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My Amaryllis flowers are beautiful again

I’m back. I know. It’s embarrassing how infrequently I update this blog, but life always seems to get in the way. I’ve had severe health challenges recently, and on top of all that, my mother had a stroke this past Monday, and she’s in the hospital dying. I know. More information than you want to know, but I wanted to let you know that it always seems like just when I get some time to work on this blog, something happens that consumes my time.

In any event, here are my Amaryllis pictures for this year. I’m really pleased with how well everything is blooming. Now that spring is finally here, hopefully, I will have more to say about my plants.

 

 

 

 

growing lavender with my Aerogarden

I bought a lavender seed kit from Aerogarden. It is a hydroponic system that allows anyone to easily grow most plants with very little work. In general, I like their growing system, but I was disappointed with this seed kit. The plants did not grow well, and it only lasted about four weeks. Most of the seed kits that I purchased in the past have lasted for several months. As you can see, in the beginning, the results looked very nice, but the plants did not grow strongly, and soon after these pictures were taken, most of the flowers died and did not grow back. I have tried growing lavender from seeds before, and so far I have had no luck.

My Amaryllis plants rebloomed

I know you have been wondering where I have been. It always takes me longer these posts than I imagine. These flowers actually bloomed in May, and this is my first opportunity to write about them. I know. I’m bad for taking so long, but as they say, better late than never. Below are the latest photographs of my Amaryllis flowers. I hope you enjoy them.

 

How to get your Amaryllis to rebloom.

 

  1. Remove each flower after it dies. Once a flower has died, cut the flower where it meets the main stalk with a clean knife or scissors. Make sure to remove the green lump and thin green stem attaching the flower to the stalk. This stops the plant from making seeds, which requires a lot of energy that could be going into survival and growth instead.

2. Cut the flower stalks once they are yellow or sag. The main stalks contain food and water the plant can use, but they will likely begin to droop or turn yellow shortly after the flowers fade] They are no longer useful at this point, and should be cut back to within 2 inches (5 cm) of the bulb.

  1. Put them in a sunny spot, and just keep watering them making sure that they never dry out completely. A lot of people suggest that you put them out during the summertime in the ground, but I have no place to put them outside, so they just stay in my apartment all year round
  2. At the end of the fall, take the bold side of their pots, and store them in the cool dry place for the winter. I find that storage, and repotting process is key in order to get reblooming to occur.

My Noni plant has sooty mold

My Hawaiian Noni plan started to develop on the leaves, and on the stem. When I asked the plant expert at chalet Garden shop in Wilmette, she said that it was sooty black mold. It is a type of mold that grows in the secretions of honeydew that is produced by many different types of common houseplant pests. In my case, I have a problem with spider mites. She could tell that it was spider mites because there were also holes in the leaves of the plant.

The best way to get rid of the sooty black mold is to get rid of the spider mites, or whatever past is producing the honeydew secretion. Although the mold is not harmful to the plant, the insect that it needs in order to grow, can kill the plant. At the first sign of sooty mold, the pest that is producing it should be located, and eliminated.
Neem oil is a good treatment for both the pests, and the sooty mold. Spider mites have been a big problem for me this year. I keep on treating my plans for them, and they keep on coming back all the time.

Another pussy willow tree picture with more leaves

This is a picture of my pussy willow tree from a week ago. It has already grown more than this. As you can see here, a lot of new green leaves on it. There is not much else to say other than it is doing very well under the grow light. It is growing so quickly and changing, that I could post an update on it every week, but the problem is I really feel like I need to have something to say in order to justify a post about it, and I’m not going to have enough new information every week in order to do that, but we will see what I’m going to do.

I’m not really sure at this point if this should be classified as an outdoor plant or an indoor plant. It really is an outdoor plant, but it can spend long periods of time indoors if it is grown under the proper conditions, at least that’s what I think, but like I said previously I’m not sure how long it will be able to live indoors, but we will find out.

 

 

 

My Pussy Willow Tree

Two weeks ago, I bought this pussy willow tree. I’m going to try to grow it as a bonsai tree. I am worried that it will not make it through the winter because it needs to go through a cold period of time, and Chicago has colder winters than it is accustomed to. Anyway, I’m going to try to keep it indoors until it gets warm enough, and then this summer I’m going to put it on my balcony. I live in an apartment, and unfortunately, I don’t have a garden or backyard.

I have a grow light that it’s growing under, so I’m hoping it will get enough light. It needs at least six hours of light a day, and a lot of water. I also read that they like a lot of humidity, so I’m going to misted every day. Above are my first pictures of it.

There seems to be some disagreement online as to whether or not this tree can survive indoors. Most of the articles that I read say that it cannot live indoors, but I’ve seen many videos online that show people keeping their trees indoors, so I’m kind of confused about this. The other problem is that this type of plant is very susceptible to houseplant pests such as scale, and spider mites, so I’m going to have to be very vigilant and take action at the first sign of trouble. What I have learned is that it’s good to occasionally spray your plants with a mixture of water and alcohol because it’s a good idea to keep the pests at bay if it all possible. Often I have found, that by the time you see them, it’s too late. Don’t wait until your plant looks sick. Occasionally spraying with water-alcohol mixture can be a good way to keep the pests at bay.

My corn plant bloomed (ti plant)

My corn plant a couple of months ago, and I’m just now getting around to posting the pictures. Sometimes it takes decades for this type of plant to flower, and I’ve only had this one about a year, or two at the most. It produces an arching terminal panicle of pinkish buds that open into masses of white flowers. They only open in the evening and at night, but then, what an extremely pungent scent they emit! Intense, heady, sweet, the fragrance spreads throughout the whole apartment. It is so intense that it sometimes becomes unbearable and people feel that it is necessary to remove the flower stem off or to relocate the plant in a spare bedroom and close the door at night.

In my case, the set was very strong, and it was all over my apartment. I thought it was coming from the petunias that I had, but then I realized it was coming from my corn plant. If you want to experience this unusual sent for yourself, you may need to wait quite a while. No one knows what causes this plant to bloom, it can happen in any season. Your chances of success will be much better if you put it in a location with a lot of light as opposed to a dark corner where this type of plant is usually located in people’s houses. This plant is also called a Hawaiian ti plant

I’m growing petunias indoors!

I’ve been growing petunias in my Aerogarden hydroponic garden. I really like it very much because it’s very easy-to-use. The seeds, in a growing medium, and you just put the pods into the garden, and set up the watering and feeding schedule, and it automatically tells you when to add water, and when to add fertilizer. Although it’s not cheap, it’s pretty much a foolproof way to grow vegetables, and flowers indoors, and I enjoy it. Above is a photo of my petunias.

The coronavirus has really impacted my ability to go outdoors and go to plant shops. I have a pre-existing medical condition, and I only left my apartment about five times last year because I was afraid to go outside. I am really hoping that things will improve soon. I haven’t got my vaccination shot yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. When they canceled the flower show in Chicago last year, I was very sad because I enjoy going there very much. I hope that I will be able to go this March, but I don’t know if they will have it this year again.

My cactus died

Remember that cactus I just told you about? About two weeks ago, it dried up and died. I have no idea what happened. I followed all the instructions that I read about on the Internet, and only watered it once a month, and it imploded. I’ve never had any success with cacti. They are supposed to be easy plants to grow, but all the cacti that I’ve ever had have died, so I must be doing something wrong, they always get attacked by fungi, or just dry up. They are definitely not one of my favorite plants.

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/

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