Field notes — August 25, 2021

Oxalis triangularis, Leija

Unhappy due to the slight disturbance of having the top layer of soil replaced. Cry cry cry wilt.
  • Soil: moist; watered a couple days ago and then isolated after having seen pests in soil
  • Light: ~500 FC at 3:20 pm
  • Signs of pests: shiny things in the soil
  • Signs of care issues: none
  • Repotting:
    • removed top 1/2 inch of soil
    • refreshed with 1 part perlite : 1 part African violet mix : 1 part worm castings
  • Other care:
    • topped soil with diatomaceous earth as a pesticide

Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’, Argus

Elegant in temporary pot until the wall-mounted one is installed.
  • Light: ~240 FC at 3:20 pm
  • Signs of pests: none
  • Signs of care issues: none
  • Repotting:
    • moved from original pot into custom pot from bubble tea cup (to fit in ceramic wall pocket)
    • 1 part perlite : 1 part African violet mix : 1 part worm castings

Tradescantia zebrina, Audrey Tautou

Well that’s a, erm, haircut for you.
  • Soil: moist; watered a couple days ago and then isolated after having seen pests in soil
  • Light: ~500 FC at 3:20 pm
  • Signs of pests: shiny things in the soil, some leaf damage
  • Signs of care issues: some leaf damage (perhaps due to rough handling), yellowing leaves
  • Propagation: snipped ends off nearly all strands, as they’re quite leggy and I would like a dense little plant. Will be doing water and soil propagation as an experiment.
  • Repotting:
    • removed most of soil, but let what clung to the roots remain
    • refreshed with 1 part perlite : 1 part African violet mix : 1 part worm castings
  • Other care:
    • topped soil with diatomaceous earth as a pesticide

Kalanchoe marnieriana, Jareth

This is a deliberately not-sexy photo because I have such lovely ones coming up for the introduction post for this plant.
  • Soil: moist; watered nine days ago. Aerated soil today with a chopstick.
  • Light: ~500 FC at 3:20 pm
  • Signs of pests:
    • one mealybug
    • shiny coppery tiny things moving in the soil
    • orangey spider mites only on the soil (the mite might have checked on one of the coppery things as it was walking past? So it seemed).
  • Signs of care issues: Some leaf damage (perhaps due to rough handling or watering issues), yellowing, wilted leaves (likely due to overwatering and poor light previously)
  • Other care:
    • topped soil with diatomaceous earth as a pesticide

None too jaded


This cutie is such an optimistic, cheery little plant. Look at the upward lift on all its little leaves, the plump roundness, the happy, bright green of new growth. Who wouldn’t feel better contemplating this little jade plant for a moment?

The IKEA pot might look a little large from this angle, but in real life it suits well!

Let’s get to know you

  • Binomial name: Crassula ovata
  • Given name: Jubileum
  • Native to: South Africa and Mozambique
  • Bought: June 16, 2021 at Terra Plants & Flowers
  • Grown in: Canada
  • Original pot (current): 2 inch plastic nursery pot

Field notes

  • Soil: moist; last watered 3 days ago
  • Longest stem: middle, 4.8 cm to base of leaf
  • Number of stems: three
  • Largest leaf: 2 cm wide, 3 cm from stem to tip
  • New growth: young leaves at the ends of each stem.
  • Signs of pests: none, but spider mites were last present about 2 weeks ago. Treated with rosemary spray about three times.
  • Signs of care issues:
    • Little white spots on leaves: excess minerals from the water; will switch to filtered water
  • Pruning:
    • Pinched back new little nodules to encourage branching

Research notes

Atmosphere

  • Light: full sun at minimum of 4 hours per day
  • Humidity: dry is OK
  • Temperature: 18 to 24 degrees Celsius

Water

  • Preference:
    • Filtered or distilled water
    • Avoid getting water on leaves
  • Frequency
    • In summer: when soil is mostly dry
    • In winter: when soil is fully dry

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: well-draining sandy soil, such as cactus or succulent soil
  • Soil pH: neutral
  • Fertilization:
    • Every 6 months with balanced, water-soluble fertilizer over already-wet soil
    • Every 1 to 2 months during growing season with diluted, balanced, water-soluble fertilizer
  • Repotting:
    • In early spring
    • Young plants: repot every 2 to 3 years
    • Mature plants: repot every 4 to 5 years or more
    • Keep somewhat rootbound. Choose a wide and sturdy to avoid tipping as plant is top-heavy
    • Water only after several days to a week
    • Fertilize at least one month after

Lifestyle

  • Grow style: slow; 5 to 20 cm per year
  • Maturity: 3 feet or more; can live in the lifespan of several human generations; as they age, the trunks develop a bark-like appearance
  • Neat stuff: as the the leaves transpire, excess minerals from the water can form tiny white spots on the leaves, which can be removed with a damp cloth.
  • Common problems:
    • Too little water (signs: leaf drop, brown leaf spots, shriveled or wrinkly leaves)
    • Too much water (signs: leaves are squishy, waterlogged; may result in root rot)
    • Too little lights (signs: stunted, leggy)
    • Pests (mealybugs, scale)
  • Pruning:
    • In early spring, before new growth, pinch back to a healthy node to encourage branching
  • Propagation by leaf or stem cutting:
    • Remove a leaf or snip a stem 5 to 8 cm long with two pairs of leaves
    • Let callus for a couple days
    • Add slightly moist soil mix to pot
    • Place in soil:
      • For leaf, place horizontal on mix, covering the cut end with soil
      • For stem, place vertically into the soil
    • Place in bright, indirect light. Do not water.
    • In three weeks, give a gentle tug to see if roots have formed. If not, wait and test again until there is resistance.
    • Water gently and keep in bright, indirect light until well established.

Research sources: Wikipedia, World of Succulents, Gardening Know How, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Smart Garden Guide

Picture-perfect Picasso’s paintbrush


Just, a really neato croton. 

Paint me like one of your… Spanish girls? Oceanic girls?

  • Binomial name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Picasso’s paintbrush’
  • Given name: Rahikainen
  • Native to: Oceania, in open forests and scrub
  • Bought: June 23, 2021 at House of Plants
  • Original pot (current): 4 inch plastic

Field notes — June 25, 2021

  • Soil: 2 (dry)
  • Signs of pests: two tiny snails. Removed. Ran pointy cotton swab dipped in chlorhexidine (because both were nearby for dog paw care) around lip of pot in case of eggs.

Field notes — July 8, 2021

  • Signs of pests:
    • I saw a couple little white crawlers and a couple thin web lines. Treated for spider mites with Safer’s insecticidal soap. Haven’t seen any since, but will treat again 10 days from first treatment.
    • Saw a couple bumps that might be scale. Stabbed with alcohol.
    • Moved plant to isolation in living room window.
  • Signs of care issues: leaves dropping every now and then, perhaps due to acclimation process to my house.

Field notes — July 16, 2021

  • Signs of pests: none, but will re-treat July 18 for spider mites.
  • Signs of care issues: several leaves now dropping each day, perhaps due to proximity of vent, lack of humidity, or underwatering
    • Moved plant to dining room window, where vent is blocked and humidity is increased. Trying to maintain some isolation from nearby oxalis plants by 2 feet of distance. I hope it’s enough.

Research notes

Atmosphere

  • Light: direct sun (brighter foliage); 5 hours or more
  • Humidity: 60%
  • Temperature: 15 to 27 degrees Celsius; avoid drafts

Water

  • Preference: slightly moist, but underwatering is better

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: well-draining potting mix with sand, such as a mix of peat moss, perlite, and sand
  • Fertilization: every 4 weeks, half-strength liquid fertilizer
  • Repotting:
    • When rootbound, in spring or summer
    • Go up 1 or 2 inches in pot size with drainahe
    • If roots are in a tight ball, score with tip of knife
    • Don’t pack in soil too tightly to prevent airflow
    • Water after

Lifestyle

  • Grow style: fast
  • Mature size: 3 to 5 feet wide shrubs in 2 to 3 years; mature height up to 6 feet; mature width up to 5 feet
  • Common problems:
    • Spider mites (clean leaves regularly during warm weather)
  • Pruning: as desired

Research sources: Garden Goods Direct, Planterina, SFGATE, Wikipedia

Field notes — July 13, 2021

  • Signs of spider mites on many plants, scale on a couple, and aphids on the variegated wire vine.
  • Gave most plants a shower to knock off the mites and, when dried, sprayed with:
    • Safer’s insecticidal soap or (for a couple) rosemary spray
    • swabbed alcohol on scale bugs
  • Divided plants into two groups for easier management:
    • Group 1 plants from the kitchen window were treated on July 9
    • Group 2 plants from the dining were treated on July 12
  • Plants that were separate from other plants and that showed no signs of infestation were not treated, but will be monitored.
  • Plants have been moved into different rooms for better isolation and are grouped by species.

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