Sticky Fingers

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How to make mud pies

This past weekend I worked on potting up some of my small seedlings into 2" pots, and I also sowed another batch of seeds - 24 species or thereabouts. I made a mess of my soil preparation by using a too-concentrated solution of hydrogen peroxide that caused the soil to bubble and rise just like cakes in the oven.

I did this already, the first time I used peroxide and I thought I had figured it out, but I guess not! Took me a while to dilute it out through the soil and bring the bubbles back down to something I could go ahead and sow my seeds in. Hope the acidic soil doesn't affect germination - but some species have already started to grow.

My 7-year old daughter has taken quite an interest in plants now, and she reaped her own seed from my Mamillaria prolifera and wanted to do some of her own. So I had to facilitate her while I was doing mine, and then the 13-year old jumped into the action as well. So they both got a mix of cactus seeds to plant in one pot each, and they have been checking them every day since. Guess who is going to have to look after them as they grow? That would be me! But I'm pleased at the interest - it's much better than the jealousy that used to be (and sometimes still is) expressed when I would spend hours in the garden. We'll see how long it lasts.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sansevieira cylindrica

This is one of my more neglected plants. It gets no attention but it is so happy - this week I was surprised to see two flower spikes in this pot (which really isn't a pot any more because the plants are rooted through into the ground).

So as a reward, I am featuring it as my "Plant of the Week", and hope it will continue to grow well for me.

Sansevieria cylindrica

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My weekend's work

I managed to get some of my plants potted up to 4" pots this past weekend. These are all from seed, and I'm pleased to see them growing so well.

L - R:
Front row: Astrophytum hybrid, mammillaria sp, Acanthocalycium spiniflorum violaceum, Rebutia sp
Middle row: Mammillaria sp (maybe crinita), Lobivia sp, Echinocactus sp, Ferocactus sp
Back row: Lobivia aurea schaferi, Echinocereus sp, Mammillaria sp, Astrophytum sp

I've been accused of neglecting the rest of my collection that I didn't grow myself..... there may be some truth to that and I need to give the other plants some more attention.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My "Plant of the Week"

This week's plant is one for which I do not have a positive ID. I know it is a Haworthia, probably a type of attenuata, but I don't know enough to be confident about it. This one has a lot of white in it, and in this particular photo it is showing its "winter" colours.

Haworthia (attenuata?)

It has been quietly blooming and putting on more and more offsets. I intend to separate it so that I can have more plants, but it isn't easy to get off any of the little suckers! Instead I have just ended up repotting it and allowing it to get larger, but I will have to try to extract even a small one soon.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides

This is the plant I have selected for this week's post.

Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides

This is a fairly recent acquisition that I got from Manny last year. At first I thought that I was not treating it well as it did not flourish in its sheltered position under the verandah. Turns out it needed to get more water and sun, and since I moved it I have seen it bloom a few times. This is a photo from today.

In the background - Agave geminiflora

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mammillaria magnimamma

Second week, and I'm behind already!

Mammillaria magnimamma

I think it speaks for itself. It has been blooming steadily since December but hasn't made a ring of flowers. Guess I should just enjoy what I have and stop expecting too much.