Monday, 26 April 2021

The Plant Diaries - April 2021

Hello and welcome to the first instalment of the plant diaries! As an avid collector of rare and unusual house plants, I wanted to start doing some more regular posting about new growth, new plants and new plant related discoveries to help keep my house plants happy. Given that these are for indoor plants, I’ll probably do these posts every 2-3 months or so, but may ramp up in the Summer months when my collection is more active.




For my new additions I’ll try and link or state where they came from, as some of these can be rather difficult to find and get hold of, so hopefully it’ll help some fellow collectors find a seller for their wish list plants!

 

New Growth

It’s the time of year where everything starts to come to life, and new leaves are popping up all over the place and here are some of my favourites!

 

Syngonium Podophyllum Variegata

My most rapid grower (regardless of the time of year) is hands down my Albo Syngonium, also known as an Arrowhead Plant. This plant has given me absolutely no trouble since I got it as a partially rooted cutting back in January this year. I put in a mix of moss and perlite to allow it to grow some more roots and it’s been there ever since. I’ll be re-potting it soon into proper soil, which I’ll chat about in a bit.



It was actually my intention to cut this one at its next leaf to start growing out a new plant to propagate and sell from, but as the latest leaf is a beautiful half-moon, I don’t really want to part with it. Not that it really matters, at its current rate of growth I can revisit the idea in 6 weeks or so, when I’ll hopefully have new node to cut and grow from.  

 

Syngonium Mojito

Unlike my other Syngonoum, this one has actually been a bit of a pain for me. I got it back in March, and it wasn’t all that happy when it arrived. It’s one and only leaf shrivelled up and died within days and I was left with a little stump to care for.

 


Thinking it was going to slowly die, I left it in its little plastic cup and put it in the back of my cabinet and forgot about it. Since then it grew a new leaf, which then also died, but THEN it’s next leaf survived. It’s now slowly working on a second, and there is a healthy amount of root growth going on as well. I always root plants and cuttings in clear plastic cups so that I can spy on the roots without disturbing them, as pulling the plant in and out of whatever you are rooting in can cause stress and slow down their progress.

 

Caladium Rosebud

I have a few varieties of Caladium that I planted as bulbs back in March, and the first little leaf has finally appeared from the Rosebud! These plants are seasonal, so they’ll go dormant in the winter, but if all of the leaves are as beautiful as this one that’s absolutely fine with me!

 


To make sure I didn’t have and duds I actually got a few of each variety of bulb when I brought these as a pre-order from Farmer Gracy, however, not a single one has failed to sprout which is very pleasing. I currently have three different types (with some duplicates) so my windowsill will look stunning in no time!

 

Variegated Monstera

This little guy didn’t do much when I first got it. In fact it didn’t do anything for about 4 months or so. It has recently sprung to life, and has gone from a one leaf plant, to have just unfurled its fourth leaf, which is not quite hardened off yet. This will have to go on a moss pole soon to allow it to start climbing, which in turn should result in larger leaves, that will start to show fenestration and look like a more typical Monstera.

 


Anthurium Silver Blush

I brought this plant as a one leaf cutting a little while ago, and then when the new leaf was coming in, disaster struck. I only went and knocked it off its shelf, and smashed a hole in the emerging leaf. Luckily, it seems to have forgiven me, and whilst that leaf will be forever battered, a new one is now coming through. There’s also some crazy root growth for this one, to the point that I’m going to have to re-pot it soon.




New Additions

I’ve had some rather exciting new additions recently. One of these was quite high up on my wish list, and was also quite hard to find so I’m very pleased to have tracked it down.

 

Philodendron Melanochrysum

This was the easiest of my new plants to track down, as they are starting to become a little more common now – relatively speaking. This lovely Melano was purchased from the Facebook group ‘When_Children_Sleep’, which is run by the lovely Tereza. She always have a fantastic stock of hard to find plants, but they go extreamly quick. I’m talking seconds from when she posts them. I also got my Silver Blush from Tereza, which I could not find anywhere for love nor money.

 


Anthurium Warocqueanum

Probably my most ‘advanced’ plant in my collection, I got this plant as a pre-order from ‘Rock’N’Roll Jungle’ and it arrived last week.

 


Also known as a Queen Anthurium, these plants a known for being rather demanding, and require insanely high levels of humidity. This plant actually has its very own shelf in the cabinet, sat next to the humidifier with its very own fan, and the humidity tends to sit above 90%. The fan is positioned in such a way that it wafts some of the humidifier steam into the upper levels of the cabinet, although I still need to install some more fans in the other levels for airflow.

 

Wish list editions

I’ve had a few plants appear on my wish list recently, which I feel deserve a mention – let’s see how quickly I can tick them off!

 

Cercestis Mirabilis – I’ve already seen that Tereza has some of these, so I’ll start saving money so that I can (try to_ grab one when it comes up.

 

Syngonium Oem Nak – Tereza also appears to have some of these as well, so I feel like there are a few purchases to come her way in the future!

 

Anthurium Red Crystallinum – I spotted this while scrolling through Instagram, and at the moment I know nothing about it, other than that the image was stunning. I’m hoping it’s not a case of it being a photo shopped image, although if it’s real I can imagine it won’t come cheap.  

 

Plant related purchases

As far as plant related purchases go, there has been a few of these as well!

 

Soil Ninja

I got several different types of pre-made soil mixes, as well as some individual products such as worm castings and charcoal. I’ve only put a few plants into the mixes, but so far, everything I’ve transferred has absolutely loved it.




 

Having got a few different types of mixes, I’ll be using the Soil Ninja mix for my Albo Syngonium, as the roots are starting to escape from the bottom of the pot.


Ultrasonic Mini Humidifier

This was a rushed purchase, because I HAD to get a humidity solution before my Queen Anthurium arrived, however, it’s been great so far. Something that is very useful is the wire size. Its small enough to go in the cabinet and have the door closed on it without interfering with the door or leaving a massive gap. The cabinet is made of metal and glass, so I’m very grateful to have not had to try and drill holes in it quite yet – although this is the long term plan.

 

There are two down sides about this humidifier. The first is that it can’t work on a timer, but for the price I paid for it I wouldn’t really expect it to. The second is that when refilling and screwing the top back on it misses the thread very easily, so it can be a little frustrating when trying to screw the top back on. This runs all of the time, and gets refilled daily with filtered water.

 

 

That all sums up the April Plant Diaries. I actually have a plant being sent to me tomorrow, and my other two variety of Caladium will be popping out leaves very soon, as will m Pink Princess, so I’ll probably be doing another post for May.

 

I hope you enjoyed the post, let me know what you thought in the comments!



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