Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fun with houseplants... because eveything outdoors is under snow! When I had to bring in my new ceramic mushrooms for the winter, I wasn't sure where I wanted to put them. The caps are spring-attached to the stems, so I didn't want them to get bent up........I think they decorate these bigger houseplants just fine! Christmas/Thanksgiving cacti have been showing off for weeks...
....especially this one, called "Sunset"....


....is it so named for this nice yellow, orange, and pink coloration?.... .....absolutely! Which brings me to this minor quandry: why are the leaves of the rooted cutting (bottom) shaped differently and a different shade than the mother plant (top, diagonally)?
Not only that, but why are the flowers different shades? (Mother plant left, cutting blossom right). Is it a maturity thing? Ah, but this dark red is consistent, from mother plant to rooted cutting...strange.
Wow, schlefflera had a good summer in the screen house! Better re-pot that next spring for sure!

This plant, spathiphyllum, not so much! Oops...too much late-season dry out and exposure to fall temps...in fact, I was afraid it was a goner...

...but some trimming of dead stuff, water and prayer=resurrection!
This cactus dish got pretty sunburnt at first, even though it was just in afternoon sun for a couple hours a day in the screen house...
....burnt and somewhat crispy....
......I mean, that even looks painful to me.....but then they all seemed to get over it for the bulk of the summer season...
.....and now look at all this new growth!
Okay, if you can't tell the difference too well, then let me draw some arrows and such (in red, which looked a lot brighter in paint than it does here)...
...you can see the amount of new growth on these fuzzy dudes the most.....
.....so what's the lesson here? You need to be "cruel to be kind" to get good growth from cacti? (Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks? ;-) Do they go into some sort of "survival mode" when stressed, resulting in a panicky growth spurt? Is this just normal, and I'm spazzing for nothing? Heh...guess I have all winter to research this and any other silly questions I might come up with!

9 comments:

chuck b. said...

That first picture actually makes me like Sansevieria, which is saying something. Your Christmas Cacti are very pretty; strange about the variation. Different soil mix? Otherwise, I would go w/ maturity too.

Annie in Austin said...

The sunset color on the Thanksgiving cactus is really striking, Lisa - do you think the younger plant developed those leaves in weaker sun? So they're paler? Doesn't explain the shape, though - I'm very glad to have mine budded and blooming - I've croaked regular cactus given to me as gifts, so don't dare buy any.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

Chuck-Why don't you like sansevieria? Too commonplace? Heh...to be honest, I'm not even sure why I have one, aside from the fact that it was always a standard houseplant at my mom's place...perhaps in my mind it's a "required" member of my houseplant army. I used to mindlessly put patterns/cuts into the leaves of my mom's plant when I was on the phone as a teenager...drove her nuts. As for the soil in the cutting's pot-same as mom's, so I'm guessing maturity, also.

Annie-The light exposure was the same for mom and baby, so I'm at a loss. I know what you mean about killing cacti-I usually do, mostly from overwatering. So I guess my "cruel and unusual" treatment is the way to go! ;-)

vonne said...

I'm wondering if you could have a 'sport' with that Xmas cactus? Does this happen everytime you root it, or is this a new thing?
They're also hybridized to the max, to get the different shades, so maybe a recessive gene?

Your cacti dish looks great! In my experience, you don't have to put on leather and bring out the whip(heh), but you do need to withhold the LOVE a bit.
Try and identify your cacti(which isn't always easy), then learn their country of origin - after that you'll know their sun, temp and soil requirements. All cacti have doement periods. They may not look dorment, but they need it. Once you find out where they're from and what their bloom time is, along with the soil, sun and temps, then you can't go wrong. Trust me. :)

Just right off the bat, I'd seperate that Haworthia from the others -- it's from Africa, I believe, and needs more water. I also see a couple of Puruvian's mixed in -- they need a dry winter. See what I mean? They like sun, the Haworthia benefits from a bit of shade in the hot summer. Also, the hairier they are the more sun they can take, blah, blah, blah... it goes on and on. Like any plant, once you know where it originated, you can give it what it needs. :)

lisa said...

Vonne-Wow, thanks! I knew my "cactus guru" would have good advice! That "sunset" xmas cactus cutting is now yours, BTW...so let me know if the flowers darken up as the plant ages. Which cactus is the Haworthia? Yea, I need to research these for sure! :)

vonne said...

Aww, shucks, I'm blushing... Especially coming from a Plant Guru, such as yourself. :)

Internet pics have been loading somewhat blurry for me, even though I click on "Display with full quality", have any idea what the problem could be?
That said -- The first pic you have displayed of your cactus dish, right after the last Spath' pic-- On the left is what I believe to be a Haworthia (burgundy with white scales)going counter clock-wise, the smooth green - can't be sure, the two white colums, appear to be Cleistocactus, the one that bolted - some sort of Aloe, then Echinocactus (grusonii?)is the golden barrel, then the last one I can't be sure of again.
Send that pic to my email address, maybe I can see it better, then I'll get you a positive ID on all.
I'll also send you a few good Cacti ID links.

I'll let you know about the xmas cacti! They are all doing well!!
I'm curuious about that pale bloom now! I love a good plant mystery, don't you? heh

lisa said...

Vonne-Thank you! I sure will email them to you...not sure why the picture quality is suffering. I'm kinda bad about not re-sizing them, so they tend to load slow and come up huge in full size. Sometimes they aren't click-able at ALL, and I have no idea why that is! (I'm a rookie with a lot of this web stuff.) Oh yea, plant mysteries-bring em' on! :)

MrBrownThumb said...

Oh your Schlum sported!

How cool is that?

lisa said...

Mr. Brownthumb-Heh...is it just me, or does that sound kinda dirty to anyone else? ;-)