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Someone left a cactus outside my door

About a month ago, someone left a little spiny cactus outside my door. It is called a Mammillaria marksiana.

Mammillaria is a genus of spiny cacti native to Central America’s desert regions, Mexico in particular. Plants generally form clusters of spherical or columnar stems, and flowers. Globe-shaped fresh green stems are produced by Mammillaria marksiana covered in red-brown spines.  In spring, flowers emerge during the day and are bright yellow. It eventually grows into a cluster of stems, but it takes several years for this to happen.

The cactus is currently not growing very well, but I have it on the table that is far away from the window. I have now read that it requires full sun, so I’m going to find a place for it closer to the window, and see if it will flower. We will see what happens, hopefully, it will flower in the spring. It should only be watered from the middle of spring to summer. It should be fed once a month with a special cactus fertilizer. As with all cacti, in climates that are cold in the winter months, it is best grown as a houseplant. However, it can be moved to a sunny outdoor location in mid-summer.

For more information, click below.

https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/mammillaria-marksiana/

My New Juniper Bonsai Tree

I bought a Juniper bonsai kit at Home Depot. I’ve always wanted to have a Juniper bonsai, but the problem is that junipers are outdoor trees, and all I have in my apartment is a little balcony outside. When the weather is above freezing, it is fine for my tree, but I’m going to have a problem when the weather gets colder. Outdoor bonsai trees must go through a period of cold weather in order to survive. If they do not go through this cold period of time each year, eventually the plants will die. Most people who have outdoor bonsai trees take the entire pot, and dig a hole, and plant it in the ground during winter. The reason for doing this is that while the top part of the plant can withstand the coldest winter temperatures, if the roots are left in a little shallow bonsai pot, the roots will freeze, and the plant will die.

My problem is that I have to figure out some way of protecting the roots during winter, particularly because the winds on my balcony become extremely cold during the winter in Chicago. I will need to construct something to be able to protect the roots of my bonsai tree so that the roots will not freeze this winter. Maybe I can construct some kind of an insulated box for it. Previously, I had another Juniper bonsai tree that I tried to keep indoors. After about three or four months, it dried up, and died even though I watered it regularly, so I know from experience that this type of tree will not live indoors.

 

My corpse flower is putting out a new leaf

 

I would like to give you an update on my corpse flower. Amorphophallus titanum, more generally referred to as the corpse herb, is one of the strangest plants you will cultivate indoors. This is certainly not a plant for beginners, but it is undoubtedly one of the plant world’s greatest oddities.

Usually, this type of plant only puts out one large leave each year. The leaf is supposed to die back each year. However last year, the leaf did not die back. This year, it appears to have put out two more leaves, so I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. I don’t know if this means that a second bulb has developed, or if the same bulb is putting out multiple leaves. The plant is so rare, that it’s difficult to find much information about it online.

I am currently growing mine in a fishbowl. During the winter, I had the top of the fishbowl covered with plastic to increase the humidity, but now I’ve taken the plastic off because it was causing the leaf to bend a lot. When the winter comes again, I’m not sure what I’m going to do because I still need to find a way to increase the humidity, so I may need to wrap it again. Above, you can see what it looks like now.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Corpse Flower Facts – How To Grow A Corpse Flower Houseplant https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/voodoo-lily/grow-a-corpse-flower-houseplant.htm

I’m Growing Cucumbers In My Apartment

Cucumbers that I’m growing in my apartment are doing great. Just follow these tips.

Choose a compact variety of cucumber. You don’t want one that’s going to grow very tall.Read the seed packets to identify the best choices for small-space gardening.

Use a trellis. Take advantage of the vining habit of cucumbers and make use of vertical space . Even a tomato cage can serve as a trellis.

If you plant a lot of seeds, you’re going to have to remove a lot of the plants from the pot. Each type should have only one or two plans so there will be enough space for the plant to grow large enough. Otherwise, there will be too much competition among the plants, and you won’t get any cucumbers.

Buy a grow light. You can buy one at Home Depot, or the hardware store.

It is better to get self-pollinating cucumber plants. Otherwise, you’re going to need to pollinate them yourself. Pollinating them can be done, but it does take a while as you need to transfer pollen from one flower to another using a Q-tip.

I found many pages on the Internet about growing cucumbers in containers. You can easily find them if you search for them. This is just a few tips to let you know that they can be grown in pots by a sunny window with a grow light. My cucumbers get both artificial, and natural light.

My Crinum Lilies Are Blooming

My Crinum lilies are blooming. It seems that most people grow them outdoors, but I grow mine indoors, so the first thing I want to tell you is that they can be grown indoors all year round. They get watered once a week, and they are right next to a sunny window, and they’re doing just fine. They usually bloom in the summer.They have a lot of baby plants, and I recently had my assistant transplant the baby plants into smaller pots.

I feel badly that I have not posted in so long, but the spring and summer have been very difficult for me. Usually in the spring, I go to the Chicago Flower Show, and usually I would have at least one post about that, but this year the flower show was canceled because of the coronavirus. Also, my lungs are rather weak because I have cerebral palsy, so I haven’t left the house very much at all because I’m afraid of catching the coronavirus. Usually this time of year would be a prime time for me to go around looking for more plants. Okay, so now I feel like I’m making excuses for being lazy, and getting involved in other things instead of working on my blog which is probably the case. I realize that telling you all this is being totally unprofessional, and everything that I’ve read says that if I want people to read this, then I need to focus on what you want to know, and not what I want to tell you, but I just can’t follow the rules. I’m going to tell you what I want to tell you whether or not that’s what I’m supposed to be telling you. That’s just the way I am.

My Coffee Plant Died

About two months ago, my coffee plant suddenly completely dried up, and died. I have no idea what I did wrong except that I did just recently repot it to a larger clay pot that had holes in it at the bottom. I definitely thought that it would do better in that pot, and for a couple weeks it did, but then it suddenly completely dried up, and died. I’m very disappointed because it was a beautiful plant, and I thought it was supposed to be easy to take care of, but apparently I did something wrong. There was no sign of bugs, or any type of fungus, or anything like that. I feel kind of bad that reporting to you my failure. I’m not even sure how I could learn from this because I’m not sure what I did wrong. In any event, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Don’t Try Growing a Hyacinth Bulb Indoors

About two weeks ago, I bought a hyacinth bulb that came with a little glass from Home Depot. There’s a top part to the glass where the bulb sits, and then there is a chamber below the bulb that is filled with water. It seemed like it would be a really nice idea, but it didn’t work at all. The problem was that I failed to read the directions before making the purchase.

Here are the directions. Fill the glass with water just beneath the bulb. The water should not touch the bottom of the bulb. Place the hyacinth in a cool (40-50°F), dark and ventilated spot. Check the water level every week. When the bud of the hyacinth is 8 cm out of the bulb, after 10 to 12 weeks you may bring the hyacinth into the living room (68°F).

The main problem here is that there’s no way that I’m going to lower the temperature of my apartment to 40° for several weeks, and it’s much too cold right now to put it outside on my balcony! The second problem was that I put too much water in the bottom portion of the glass so that the water was touching the bulb. It should not have been touching it. It should have been below the bulb, but the water should not have been in contact with the bulb. Because the water was in contact with the bulb for quite some time, a white mold started to grow on the bulb. So, the summary is that no flowers grew, and the only thing I was able to grow was a lot of very smelly white mold, so I had to throw the bulb out today. It was 50% off when I bought it. I now realize that was because no one else wanted to buy it because they actually took the time to read the directions. The moral of the story is always read the directions on the box before you buy no matter how good a deal it seems to be.

How To Get Your Poinsettia To Rebloom

 

Someone gave me a poinsettia for Christmas, and instead of throwing it out when it finishes blooming, I’m going to try to get it to rebloom.

If you want to get your poinsettia to rebloom beginning in October, this is what you need to do.

Alternate between periods of light and total darkness every single day for 6 to 8 weeks.

Daytime: keep your poinsettia in the sunniest location you have.

Nighttime: provide complete uninterrupted darkness for 12 to 15 hours a day (whatever fits your schedule).

The simplest way to do this is to find a cardboard box big enough to set over the plant with the flaps splayed on the floor so no light gets in.

You might do this right by the window or choose to move the plant each evening to a box in another room and return it to the sun in the morning.

Continue watering and fertilizing as usual during this time.

I got the above information from a very informative website called Empress of dirt. The link to the information is below.

How to Make Poinsettia Bloom (Care Tips)

This definitely sounds like a lot of work, but if I decide to give it a try, I will let you know how it goes. From what it says on the website, the results are extremely hit and miss, and sometimes the colors are not as bright when it reblooms the second time, so definitely don’t feel bad you just feel like tossing it out instead of putting in the work.

Amaryllis Bulbs Dipped In Wax

About two weeks ago, I purchased an Amaryllis bulb that had been dipped in wax. This is a new product that I haven’t seen until recently. They advertise that it’s a flower that will bloom without watering. I bought one just to see what would happen. Mine has been growing, but there are some problems. The first flower stalk that came up bloomed, but it had only two flowers, and usually there are four. The second stalk is now coming up, so I will let you know how things go later.

If you are someone who enjoys growing flowers, there is a disturbing aspect to this. Because the bulb is dipped in a wax coating, it does not need to be watered, but it is being sold as a one-shot deal where it will not bloom again, and you are expected to just throw it out after it blooms. Most people who like to grow flowers view this as plant abuse because you’re just using it as a decoration, and then throwing it away. However, someone who do not have a green thumb may view this as a nice gift. There are a lot of people who would like to have a flowering plant but do not want to have to water it. For those people, this type of Amaryllis might actually make a nice gift, so it depends on one’s point of view.

I have read on the Internet that some people are trying to save their wax dipped Amaryllis bulbs by cutting off the wax coat. I am planning on trying this after the flowers have died on mine, and I will let you know what the result is of the experiment. Here is a link to a thread about rescuing these bulbs if you have one, and you want to try to do it yourself.

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2808938/the-horror-that-is-wax-encased-bulbs

When I searched, I even saw website about someone who has dipped the bulbs in the wax herself. It sounded like she was very successful at it, but personally, I find this sickening, and I would never do it myself, but I guess to each her own.

A Problem With Logee’s Plants

For the past several weeks, the leaves on my Tillandsia Antonio have started to turn brown, and die. Yesterday, I called Logee’s Plants, the company that I bought the plant from for assistance. I explained the problem to the customer service representative. She told me that I should have repotted the plant ten days after I received it. She said that the soil was holding too much water, and  the plastic pot that it was sent in was making the problem worse. I should have repotted it with a different type of soil. First of all, why was it planted in that soil to begin with? Recently, I read online that air plants should not be in soil, but she told me that that type of plant should be in soil, but not the type of soil that it was planted in. Since it was now past the sixty day period, she would not refund my money, or give me credit on another purchase. She said, that if I repotted it in the clay pot with either Dr. Earth, or Happy Frog potting soil, there was a chance that it might survive.

I do not remember any information about it needing to be repotted after ten days, and even if it said that, I think that is ridiculous that it was sent potted in the wrong type of soil to begin with! I also think that it’s ridiculous that she refused to give me any type of credit for my next purchase! However, at least I found out that I need to call within the first sixty days if a problem develops. The problem that I have with this is that it usually takes longer than sixty days for a problem to develop, so I really don’t think that sixty days is long enough for a return window. After hanging up, I remembered that a few months ago, I called the same company after two of my plants that I had purchased died, and that time, the customer service representative gave me store credit for both plants for my next purchase even though the sixty day period had already expired. I’m really not sure what the difference was except that some of their customer servant of representatives are friendly, and cooperative, and some are not!

As far as this company is concerned, when you buy a new plant from them, you should call them up immediately, and get as much information as you can about your plant. If there’s anything that you’re not sure about, be sure to ask them. They really do not provide adequate care instructions for their plants.They expect the customers to find out the necessary information by calling up and asking about it. Be sure to read any information that comes with your plant, and if you have any questions, call them within the sixty day period!

As far as my Tillandsia Antonio is concerned, after consulting with a local plant store owner, I decided to repot the plant in a clay pot using orchid bark. It is an air plant, so I think that orchid bark will provide better drainage then soil would. This is different advice than what I received from the customer service representative, but I do not think she was correct. We will see how the plant does in the orchid bark in the new clay pot.

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