Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Answer to Name this Plant!

Again here is the pic from a previous post. I asked if anyone could name the plant.

The answer is a Lipstick plant or Aeschynanthus.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Update on my New Hoya's (Liddle Order)

I opened the baggies for the second time since arrival to check out the hoya's I got through the D. Liddle order. This is the first real update, and I am so excited to see good stuff happening in those baggies.

Purpureo Fusca

This is a cutting of purepureo fusca. I gave it a little tug, and it seemed firm. I wonder how long this one takes to bloom, the flowers on this one are purple on purple, and they are so pretty.

Hoya Caudata

This hoya caudata is already one of my favorites. Nevermind that the flowers are possibly the prettiest in the whole family, the foliage is just wicked. The leaves have a funky texture to them, they can be green and they can have a lot of red in them. They are spooky looking. They look like something swampish and creepy, and I just love them. I potted this one up in a clear 3 inch container, so I can see the roots developing down into the cup. They are just over an inch long, so I would have to say this hoya is doing very well.

Hoya Ciliata

This is the hoya ciliata that lost all it's leaves. I couldn't believe it when I saw roots growing all along the vine. This is the hoya that is nicknamed "the black hoya", as it has nearly black flowers. I see less black in this one as say compared to the two pubicalyx' (reb buttons & RHP), but I have not seen either flower yet, and I guess technically, the pubicalyx' have red in them as well.. The flowers of the ciliata are not as pretty as some of the other flowers, but "the black hoya" caught my attention. This will be an interesting one to grow since I came so close to losing it. It will be my "miracle black hoya".

Hoya Dischorensis

My new cutting of hoya dishchorensis is starting to root as well. The foliage is okay, but I did get this one for the goldish color flowers it should eventually produce. Me and gold flowers have a little thing on the go right now. I go ga-ga every time I see a gold flower.

Hoya Mindorensis

The hoya mindorensis cutting is also doing well. It passed the tug test. The foliage is okay. Nothing spectacular, but the flowers on this one are amazing as well.

Hoya Heutschkeliana

In light of the pending death of my other hoya heutschkeliana, this one is in flowering mode. The one that is dying is supposed to be pink, while this one should be yellow. These are a smaller leaved hoya and I really like the foliage. The flowers are small urn shaped flowers, unlike any other in the hoya family. The best past is that it has started to produce buds on two different peduncles. I am going to let it try and flower rather than disbud it. It is still in it's baggie, so I will just leave it in there until it is done flowering, then let it continue to form roots. I have seen hoya's last in baggie for weeks, so I have some confidence that it will be okay, even if I let it flower (assuming it will not blast the buds first).

All of the cuttings I received are doing fairly well. A few have lost a leaf or two, but nothing major. All have started to root, and most are already quite firm in their pot. I plan on keeping them in baggies for at least a couple more weeks before I ease them out of their humid little greenhouse into my

Participating in this order was such a positive experience I can not wait to do it again. My Thanks go out to everyone involved. I look forward to seeing pics of everyone's hoya's as they grow on various places across the net.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Plant is this Extreme Close up From??

Macro photography is so cool. Anyone know what this is a pic of? It is of a plant. I will post the answer in a few days. Have Fun!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My House Happenings

I had so many random pics that didn't necessarily need a whole post, so I lumped them together and one whole post. So many little things are going on right now, and so other things just are and deserve a pic.

My lipstick plant has a few flowers coming these past few weeks. It looked liked it might go into full bloom, but it has blasted many buds. It might get to partial bloom, and still put on a mini show, but nothing like some of the shows I have seen these plants put on. Still it is the first time I have seen this plant get this far into bloom since I have had it.

My variegated rubber tree completely stopped growing this past winter, but has begun to start growing now that spring has really arrived. I have read that it is quite hard to get these to branch, they tend to just keep growing straight up until they are quite large and mature. Mine has branched. I am quite pleased because it won't grow so straight and lanky like they tend to do. I hope the other two trees in the pot would branch as well.

A few of the jade leaves I got a few months ago have sprouted new little plantlets from the base of the original leaf. This cultivar of jade, pictured here, has the neatest fingers like leaves. The tips of them are a dark red, giving them the coolest look.

My dragon fruit cutting, hylocereus undatus, has an odd growth coming in on it. It isn't growing from the side joints like I have seen other branches form on. I have never seen this on any of my epiphytic cacti before. Maybe it's a new branch, maybe not.....only time will tell.

Back in my little world of hoya's, I have a heutschkeliana that looks like it might be dying. A little odd since it is finally spring and most of my other plants are starting to take off. I thought maybe I had let it go too dry, but it still looks like overwatering to me, and that just seems unlikely in this case. All I can do is keep an eye on it and hope for the best.

My hoya compacta is budding, only from one peduncle, but still. This is one of my favorite hoya's. The flowers look alot like my KQ, and smell nearly the same too. They both are reminiscent of chocolate. I would have thought my carnosa would have smelt like chocolate more than these ones, but I was quite wrong, as carnosa seems to smell more floral-y than I expected.

My hoya carnosa flowers are starting to get the messy drippy look now. I think they still look amazing almost more so with the clear sap dripping from it. I even think the dead and gray one in the background looks stunning. This was the hoya that smelled alot more floral-y than I expected. It was a nice scent, but I am not into floral scents like I am say a fruity or sweet smell.

Insect Porn

I don't normally indulge in watching others "do it", and I don't normally like bugs.....but it was different to see.

Better pics next time I see two bugs "doing it". It was a pretty creepy experience for me, in more ways than Pics were a little hard to get.....due to....ummm.....heebie jeebies.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Feeding the Geese

We took a walk to the local dog park / duck pond and spent a while feeding the geese this past weekend. We saw a couple species of ducks but mostly geese.

The geese, not the seagulls were not scared at all. They were close enough to take the bread right from my girls hands.

My youngest even tried making one do a trick, being so used to having dogs around that can do tricks. It was so natural of her to try it, it was so funny. If you look close the oldest is

Who can't say they never tried to get bread onto the backs of Imagine our surprise when she did it!

We never expected to see baby goslings (Hope that's the It was so cool to see, they were only feet from the edge of the pond.

They were so close.

Awwww.....they are just so sweet and innocent looking. So un-goose-ish.

If only I could have reached out and grabbed one.....just for a few seconds. Then let go and run after mama goose starts

I think we might have to do this again real soon. Yeah, yeah I took some plant shots, but these were so much cuter. Outside plant shots......soon to come.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The mystery of the wilting Azalea

A few months ago I could not figure out why my azalea kept wilting on me. All of a sudden it would just be limp, and the whole plant looked close to its death. Not having much experience with azalea's, I didn't understand what was going on. Now that I own a few, and have also seen a friend caring for hers, I have it figured out.

I bought the above pictured azalea a couple weeks ago. I couldn't resist it. I got it covered in buds, and I knew how beautiful my neighbors was while it was in flower. I had one of mine re flower for me but not even close to the amount of flowers this one has. A friend of mine has a bi-colored azalea, and it is so pretty, that I had to get another (it kind of replaced my white one that I froze to death a couple weeks ago)

I think that I like azalea's more than any other flower other than a hoya, of course. I like that they are big showy flowers and they come out in abundance. I like that they have no scent, they never become over powering. I like that there are so many different types and colors, there is so much variety. And now I finally realize they are not too hard to get to re bloom, if you don't freeze them to death first. It was only last week, and I really thought we had seen our last frost. Boy, I was

Anyways, I went way off topic on the wilting mystery. It was a watering problem. These guys use so much water when they are flowering that they get watered almost every 36 hours (on really hot days, like the past few). As soon as they need water, they start to wilt, and it seems to happen so fast. I wouldn't think it does them any good to wilt (the soil isn't completely dry, but bordering on moist, so I know the roots are not going completely dry), and giving them water seems to perk them back up. Now seeing three different azalea's in flower at the same time, I believe I have it figured out.

I knew they were heavy feeders, so I give them 1/4 strength fertilizer every watering. I did not realize that they used so much water. There is a difference in the pot's weight after 24 hours without water. I have to say that this is the first plant I have noticed that used so much water. Maybe because it so obviously tells you it needs it by wilting so fast. It's kind of a neat phenomenon.

I think these are just so pretty when they flower, I am so glad they are what they are. They capture the whole room's attention almost instantly. I could own a million of these, and still love seeing them flower.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's a Hoya Miracle!! Lacunosa & Carnosa

I think hell froze over, and I swear some pigs flew by my window. I think the flying pigs were attracted by the scent of my hoya lacunosa.......the one that has been blasting buds for months and months and months. I had almost given up hope on this one. There must be at least 20 peduncles on it now, and it still is forming buds and blasting them. One umbel has finally opened up, and one more looks like it might as well.
I have questioned many folks on various forums as to why this had been happening. There was a few thoughts......maybe it was going too dry.......staying goo wet?? Maybe the plant itself was not mature was frustrating, there was not a definite answer,

Over the past few months I have been very overbearing with this is in a 4 inch pot with a really loose mix, and I have been watering every couple days, even if I thought it was too much. I did start seeing the buds get bigger and more mature, but they still had never reached the actual flowering phase.

The flowers on this one are so dainty and cute. After they split open, the petals fold back, giving it a round look. It opens as a 5 sided star, but because they fold back it doesn't look the average hoya. I am quite amazed with most hoya flowers. The open as a perfect star, and on that star is another perfect star. Some you can see another star on the other two stars. Even the back of the flower has a perfect star.

And last but not least, my hoya carnosa is flowering as well, They look like they are going to split open soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hoya KQ Flowering & First Schlum Fruit!

I just love it when any hoya in the house flowers. They have such stunning flowers. They almost look fake, like they are made of wax. And the smell........some can smell unappealing, but so far from my limited experiences with hoya flowers, they smell is so amazing that a flower can produce such a smell.

This is a Hoya "Krimson Princess". This is the cultivar that has some white variegation in the center of the leaves. The flowers are very light pink, they are quite similar to the flowers on my Hoya Compacta. The color in the pics do not do it justice, because both of these plants have very similar flowers, more so in person that in the pics. Both smell just like chocolate, especially at night. It fascinates me that these smell so strongly at night, and less so during the day.

Most hoya flowers should have 5 petals but the once in a while you get odd flower. The flower in the top left side of this pic, only has four petals. I am quite curious to see if this was obvious when it was still a bud, I have to sift through a bunch of pics to see if I have a pic of it......if I do I will post it here.

I have a few other hoya's trying to flower right now or at least growing peduncles. From experience, just because a new peduncle grows, doesn't mean it is going to flower. I have new peduncles forming on a serpens, a lacunosa, a bella, a nummulariodes and a couple noids that are not even trying to form buds. Others, like my 2 lacunosa's, my KQ, and a carnosa are growing peduncles as well as forming buds at the same time.

I am still learning what each individual hoya likes for sun & water, so some of them, although they are trying to flower, keep blasting the buds. I have found that my lacunosa likes quite a bit of water when it is flowering. I have been having the problem of blasting buds for a few months with this one, but since I have really upped the watering, I have found that the buds are getting bigger than they ever had. They are coming closer to flowering that I have ever seen them get, but there is a very fine line between enough water and too much. Twice I have over done it, and the buds yellowed and fell off, whereas before they were drying / shriveling up from too little water.

So enough about my prissy, but spoiled hoya's. I have managed to pollinate one of my Schlum's......a Thanksgiving Cactus. This is a kind of late bloomer in my house, only a couple Schlum's formed more flower buds after their main flowering a few months ago. I have been trying to pollinate one of these guys since early October-ish, when they started to flower, and this is the only one I have seen actually succeed and produce a fruit.

After trying for a while and not being successful, I came across a fellow blogger's post that mentioned that the stigma on these plants opened after a few days, making pollination more successful. I have noticed my Schlum's do this, so this time around I used a small paint brush whiten the stigma's were opened, and tried to get some of the pollen actually "in" the stigma, rather than just "on" it. It worked, only on one flower, so now I am going to have to wait until next year before trying again.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Easter Cactus blooming like crazy

Lately I have been so busy with so many things that my poor plants are getting neglected, and my blog has been getting neglected even more. Every day when I am checking out my plants, I think about my blog. When I check my email, I think of my blog. When I take a picture, I think about my blog. I have got to start writing more often on my blog, especially since it is the perfect plant journal. Normally I love to write in my blog, but life has gotten in the way.

For the past little while, I find I am liking epiphytic cacti, and epiphytes in generalh more and more. I don't see them for sale very much but I am always keeping an eye out. It must be due to Mother's day because I have been seeing a lot of Easter
cacti (Hatiora).

The flowers on these are quite different from their schlum cousins. I am already finding them to be a bit prissy. One is wilting and I am not sure why. I have also read that to get them to flower, they need a cold period, rather than short days like their cousins.

I am really hoping they do well, because I really like the flowers. Obviously if I can't keep them thriving, I wouldn't buy them again. You can read about the basic care of Easter cacti here.