Last September, I got 18 seeds from seedman.com: 5 Strelitzia juncea, 10 Calathea lutea, and 3 Araucaria bidwillii. Including shipping, I paid $16.80. The Strelitzia seedlings as of yesterday.
I knew going in that all three plants are slow and irregular germinators, but even taking that into account, I've been really disappointed. Two Strelitzia seeds came up in October and November, and those look like they're going to be reasonably healthy plants, knock wood. I also have an Araucaria seedling as of January, which appears to have survived being transplanted (did that on 10 April), and is producing new growth as you read this. But I had been expecting a lot more plants than three, and more species than two. If I want to pay $5 for a plant, there are plenty of garden centers around that would accommodate me.
Also shown: Polyscias fruticosa 'Elegans' (upper right), Euphorbia leuconeura seedling (right center), unidentified Episcia (lower right).
I've purchased several other kinds of seeds from seedman.com,1
and in most of those
cases, I think it was my fault I didn't get any plants. Usually the problem was moisture, either too much or too little (or both). But I feel like I was doing everything right with these
seeds, and I'm not getting any better results. So I'm pretty frustrated.
The Araucaria seedling, post-transplant. I was worried for a little bit, but the top third of the stem is all new since the transplant, so it's clearly fine. (Left: Tradescantia pallida; right: Ceropegia woodii.)
I gave up on the Calathea
s, and the ungerminated Strelitzia
s, on Tuesday (20 May); the remaining Araucaria
seeds are probably not going to do anything either, but they're in one of the pretzel containers and consequently require no maintenance, so they get a little while longer to try.2
This is also probably the last time I buy anything from seedman.com. The service was prompt, as far as I know they sent me the things I asked for, and the prices aren't outrageous, but there's little point in buying the seeds if doing so doesn't eventually result in new plants.
In other news, on Tuesday morning I woke up with what was likely the worst pain I have ever experienced, just to the left of my spine, on my upper back. Well, upper back, shoulder, and neck. That whole area. It turns out that not only is it possible to whimper involuntarily, it's possible to whimper involuntarily without even being fully aware that you're doing it. The pain became, eventually, manageable with ibuprofen. Wednesday was less awful but still pretty bad.
I was worried enough about it to see a doctor late on Wednesday. The best-case scenario I was envisioning was that she'd tell me to just eat lots of ice cream and read my new book about Anthurium
and that that would make the pain go away completely, and it would never come back again.
And, well, not quite
. The diagnosis was that it was just a pulled trapezius
, albeit maybe an especially painfully
pulled trapezius. Which I suppose I'm glad that it's nothing serious (The worst case scenario was a slipped/ruptured/herniated disc
, which seemed plausible when I was googling on Tuesday night.), and that it will heal. On the other hand, though, if this wasn't something particularly serious, that means that it could happen again
. I could wake up shrieking in pain basically any day from now until I die, and there's apparently nothing to be done about it. So, going to sleep at night has just become that much more fraught.
Though I suppose in theory, anybody could wake up in staggering amounts of pain at any time, from one thing or another. The possibility was always there; it just wasn't real to me until this week.
In any case. I did at least get a prescription out of it, because my doctor has a sense of humor. (And because I asked.)