Very pleased to meet you, Vera

How rude of me, after knowing you for three or more years, so only say hello now.

New placement in bright sun on the kitchen windowsill
  • Binomial name: Aloe barbadensis
  • Given name: Vera
  • Native to: Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar
  • Given: 2017–2018, propagated by a friend
  • Grown in: Canada
  • Current pot: terracotta, 4 inch
  • New growth: they hadn’t grown much since I received them, they were kept in a low-light area, but there was a new pup.
  • Repotting: moved and divided them from a very small and shallow plastic pot into 4 inch plastic pots using cactus mix.
  • Signs of care issues: probably watered too early. Plastic pot is too large and holding too much moisture. Not enough light.
  • Soil: dry
  • New growth: none; no root development
  • Signs of care issues: one transparent, droopy leaf (underwatering)
  • Per Garden for Indoor, trying:
    Add rooting hormone to tips.
    They recommend placing 1/3 into potting mix, but I went to the base of leaves(added more cactus mix to pot for enough depth)
    Place into south-facing kitchen window.
    Keep it moist for 4 weeks.

Atmosphere

  • Light: bright (south-facing); if facing north, rotate regularly
  • Humidity: not important
  • Temperature: 13 to 27 degrees Celsius

Water

  • Preference: completely dry before more water, drench, then allow to drain.
  • Frequency: more water in hot weather. Might not need to water at all in winter if it’s in a cool spot.

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: cactus mix
  • Soil pH: 7.0 to 8.5
  • Fertilization: not necessary, but can fertilize once in spring with half-strength, phosphorus-heavy, liquid fertilizer
  • Repotting: terracotta pot with drainage holes. About as wide as it is deep or wider than it is taller; snug fit (one third larger than root system); plant becomes heavy, so want to avoid it tipping. Do not water after planting; wait a week. Place in bright indirect light until roots are established.

Lifestyle

  • Grow style: moderately fast in growing season
  • Maturity: 4 to 6 years, 45 cm, but can spread far
  • Neat stuff: they can sometimes flower indoors at maturity
  • Common problems:
    Overwatering (signs: black spots, mushy leaves)
    Underwatering (signs: wrinkly, droopy, transparent leaves)
    Root rot (signs: wrinkly, droopy, transparent leaves due; due to: overwatering; treatment: A. cut off dead and mushy roots, repot with fresh compost, go easy on watering; B. if all roots are affected, remove them all; cut off biggest leaves to reduce plant size, repot in fresh mix)
  • Propagation:
    Pups without roots: press soil into bottom of pot. Add rocks and wedge pups between rocks OR add pups and place rocks around them for support. Wait two weeks, then repot into deeper soil and add water.

Research sources: Gardening Know HowThe Old Farmer’s Almanacthe spruceGarden for IndoorOur House Plants

Touch-ups

This morning, after breakfast I went outside with several plants and a much too barky dog for a bit of plant care.

  • Pulled out Uhanala, the string of dolphins, from its pot to remove entirely the roots that belonged to the stem with rot. Found another stem with starting rot and removed it too, roots and all. (Am a bit frustrated at this; wondering if other strings of dolphins from same seller are having the same problem; I saw a flat of them in the shop.) Cut off healthy part of latest stem to try to propagate. Learned from Facebook Marketplace seller L. P., who had a beautiful example for sale, that string of dolphins are extra sensitive and finicky until established; it’s better to buy one with long, thick strands. Ensure light hits top of soil to maintain health. Watered all string of dolphins. Isolating in spare bedroom.
Bottom-up watering for string of dolphin plants
  • Checked pothos ‘Glacier’ (bought from L. P. last night) because two leaves were half in soil. Roots and plants seem healthy, none-the-less I was able to move the one stem upwards so the leaves were out of soil. In same 4 inch nursery pot, will need water soon. Soil is light and loamy. It’s isolating in the living room, near the window, but hopefully won’t get affected by cool drafts from the vent.
  • Checked burgundy ficus elastica (bought from Facebook Marketplace seller S. M. last night) because of three leaves, one leaf’s base was in soil and the original pot has no drainage. They are all connected to a stem with a tiny root (I should have been more gentle when removing it; soil is damp, heavy, and dense, which affected how well it removed). Seems healthy. Repotted into 5 inch nursery pot with much less soil, as I have issues with soil staying damp too long. Placed into original pot as cachepot. This plant and ultra-mini string of pearls prop from same seller are isolating in my bedroom. I’ll need to lightly mist string of pearls every few days for a month before only watering when top feels dry.

Plants. Plants. Plants. Oh my god, plants.

In the modified words of Liam Kyla Sullivan:

Let’s get some plants.
Let’s get some plants.
Let’s get some plants.
Let’s get some plants.

Maybe I got too many? I mean, this whole weekend was all about

Plants.
Plants.
Plants.
Oh, my God, plants.

Like, I:

  • brought my humidifier to the dining room and set it up for the plants. And then my essential oil diffuser (sans oils).
  • checked root systems, removed crunchy leaves/rotting roots, and repotted soleirolia soleirolii, aloe vera, divided oxalis, pothos props, spider plant props, kalanchoe props, and string of dolphin props into terra cotta pots to improve evaporation rate of water
  • repotted calathea lancifolia and philodendron brasil into custom planter pots to fit inside wall-mounted cachepots
  • moved plants around to desired light/humidity areas
  • started eleven other plant-bio stories (since I was already researching ideal light, humidity, and soil conditions, I noted them down and filled out some other bio areas, including capturing photos for most plants)
  • went out to by glass covers for soleirolia soleirolii, salaginella, and calathea ornata (but calaethea ornata didn’t quite fit the container I bought it and might not really need it, so OK for now)
  • searched amazon to order: humidifier, humidistat, activated charcoal for eventual terrarium for salaginella, yellow sticky paper to trap infesting insects, 3-in-1 moisture/light/pH soil meter (surprise! Husband already had just the one I wanted! And he gave it to me.)
  • determined there are spider mites on my jade; treated it and the nearby-sitting string of turtles with a pray bottle of rosemary essential oil + water; moved them to isolation (they should have started in isolation; will know that for future purchases)
  • added cinnamon to wounds on leaves to promote healing (will it work? Recommended by a friend. Excited to see.)

Plants.
These plants rule.
These plants suck.
These plants rule.
These plants suck.

I love them. They are amazing. I hate them. My obsession is killing me. I have no thoughts, no life, except:

Plants.
Plants.
Plants.
Oh, my God, plants.
These plants rule.
Having few plants sucks.
Having not enough plants sucks.
Not buying even one plant that I want sucks!

I also researched more plants to buy. I didn’t… I only added to my online shopping cart in three local stores…

I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!
I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!
I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!
I think you have too many plants.
Shut up!

But… I might have too many plants. They’re all I could think about this weekend. But I’m also happy. So shut up!

Stupid boy.
Stupid boy.
Let’s get some plants.
Let’s party.

Husband is indulging me after years of denying me plants.
I am buying so many.

These plants are three hundred dollars.
These plants are three hundred dollars.
These plants are three hundred fucking dollars.
Let’s get ‘em!

I mean, aren’t they beautiful? I also watched several hours worth of YouTube videos about plants. And rare plants. And plant care. And plant trends.

Um…your room runs small. I don’t think your plants are gonna fit.
I mean, these plants are kinda big.

So I’ll just stick them on more walls! I can put them on the floor — just walk around them! More shelves! More hanging pots! More! More Moooaaaar!

Oh.
Oh.
Oh.
Oh, by the way betch,
FUCK YOU
FUCK YOU
FUCK YOU
FUCK YOU
plants
those plants are mine betch
betch
betch
gimme those fuckin’ plants betch
betch
betch
betch
betch

String me along, String of Dolphins

I’ve wanted to have you in my home for aaages, so I’m so excited to have you sit beside me while I type this! Will we be friends4ever?

Buddies! Sitting at the table! One is a plant, doesn’t matter at all, oh yeah!

Meet cute

  • Binomial name: Curio × peregrinus (assuming it is a cross of two other succulents); AKA Senecio hippogriffSenecio peregrinus (assuming it is a naturally-occurring specimen, the second name of which was given to an earlier-discovered, maybe different, plant)
  • Given name: Uhanala
  • Native to: a basic internet search is unclear on this. A hybrid from Japan! A hybrid popularized in Japan! A plant native to Africa or South America!
  • Bought: June 16, 2021 at Terra Plants & Flowers
  • Grown in: Canada
  • Original pot (current): 4 inch, plastic

Field notes–June 17, 2021

  • Soil: slightly moist
  • Longest strand: 20 cm
  • New growth: A dolphin leaf sitting on the soil has rooted (before I bought it). I didn’t realize that leaves alone could be used to propagate.
  • Signs of pests: one fungus gnat (squished); grey-transparent larvae 1.5 mm long (probably a fungus gnat larva); itty bitty helpful soil mite
  • Signs of care issues: 1.5 cm black at the base of one stem. Pulled plant out to look at roots; no discoloration below surface. Snipped affected stem below the soil, where it branched from a healthy stem.
  • Propagation: Found a stem with poor attachment on main plant (maybe damaged when I removed it from the pot), snipped it off and removed lower leaves, placed 1-inch of stem straight into cactus soil in a very tiny pot. On blackened stem, removed black part and lower leaves. Letting it sit in air to callous for 2 days before adding to same pot to compare effectiveness. Added some of the snipped leaves to the pot to see if they’ll also root.

Research notes

Atmosphere

  • Light: bright, indirect; morning sun, then shade; have light hit the soil but <2 hours
  • Humidity: minimum to average
  • Temperature: 15 to 26 degrees Celsius, as low as 4 degrees in winter; drafts are mildly acceptable

Water

  • Preference: dry out soil between watering (check if pot is very light) or at least the top 5 cm are dry; don’t get water on leaves. Use bottom-up method.

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: cactus and succulent mix
  • Fertilization: at most, once or twice a year at beginning of spring and when they bloom; cactus or half-strength diluted houseplant fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilizing as this results in loss of the dolphin shape.
  • Repotting: every 2 to 3 years especially to refresh soil mix; keep slightly root-bound and crowded; increase by one size. Plastic or terracotta pots.

Lifestyle

  • Grow style: in ideal conditions, fast-growing; up to 50 cm per year
  • Mature size: 30 to 100 cm long stems
  • Common problems:
    Aphids, mealybugs (signs: cottony growth), scale, spider mites (signs: webs under leaves)
    Too much light (signs: pale green, yellow, or scorched leaves)
    Too little light (signs: leggy and sparse)
    Overwatered (signs: squishy, yellow, brown, or transparent leaves; flattened leaves; can lead to root rot or fungal disease)
    Underwatered (signs: dull, deflated, dry leaves; shriveled plant)
    Too much humidity (signs: leaves dropping)
  • Propagation: Snip a 7.5 to 15 cm healthy stem with at least 2 to 3 nodes, remove bottom leaves from bottom nodes.
    Option 1: let dry for one to two days. After calloused, stick 5 cm into cactus mix and water deeply OR lay stem on top of soil; place in partial shade and introduce more sunlight over two weeks. Water again when top of soil is dry, then again in 2 to 3 weeks.
    Option 2: Place in water; roots develop in 2 weeks. Plant into cactus mix when roots develop.

Research sources: ukhouseplantsSucculents Boxthe spruceLeafy Place