Field notes — July 23, 2021

String of turtles, Irena

Irena with a too-small cache pot
  • Soil: moist; pot is heavy (last watered 3 days ago)
  • Light: 713 FC at 10 a.m., from the office window
  • Longest strand: 17 cm; that is 4 cm growth since purchase just over a month ago!
  • Number of strands: 12 notable strands (including branches), with more branching; up from 9!
  • Largest leaf: 12 mm wide (no change)
  • New growth: Yes! So many new little strands branching and little nodules that I think leaves will form from where strands have grown
  • Signs of pests: none
  • Signs of care issues: none!
  • Other care: Irena now lives with other succulents on the window ledge of my home office

Tradescantia fluminensis, Lorraine

New spot at the window; likely temporary location
  • Soil: dry; watered today; last watered 12 days ago
  • Light: moved from 5 FC at 10 a.m. on dining room plant shelf to 65 FC dining room window today
  • Longest strand: 7 cm from soil to base of leaves; 1.5 cm growth since June 27
  • Signs of pests: none
  • Signs of care issues: none new

Variegated wire vine, Anita

  • Soil: dry; watered today; last watered 7 days ago
  • Signs of pests: none
  • Signs of care issues: several leaves dropped; I think it may need more frequent watering. I should probably use filtered water too; I used tap water for convenience

Send you my love on a wire vine

Black sheep plants, come home with me.

Let’s get to know you

  • Binomial name: Muehlenbeckia axillaris
  • Given name: Anita
  • Native to: New Zealand, Australia
  • Bought: June 23, 2021 at House of Plants
  • Original pot (current): 3.5 inch, plastic

Field notes — June 25, 2021

  • Soil: 4 (barely moist)
  • Signs of pests: fuzzy white-orange speck, cleaned off with finger then lost the location to wipe down

Field notes — June 29, 2021

  • Soil: 2 (dry). Watered and fertilized with PlantRx.

Research notes


  • Light: full sun, partial shade
  • Humidity: 30 to 40%
  • Temperature: 18 to 27 degrees Celsius


  • Preference: in summer when mix is dry one inch down; in winter when mix is dry one third down

Soil, fertilization, and pots

  • Soil type: a variety, as long as well-draining
  • Soil pH: not picky
  • Fertilization: once every four weeks in growing season; half-strength balanced water-soluble fertilizer
  • Repotting: in spring every 2 years; to a pot 1 size larger or in the same pot with fresh mix


  • Grow style: fast
  • Mature size: up to 6 inches
  • Pruning:
    New stems: regularly (encourage branching and to shape them).
    In spring: up to one-third to keep the plant compact
  • Propagation: spring; three to four inch stem cuttings; dip in rooting hormone; root in perlite or fresh potting mix

Research sources: the spruceGuide to Houseplants