Light: at 6:20 a.m., ~3 FC from the south-facing window (which faces the neighbour’s house) and ~15 FC from the kitchen lights. But who expects good light at this time?
Longest stem: ~6.5 cm from soil to node of top set of leaves
Number of strands: three
Largest leaf: 3 cm from node to tip; 2.3 cm wide
New growth: at tips. Pinched off 2/3 sets of newest leaves to encourage branching.
Signs of pests: none
Signs of care issues: new leaves at top had indentations three days ago; probably a sign of underwatering. I watered the plant immediately after noticing, and today, the indentations are gone in the smaller leaves. So that’s pretty neat.
Other care: Seems somewhat etoliated (leggy due to not enough light), but also is developing the red edges and undersides to the leaves (due to high intensity light). So… not enough light overall, but too intense when it gets it? Iunno, man. Probably.
This neat little guy is sometimes called a watch chain plant. Look at those little linkages along each stem; so cool. I ordered it at the same time as my Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Dorothy Brown’ and my Euphorbia trigona ‘Rubra’, mostly because who orders two plants only. Must order three. Makes sense. But I really like how so very different it looks.
Clock’s ticking; let’s get to it
Binomial name: Crassula muscosa
Given name: Mobius
Native to: moderately humid environments in South Africa and Namibia
Ivan, Pilea peperomioides. February 2021 – July 26, 2021
It’s with a heavy heart I acknowledge the death of Ivan, a once-hopeful pilea peperomioides.
Ivan was born from one of two juvenile pileas I acquired in summer 2016 from a vendor in Toronto. Oh, 2016. It was a sunny day, and I’d gone into a corner store to purchase a drink. At the side exit, lo! there was a covered plant market. I bought from there my first two pileas, in very small pots. They were so cute.
These original plants grew up under my inexpert care, sometimes being turned to the light, sometimes not. Sometimes surviving long periods of drought and neglect. They grew into twisted, beautiful, Dr-Seussian specimens of whimsy.
I gave them away during a purge around April 2021, but kept their many babies (honestly, Ivan probably started developing some time in 2020, well before I cut him off him mother plant around February or March, but I’m not exactly sure). Several of these babies I again gave away, but I kept two of the smallest for myself–eventually to be named Ivan and Sigmund. Ivan was the larger; Sigmund just a little runt of a plant.
Due to the limited space for lighting and the number of plants I had, Ivan and Sigmund did not receive enough light and were looking ill. I wondered if they would like to come outside in the afternoon for some sun and would therefore improve, but being unsure, I just took one plant. Unfortunately, the sun was strong and although I did not think I had left it outside too long, I did indeed. Ivan got sunburnt. Just a little. I thought he would survive. But over the next two weeks, leaves kept dropping, and I didn’t give it the right amount of light/water to let it come back. His roots rotted away and he died.
Goodbye, Ivan. Thank you and your ancestors for teaching me many things about plant care. Light, water, propagation, stress, sunburn, and nuances about all these things. I truly did like you.
Tahmatassu, unknown succulent. June 16, 2021 – August 23, 2021
I bought the cute little Tahmatassu from a porch sale of one of my local plant shops on June 16, 2021. He wasn’t doing well and cost me a dollar. He failed in his original pot and developed root rot; so I cut off the clean areas and repotted him into a smaller pot. He rooted and his little leaflet survived too.
He had space to share, and seemed to like the same care as my string of dolphins, so when I needed to move the string of dolphins to a smaller pot too, I combined them. They seemed happy together–Tahmatassu even put out some new growth! Two days ago, they were looking well. Today, I checked and Tahmatassu was toast. Twisted, shrivelled, wilted. I don’t know what happened. The string of dolphins, at least, is still holding in there. So, I pinched off Tahmatassu and pulled out what I could and threw him into the trash.
What did you teach me, oh Tahmatassu? Look for healthy plants. And don’t buy unhealthy plants if you can’t find out what they are and what care they need. But also: you taught me more about propagating succulents by sticking them into dry soil and leaving them alone–and it works! Until, that is, I kill them later.
I brought up my grow light from downstairs, where it’s usually installed on a shelf for seed-starting and is typically only used in early spring. I thought it would feel make-shift and that I’d dislike the purple-pink cast of the light as it shines over my desk, but it’s not bad!
I’m just happier with something there so that I’m not starving my hoya; I doubt it receives enough light from the nearby window.
I also received three new succulents in the mail yesterday and put the two smallest into this glass cage, which may refract the light they receive and increase it for them? Unsure, but it’s pretty and nice to look at from my desk. Maybe it will encourage me to stretch my neck and look up more often.
I doubt the SAD lamp helped the hoya much, but I am glad for it for myself. Who wants to sit at a desk in so much darkness?
I didn’t think I would get into hoyas; I can’t really see what the fuss is about. But I love the bushiness and elegant colouring of this particular specimen. It brings such a statement to the room, but in a way that adds a sense of wonder and groundedness–the last one a bit strange, perhaps, from a hanging plant.
Binomial name: Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson princess’
Given name: Harriet, after the nurse who gave me my second COVID-19 vaccine dose
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?
I don’t care who you are, Where you’re from, What you did, As long as you love me!
And by love me, I mean, survive please and let me love you. You arrived a little battered, scarred, and sparse, and only cost me a dollar. You soon got a wrinkled leaf, so I have to be careful to make sure you get enough water. So without further ado…
Watered: top-down, filtered, twice to run through. If leaf is still wrinkled in 4 days, will water again.
Largest leaf: 7.4 cm long
New growth: two new leaves at the top, like pea shoots (since before purchase). Largest new leaf: 3.9 cm long
Signs of pests: ? see unknown
Signs of care issues: wilting leaf (underwatered), 1.5 cm scar along top of largest leaf (since before purchase); drying leaf tips
Unknown cause issues: bump like a knuckle over the tip of the largest leaf, 1.5 mm high; three tiny brown specks (hard and dry like scabs) on top of wilted leaf, each under a millimeter, scaly, dry brown patches (like bark) on underside of largest leaf and down the trunk. Are any of these bad? No idea. Nonetheless, will isolate and track for changes.