Wednesday, November 18, 2009

White Thanksgiving Cactus

I was surprised I still had white. I thought I lost this color. Hmm... The Thanksgiving Cactus (Or Christmas Cactus) are all budding and starting to bloom. Still outside are pink, red, dark maria, and yellow. There's also a very tiny one with one bud. I *think* that may be "Salmon". That small pot had two colors, Salmon and White. When one plant died, I thought I lost white. Now I wonder how I got this white one pictured here. hehe.

As for the Christmas Cactus I have, they're still choosing to grow new leaves. It makes me remember how I read that Christmas Cactus were hybridized to heck and back (Now really known as Thanksgiving Cactus) to make them easier to bloom.

I've been waiting to take pictures of the blooms. Most of them have one flower that has opened but I'm waiting for the whole plant to bloom so that it looks better. A waiting game. ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Amaryllis grown from seed - Still going

I was asked to give an update on my amaryllis-grown-from-seed. Here it is!

I hope they'll bloom next spring. They're pretty much crowded in that flowerbox. hehe.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Is there anything special about Mimosa?

Every year, I would see these littered all across the backyard but I never think twice about them. I finally picked up a couple today and fished out the seeds.

I am thinking of saving a couple to plant next spring just for the sake of it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stapelia Gigantea

Flower opened today. It's pretty neat! I was surprised to see flies swarming around this flower.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hornworms! Green Caterpillars on Tomato Plants!

I went out today and noticed lots of white specks on my tomato plants. Close inspection reveals - Freaky Green Caterpillars covered with white bumps! After some research online (Gotta love Google), I found out that these are hornworms. The white stuff on them are Braconid Wasp larvae. Apparently the female wasps inject their eggs into these hornworms. The larvae eats the inside of the caterpillar before coming out and forming these cocoons.

Several sites suggest that these caterpillars are already dying and to leave them alone so that the larvae can become wasps and go on to kill more hornworms. Sounds good to me!

I believe they're the "Tobacco Hornworm" because I only count seven lines on this uncovered one.

Friday, July 17, 2009


My vegetable bed failed horribly. They're all dead. Spaghetti Squash was the first to die as I knew it would. Zucchini was the next but I've never had any grow successfully. What *did* knock me flat to the floor was that the Yellow Squash was next to die. What made me faint was that the cucumbers died as well. I don't understand why they did so terrible this year! I've always had luck with the Yellow Squash and Cucumber. I feel so discouraged in this department...

At least I can say that the tomatoes are doing good. The cherry ones are producing many. My upside down Better Boy made around three or four red ones so I don't know whether being upside down helped it at all or if it's just my usual bad luck with regular-sized tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Grow another box of Amaryllis seeds?

This is the update on my Amaryllis seeds that I planted. It's um... riddled with grass. I don't know how that happened (Neglect!). hehe. They're growing strong though. I am trying to fertilize the amaryllis regularly this year in hopes that they'll be big enough to bloom next year!

I plucked the new Amaryllis seed pods since they all burst open.

Picture of the Amaryllis pod before I plucked it.
I hadn't planned on saving any seeds but with quite a few pods this year, I think I'll look into getting another flowerbox and doing a fresh batch of seeds again. Who knows...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vegetables, Amaryllis

This is what an Amaryllis seed pod looks like when successfully pollinated. It swells up and will eventually open when its ready.

Added the lattice board to keep the vines on top and make the mowing/weedwacking easier.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Schlumbergera seedlings

I wasn't going to post this because they never seem to live. The seed pod/plant that came off, I planted theseeds and every once in a little while, one or two would germinate then die off. So far, this one has hung on and even formed a "V" shape!

I would love for at least one to grow even if the other seeds are dying off.


The latest update on the vegetables. Every single vegetable plant experienced rust after a rainstorm. Even the grape tomato sprouts in the flower boxes had rust. It was peculiar. Most of the rusted leaves were removed as soon as possible.

Below is a picture of the Tiny Tim Tomatoes that are growing. Pretty soon I may pinch out the extras so that each one will just have one plant instead of three crowding each other.

Below is the Better Boy Tomato Plant. The extra tomatoes are growing in so the plant is now tugged down to the ground. All the better to get the water to go down and swell them tomatoes!

Picture below of the two tomato plants on the porch steps.

Close-up below of the tomatoes.

Picture below is of an unidentified plant. At least I know it's not a yearly return of the birdhouse gourd. It's made yellow flowers so no idea what it could be. I put up a brick circle to prevent them from being mowed down or weedwhacked.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Black Magic and Red Stem Elephant Ears

You know, sometimes plants can surprise you! I have had nothing but bad luck with Black Magic and Red Stem. From my personal experience, they absolutely hate any sign of the cold. I've had to replace Black Magic several times and almost lost Red Stem except for one tiny bulb that fought back.

This January, we had three days of below freezing temperatures and the snow stuck around that long as well. I was stunned that the regular green didn't return (but they did eventually! :D ) but I wrote off the Black Magic and Red Stem. No way would they ever return. They were long gone.

I was wrong.

This amazes me to no end. Wow! I didn't do anything to protect them. The jade plant is over them right now but I guess I'll wait to see how big they'll get. hehe.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Vegetable Garden

It's getting there! Slowly. Pretty soon there'll be a lattice board that'll be propped up over it so that the vines can be trained to stay on top and allow easy grass-cutting on the ground below. This is pretty much the same spot where I grew vegetables back in 2005. Except this time!, I'll be using a soaker hose to try to water them. I'm just concerned on how to get the soaker hose all up on that mess! Hmm... Easier said than done.
From left to right: Yellow Squash, Cucumber, Zucchini, and Spaghetti Squash.
I expect the Yellow Squash and Cucumber to grow like nuts and give me many vegetables. I've tried Zucchini before. It'll be a healthy plant but every attempt to grow a vegetable seems to get eaten by bugs. Spaghetti Squash - I fear will be too similar like trying to grow Pumpkins. I expect both the vegetables and the plant to be destroyed.
Right now it is very very muggy and thunderstorms are in the area. The bugs are at their worst so I think I'll tinker with the soaker hose stuff later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vegetable Garden

My vegetable garden is very slowly on its way. This is the latest update on the upside down Better Boy Tomato plant. It doesn't seem to have grown much in size but it's still there.

These two below are 'Husky Cherry Red' tomato plants.

These two below are Yellow Squash and Cucumber plants.

Pretty soon, I'll have them all rigged with the soaker hose running through them. That way when the plants are huge and the summer heat is in full force, I can use the soaker hose to keep them all comfortable and producing vegetables to eat.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cactus Seeds!

I suddenly have this overwhelming urge to buy a packet of various cactus seeds but I know that they won't grow under my (neglectful!) care or that I won't have the patience for them to grow up. ;)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Invasive Wisteria / Dragon Arum

Wisteria is very invasive. Not only are they vines that climb and choke trees, they have a complex underground root system that is a nightmare to end. At some point in this house's lifetime, someone planted wisteria and over the decades, Wisteria has taken over the woods and even across the street to other houses. I just know the starting point was somewhere on my property since the worst is here!

The only plus side - the smell of Wisteria. It's *incredibly* strong and attracts thousands of bees. Normally they don't bother you if you get too close... sometimes. hehe.

An attempt as a close-up of a bee in the midst of Wisteria blooms.

I am never happy with my pictures that I take of the dragon arum (dracunculus vulgaris). I keep taking more and more pictures but I finally settled on this one. I think because it's so "busy". The dragon arum is drowning in with all the other plants coming back - such as the Iris. This is the first time in years that it's growing like this. I guess I finally put it in a spot that it immensely enjoys! *rubs hands* Please show me some blooms this year, guys!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Upside Down Tomato Update!

Looks like my Better Boy tomato plant is refusing to take the whole 'upside down' thing. I already knew something like this was going to happen. Should one stake this tomato plant? If the plant keeps growing up like this as it gets bigger, I'm worried the weight of tomatoes will break the bend instead of helping the plant straighten out. Hmm!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hanging Tomato - Eastern Prickly Pear

I dug up the two eastern prickly pear that I found in the bed. I did kind of regret tossing out the others but once the fire ants sunk them - it just felt like one big mess so I just tossed them. At least now I'm starting over. I just actually wonder if these two came from a fallen pad or if they grew from seed. Hmm...

After discussing it with several people who had experience with hanging tomato planters over several years - I was told that bags tend to fray after a month or two and it gets messy. The idea is to stick to something hard and plastic. This convinced me to re-open my Upsy Downsy tomato garden planter and give this baby a whirl!

Um... Why is the ground above me?

So we'll see if this thing takes off. My prediction - It'll be a very very very happy plant but it won't bother producing tomatoes in the slightest.
I plan to get a little flowerbox type planter and grow some Tiny Tim tomato plants. I still have some seeds left over from the last one.

Monday, March 30, 2009

They're selling like hotcakes, sir.

Has everyone seen those upside down tomato baskets? Of course you have! They're advertising it like nuts! Of course, I got a variation of it (Upsy Downsy: Hanging Tomato Garden) and after close inspection, I decided I didn't like this version. It came with seeds of its own but I thought I could stick a pre-grown tomato plant in it. I was wrong.

I set off to the local nursery and bought a "Better Boy" tomato plant.

Only one problem. Every store I hit for the upside down bag version - all sold like hotcakes. Quote unquote from a saleslady who laughed at how fast it went. Guess I'll have to wait a bit more for the next batch.
I am worried though. I wonder if Better Boy might be too big or heavy for the bag!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easter Cactus budding

I noticed the buds on my Easter Cactus! Can't wait to see them flower.

I took all the plants out of the greenhouse yesterday when I heard there was going to be a storm passing through and there wouldn't be any freezing temperatures left. A good chunk of the plants didn't seem to be happy while suffering with cold temperatures and whatnot. It was a terrible winter.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eastern Prickly Pear

I threw away my eastern prickly pear last year after the fire ants made a huge mess out of them. What happened was the fire ants just built up a huge mound in the pots and when it rained, the whole thing caved in. It was enough so they were tossed out.

I got to thinking about them, remembering their yellow blooms and thinking, "Maybe I should've saved a pad or two." Every winter, the two pots would be placed at the side of the house to protect them from cold winds. I decided to go check and see if there were any that just happened to fall into the bed.

Whaddyaknow?? There is a couple still around! I'm gonna pot these up when I know there'll be no frost coming. They're ugly suckers but the flowers are neat.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dragon Arum

Imagine my surprise when I saw this today!

It's surprising to see that the dragon arum has grown this much in the midst of freezing temperatures. It looks like one got bit while the other two are doing fine. I hope they *finally* like a spot that I've put them in so that they'll *finally* show me a bloom!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jotting down a possible disaster...

Oh my gosh, an actual update! :o

I found out that there was a miscommunication yesterday. The heater never got turned on in the greenhouse and it snowed this morning. When I went to check the plants, most of them appear to be fine.

This is the second time it has snowed here in a short period of time. I can't believe it. Maybe the bugs won't be so overbearing this summer - though a colony of fire ants did invade the house the first time it snowed but all of them had mysteriously died from something by the time they were discovered.

The banana plant has bit it though but I'm not too concerned. I'm sure it'll come back after I cut it down when spring comes.

I also found out that the fruit/pod (I really need to find an actual term!) of the Thanksgiving Cactus had fallen off. It feels a bit soft so I don't know if it got bit by the cold or if it finally was ready to come off. I put it aside so that I can get the seeds out of it to try this spring.

Schlumbergera Fruit/Pod