Sticky Fingers

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mammillaria plumosa - First "Plant of the week"

I thought about posting a plant from my collection each day, but I'm not sure I have the stamina to do that. Instead, I will start by trying to post one each week and I'll see how it goes from there.

Mammillaria plumosa

I got this M. plumosa from Manny about four years ago at the JHS Annual Flower Show. It was just a single head in a 2" pot, and I was so afraid that I would kill it that I think I held it back without realising it, by not watering and feeding as I could. Despite all that, it has steadily grown and is now in a 6" pot and is putting on more heads as it goes along. I've tried to not disturb it too much in all that time, so I only have one offset grown from a tubercule, and another that I separated from the mother when I last potted it up.

So far this year, it has been flowering well, with two and three blooms open at a time, so I'm feeling good about it right now. The two offsets are also flowering, as is the yellow-flowered one. Must have something to do with the improved treatment they have been getting in the past year. I'll try to keep it up.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What a relief!

Today I was busy - I potted out those crowded seedlings that I posted a few weeks ago into a seedling tray - 132 of them in all (but only 6 species). Took me most of the day to get it done.

Here they are all pricked out...

And now set out in their tray...

In addition, last night I sowed the seed I got from BCSS - 24 species.

So I feel kind of good, like I got some things actually DONE! Still have tomorrow before the weekend is over, so let me see if I can add to my "accomplishments".

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another first flower!

Seems that it must be time that my Mammillarias are coming to maturity. My M. albicoma pushed out a bud last week, and while I can't say when it opened first, I was able to catch the photo today.

I have been struggling with this species, trying to figure out and understand what it needs, and I lost one of my two seedlings late last year during or after the rainy season. This one was looking quite bedraggled - I was pleased to see it start to grow again, and now with a bonus!

I still have blooms coming up from the M. albilanata, M. dixanthocentron, and M. supertexta. I'm tempted to search all my babies every morning to see if there is anything new, but I don't have the time, so I just do it when I can. Every so often I get a surprise.

I am now hoping to get some fruit from these blooms so that I may grow the next generation of these species (although I am not controlling pollination and may get hybrids). I received a batch (24 species) from BCSS this week, and I am eager to sow them so that they will get started on their journey to becoming fabulous mature plants that I can enjoy in however many years.

The more I grow, the more I want to grow. When will it stop??

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Ready to repot

These seedlings are nearly ready to be potted up. I am trying to hold back to see just how much they can take before they burst their pots or jump out themselves, but at the same time I don't want them to be misshapen or disfigured just because I waited too long.

I need to get more soil mixed, because I have seeds to sow and so many seedlings and other plants that need repotting. I have just ordered more seed from two sources, so I will have to expand my growing area as they progress (still have no greenhouse). I am sure I will get to the point when I just don't have enough time to tend to them all but I'll see what I do when that happens.

Mammillaria geminispina - these will be a year old in a couple of weeks. I got the seed from Mr. Wallace - picked the fruit off the plants in his collection. I still have a LOT of seed left.

These guys look like they might be Gymnocalycium. They are about eleven months old now. Bill sent me the seed, but these were without ID (spilled).

Matucana madisoniorum - also got this seed from Bill. I tried several times before to grow this without success so I was glad to get enough seed to make mistakes with. I don't think I'm doing badly now, though. I just think this plant is so cool - can hardly wait for these babies to grow up some more.

These Dolichothele baumii (yes, I know - should be Mammillaria baumii)are only about seven months old, but have grown well. The seed came from Juergen, and I'm very happy with the quality - good germination and vigorous growth so far. I have an adult plant, but it grows very slowly and I recently had to separate it into small plants as it was threatening to rot. I hope these seedlings (born into my conditions) will grow better and BLOOM!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

First blooms in December

I had the pleasure of seeing several plants bloom for the first time last month - most of which were ones I had grown from seed. While I don't seem to have yet figured out the conditions needed for lush and multiple blooms, I am satisfied with my progress, and the fact that I can tell people that my plants have bloomed, especially my babies.

These from seed:
Mammillaria sartorii - sowed January 2005

Mammillaria supertexta - sowed August 2004

Mammillaria dixanthocentron (which I think is var flavicentra) - sowed August 2004

This one a gift from Manny:
Rhipsalis species - I saw a good ID match and wrote down the name but now that I need it, I just cannot remember where I wrote it.

EDIT: Got the ID - Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides

Others that bloomed, but not for the first time include:
Mammillaria albilanata (from seed)
Mammillaria magnimamma
Mammillaria nejapensis
Mammillaria karwinskiana
Mammillaria rhodantha
Rebutia marsoneri

I will have to post those photos another day.