Dec 22, 2010

Which Plants Do I Own?

What's the story behind my plant collection?
My plant collection is large and varied, from foliage plants to flowering plants, to cacti and succulents. Some plants were gifted to me, while most others I just bought on my own. A typical scenario when out shopping goes like this: I see a particular plant in a store that looks amazing and say to myself,  "I have got to have one of those!" I really do have a plant addiction, in the same way I am addicted to buying books!

Bitten by the plant bug!
I think I can safely blame my Mom for helping me grow in my interests with plants in general, especially over the past couple years. My Grandma Durecki is the person that originally passed her love of plants to both my Mom and my Aunt Colleen. Now I wish I'd had the chance to talk plants with Grandma before she passed away - of course a ten year old (my age then) isn't usually too interested in plants!

Additionally, while living with my boyfriend of 4 years (his name is Kenny) I come into contact with plants a lot, so the oportunity for finding a new green friend does arise from time to time. Kenny's Mom loves to keep plants, as does his Grandma Browning. Grandma has given me a cactus and my Flaming Katy plant, although she was not sure exactly what type of plant it was, until I googled it! Thank you, Google!

My best friend Brie is also familiar with many different plants, as she works with them daily. She also owns several, including Living Stones, Philodendron, and Christmas Cactus. We talk about plants all the time! I'll say it's certainly a favorite thing to do!

Almost all my plants are indoors, but a few of them do enjoy the occasional summer hiatus. I have a few outdoor flowering plants in the ground, none of which are currently doing anything, except for the Mums (which bloom in the wintertime). Even now, the mum's have finally wilted away. Winter is certainly here in Michigan! I divided the plants into 2 sections: indoor and outdoor.

My Plant Collection Inside the House
English Ivy (Hedera helix) - See the picture to the right. This plant is just over two years old now. We got it from Kenny's friend at work around Samhain 2008 (Oct. 31).

Many, many African Violets (Saintpaulia). These are without a doubt a sort-of-new favorite. I have officially gone nuts with the propagation of these beautiful African flowering plants. They can be temperamental at times, but are extremely rewarding and fairly hardy. The reward truly lies is a successful bloom. If given the proper care, AV's will flower several times throughout the year -- even in the dead of winter! There's nothing like an AV in bloom to bring some joy to your home amidst the frozen, snowy cold!

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) 'Spath' - My Peace Lily is in fact 2 plants in the same pot. I recently repotted them since the roots were becoming rather large... this plant sucked up so much water in a few days (during its primary growing period) it was almost difficult to believe!

Moses in the Cradle plant (Tradescantia spathacea)  This one has seen better days. The photo to the right is an old one. Hopefully, he will recover! I hacked it down since it was losing its uniformity, hoping to reroot the plant heads in the springtime. Because it has cane like stems with rosette like leaves, if should be fairly easy to root in barely moist soil. I shall see what happens!

2 Snake Plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) - Both of these plants are in fact one and the same. I divided the root system in half a couple summers ago, and in the process I accidentally killed a baby leaf that was shooting up! Sorry!  Also, Snake Plant was my very FIRST plant - ever! I bought it while out shopping at English Gardens with Brie. I needed a low light plant that a novice could easily care for in a basement room without killing it. We decided the best plant for my room was a snake plant. I even named him Max the Plant!

My Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) is from last Yule, or maybe it was the Yule before that? I don't quite recall exactly when I got this tree. It is now branching out--very very slowly--but it seems to like bright light and the occassional misting. I let the soil go dry on top before watering again.

Pothos ‘Marble Queen’ (Epipremnum aureum) - The hanging basket in the bathroom needed something to go in it... I figured a trailing plant like Pothos would do it!

Janet Craig Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis 'Janet Craig') - A gift from our friend Rachel. She also brought me a Croton, but alas, that one was toast. I noticed Croton was dropping leaves every so often. They were weirdly discolored, so more than likely there was some type of pest problem (Spider mites?) causing the leaves to drop.

2 Lucky Bamboo plants (Dracaena sanderiana) - One was a gift from my Aunt Colleen, and it's still doing very, very well, despite being over 2 years old now! The other plant was Kenny's. We lost a total of 5 stalks, which turned yellow from an unknown cause and died--perhaps it was too much light? To this day I really don't know. So following the loss of 5 bamboo stalks,  I got him even more stalks to group with the single stalk that survived. Since repotting the bamboo from soil to water again (to avoid the dreaded Yellow Houseplant Mushroom--GASP) it has done very well, indeed!

Warneckii Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis) - A gift from Kenny's Mom. I regrew the root system after it got leggy. Warneckii has been fine back in his original pot =)

Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) - A gift from Kenny's Grandma Browning. Please flower already! LOL

Brazil Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) - This was a gift from my best friend Brie! Thanks, Brie! This philodendron is one of the most colorful plants I have ever seen!

2 Heart-leaf Philodendrons (Philodendron scandens oxycardium) - One was given to me by my Mom, who kept the plant as part of a dish garden from a funeral. Also in that dish garden was a Parlor Palm and Peace Lily.

Miniature Ficus (Ficus microcarpa?) purchased as a bonsai, but really I just let it do it's own thing. It does have a constricted root system which is on the deep side but purposely not very wide

False Aralia (Dizygotheca elegantissima) - A gift from Kenny's Mom... It's becoming a bit leggy. I may need to air layer it in the springtime!

Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) in two pots - two of the spider plants (pictured left) are now one larger plant in the same pot, and were a gift from Mom. The third plant is actually from both Mom and Aunt Colleen. The office has a few too many plants, so I was given the third spider plant to revive it a little bit. I snipped the baby plantlets and potted them up, then noticed the mother plant was terribly root bound, so I repotted it into a much deeper container. All 3 plants are doing very well, except for the leaf tipping!

I have several varieties of cacti, one hairy, and many with spikes! Ikea has a 3 pack of cacti in little 1.5 " pots; they are various types of cacti. I took them out of the package and potted them together in a 4 inch terracotta pot. They look really cute!

2 Parlor Palms (Chamaedorea elegans) - One was part of a dish garden (a mini palm), while the other plant was much larger with many separate plants in one pot. The small one got toothpaste residue on it from sitting next to the sink... I thought it was a disease, then Kenny's Mom showed me I could rub the spots away with my fingers. Needless to say, I was much relieved!

Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) - A beautiful plant that likes to have evenly moist soil. It's actually 5 plants braided together into one larger plant. I believe right now Money Tree is about a foot tall. All the foliage has stayed green -- no problems so far! I'm crossing my fingers!

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) - A red and green Christmastime plant, perfect for the holidays! I thought I had a pest problem when the leaves started getting white dots on them. It turns out, poinsettias are full of a milky, sticky sap. Overtime, the plant may leech some of the sap through the leaves, causing white spots to appear. Some newer leaves tried to form at the base of the stem, and turned yellow! Apparently this is also a normal occurrence. Poinsettia's prefer a warm environment, detest arctic cold, and should be allowed to dry on the top layer of the soil before watering again. Important tip: be sure to remove the decorative plastic covering from around the pot BEFORE you water your plant; otherwise, the root ball will become saturated with water (the plastic prevents the plant from draining properly) and may cause problems! This plant is my very first poinsettia!

Payer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) - I always loved these plants, especially the red and green and white colored ones. My plant is the simple green with brown/black markings. I have pruned it due to the browning leaf edges which, try as I may, I cannot seem to stop! Drat!

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) - I loved this plant so much when I saw it at Meijer, I just had to have it! Cacti and succulents are one of my favorite varieties of plants, so I always wanted a Jade. I potted it in a 4 inch terracotta pot which it loves. They like a lot of light and only a little water!

2 Living Stones (Lithops spp.) - These little plants are complex indeed. Interesting and challenging to grow properly, they really don't need a whole ton of water, especially during their growing season (winter). They push out a new leaf through the cleft in the old leaf and suck up the juices of the old leaf. During this time they need no water at all! I'm doing my best to learn - I almost killed my first Living Stones, and my next try is going well (other than the accidental sunburn of the leaves!).

2 Rosemary plants (Rosmarinus officinalis) - The rosemary had a pest problem (most likely spider mites) a while back, but after misting with a bit of soapy water, the problem was solved.

2 Aloe plants (A. vera) - One very large plant and a baby plant, which comes from the larger mother plant. So far I haven't had any major issues with burns!

Large Wormwood plant (Artemisia absinthium) - I grew this entirely from seed. The photo is an older one (the plant is much, much larger now). It's doing very, very well. After pruning it a bit, the plant is sending out even more leaves!

Chives grown from seed - I left these outside a while after it got cold. I will have to see if they will make it...

Total number of indoor plants: 40 (see, I wasn't kidding about my plant addiction!)

The Plants Outside
The Chrysanthemums are now all wilted, as winter is officially here! It sure is cold and a bit icy outside. It's cold enough that even when it's sunny out, the  snow won't melt! It looks as though we are getting a snowy white Christmas this year. Happy late Yule everyone!  :)

I also have:
Hen’s and chicks (flowers red)
Daylilies (bloom when it gets cooler in the fall)
2 Marigolds
Mock Orange Philadelphus
Silver Mound Wormwood