for that matter




i think my flowers going to fall off
its all dry and shit

is that all

what do you mean
is that all
i dont want 2 go back
2 just having leaves again

well but

having flowers si so much fun

you know you can make more flowers right?

and pollination is the
i can make more flowers?

you can make more flowers
most anthuriums do

oh thank goodness
if i couldnt make any more flowers
id be so depressed

a lot of plants dont bloom more than once actually
so youre kind of lucky

they just bllom and then go back to making leaves forever?
that doesnt make any sense

usually they bloom once
set seeds and then die

yeah dying sounds abt right
i cn understand that

i wouldnt have thought blooming was
such a big deal

dont humans bloom

well sort of
but its different

but you wouldnt want to bloom once
and then die right?

youre right
you make a good point
now youve got me feeling bad for annuals
thats what the plants that do that are called

being an annual must be terrible

yeah maybe it is
id never really thought about it

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pretty picture: Rhyncholaeliocattleya Firey Leopard x Rhyncattleanthe Martha Clarke

The International Orchid Register says it's Firey Leopard. The tag said Fiery Leopard (and also called both parents Potinara). Google corrects Firey to Fiery. None of the flower pictures that come up in Google image search for any combination of spelling (Firey / Fiery), parents (Firey Leopard / Martha Clarke), or genus name (Potinara / Rhynchocattleya / Rhyncattleanthe) look much like this photo, so I'm inclined to believe that this photo is a shared delusion between me and my camera and never actually existed.