Thursday 20 May 2021

The Plant Diaries - May 2021

Hello and welcome to the second instalment of ‘The Plant Diaries’. I started this little mini-series last month as a way to showcase my plant collection, new growth, new arrivals, and to hopefully impart a little bit of knowledge for my fellow houseplant lovers.


I’ll be following the same format as my last post , so will be starting with new growth, followed by new additions to the collection, new additions to my wish list (that seems to be getting longer and longer) and then finally I’ll share plant related purchases. So, let’s get stuck in!


New Growth


Syngonium Albo

If you read my last instalment, you may recognise this from the new growth section then as well. As I mentioned in the post, this thing is growing like mad, and has pushed out a new leaf for me since the half-moon one, and has another slowly peeling itself away from the stem of the previous. Once this next leaf is out I’ll be able to chop the top of this plant, giving me a two leaf cutting that I can root and grow separately. From there I’ll decide if I want to sell the cutting, or keep growing it out and have two plants, because this is one of my favourites.


Philodendron Melanochrysum

I didn’t expect to see growth on this one so soon. This is a recent addition and I find my new arrivals need a little bit of time to chill out from their journey in the post before they start to really do anything. I rehabbed this one fairly well though, which I think has contributed greatly to its progress.


It arrived with the roots in moss, which in turn was wrapped and secured in cling film – probably one of the best ways to ship a cutting. I poked a hole in the bottom of the cling film and added a tiny amount of water to the bottom of the pot the plant was sat in, but kept it packed up as it has arrived. This meant there was minimal disturbance to the roots, and at the point I could see good growth on them (about 3 weeks later) I then potted the plant properly in a mix of moss and perlite.


Typically I would want to fully unpack the plant to make sure the roots were present and healthy, but as this came from a seller I have used a few times, and trust, I felt comfortable with leaving them alone. I can only surmise that this method worked, because a new leaf is quickly forming!


Caladium White Queen

This year is my first time growing Caladiums from bulb, and whilst they are fairly slow to start, my goodness are they worth the wait! The Caladium produces heart shapes leaves, that will come in a variety of colours. The White Queen has a stunning white leaf with bright pink veining and green edges. The largest leaf is bigger than my hand, and a quick look at the soil has suggested that more are on the way.


Caladium Rosebud

The other variety of Caladium is the Rosebud, a stunning green lead with bright pink veins fringed with white. I have just one more variety of Caladium left, which will hopefully spring up soon, but I’m in love with these plants. I’ve found them to be extremely easy to care for (my one hiccup was working out which way up the bulb goes. They bring the vibrant colour of flowers, without the pollen, which for hay fever sufferers like me is a bonus. There are many more varieties, so I think next year I’ve get several and put them in a long planter on the windowsill together rather than separate pots.


Pilea Mojito  

A variegated form of a money plant, my husband picked this up for me in a garden centre as a present. It’s since thrown out four little pubs, and as it needs repotting soon anyway I’ll be separating these from the mother plant and popping in their own pots to let them grow out. It’ll be interesting to see the levels of variegation that have transferred from the mother plant to the pups.


Philodendron White Princess and Pink Princess

These two sit side by side in my plant cabinet, and both seem to have sprung to life, in particular the pink princess (left) which has two active growth points. The white princess is also working on a new leaf which looks like it’ll have a nice splash of white on it. Both of these plants have reasonable genetics when it comes to variegation (the pink and white colouring) and seem to be improving as they continue to grow. It’s unlikely that I’ll chop the white princess, but I am tempted to take a cutting from the pink princess, as it has two growth points anyway.


Variegated Monstera

This plant seems to alternate between giving predominantly green leaves, and leaves with mottled half-moon variegation, which is exactly what I wanted. As the last leaf was fairly green, other than a chunk of white, I’m expecting a leaf with higher variegation this time. You can somewhat predict what you might get from looking at the stem, but it is largely a bit of a guessing game. Ideally this needs to pole to climb, to allow it to make larger leaves that will start to form with holes and splits, and look like the classic Monstera most of us know.


New additions


I’ve only added one plant to my collection in the past month; The Alocasia Jacklyn. Sadly mine doesn’t look quite as happy as it did on arrival, and is favouring root growth over the maintenance of it’s one tiny leaf. This is certainly something I can live with, as ultimately healthy roots are what will dictate how well this little plant does in the long term.


Wish list Additions


Philodendron Florida Beauty

This isn’t actually new to my wish list, but I forgot to include it in my last post. Sadly this one is going to take some saving and some searching. Cuttings are quite expensive (around the £3-400 mark) and they seem to vary a little in quality. Given the value of these, I would prefer to spend a little more and source from a reputable seller to ensure I get a healthy plant that is also packaged correctly.


Syngonium Orm Nak

I need to do more research into these, as some of the examples I’m finding are a beautiful deep pink, while others look a paler, less appealing shade. There also seems to be a divide between the colour being present over the whole leaf, whereas others would indicate a more sectoral colouring. At a guess, it is dependent on the genetics of the individual plant, so again, it’ll be a case of waiting for the ideal specimen.



I haven’t really made and plant related purchases, other than some pits and soil to do some repotting, so nothing all that interesting in the purchase department. 

Here sums up the various growth and activities in my collection over the last month! I’ve got a few more Caladiums on the go, so hopefully they’ll be springing up soon, especially given how beautiful the current ones have turned out! 

Do you have any houseplants? Which are your favourites? 


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