Plant Diary | April 2021
This little succulent has been threatening death all winter long. It kept dropping leaves – they’d pucker and turn yellow then fall off – whether I left it completely dry or gave it a tiny bit of water. Towards the end of January it started etiolating (stretching out in search of light) and whilst I could empathise, I was also ready to give up on it altogether. Fast forward to the start of April, and I put it out on the balcony under my cold frame, thinking that the cold might kill it, but the extra light might save it. It hasn’t dropped any leaves recently and it has turned a lovely pink with the cold stress of being outside.
For now, it lives.
This one has been much happier and has continued to grow at a steady rate since it put out the two new cladodes in the middle of winter. Earlier this week it was looking a bit floppy and sorry for itself after watering, so I re-potted it in a chunkier mix just in case it was the early stages of root rot and it has perked up again. I think I caught it just in time. We’ve had a cold snap these past few weeks and I think the potting mix was taking too long to dry after watering.
My Peperomia Hope cuttings are doing well. They’ve been slow to take off, but I’m hoping once temperatures are back over 10C at night consistently that it will pick up and put out lots of new leaves for me. I also have a few leaves from the original cuttings in my moss jar. I’m waiting for them to fill out a bit before moving them to the main pot.
This little leaf is new. I bought a leaf cutting in late September and started rooting it on 1st October. It put out roots, then did nothing for months. A few weeks ago new growth appeared and a perfectly fenestrated leaf unfurled. I have removed the original leaf because it was ragged and had served its purpose, and I’m really looking forward to watching this one grow now that it has woken up and started to earn its pot space. My plan for it is to let it grow a bit and then either wrap it around a circular trellis which I’ll fashion from some copper wire, or let it trail until it gets unruly before cutting it back and filling out the pot with multiple stems. We’ll see.
This one bloomed for me multiple times last year, but has been dormant since October. It’s woken up with spring and started to push out new growth at the tips of its cladodes. It’s not a favourite plant of mine, but it was a gift and I can’t help but try my best to keep it going. It will eventually get too big and woody for my liking, and I am undecided what I will do with it at that point.
I have small cuttings of two Hoya Carnosa variants in this little pot. They are the variants commonly referred to as Crimson Queen and Crimson Princess, but spelled with Ks as the names were trademarks. The ‘Rubra’ or ‘Princess’ is the one with variegation in the middle of the leaf, and the ‘Tricolour’ or ‘Queen’ is the one with the variegation on the edges. Both have taken off and are actively putting out new leaves. The new growth is soft and fuzzy, and pink in colour. It makes me very happy.
This Hoya Polyneura cutting was originally a two leaf cutting, but one of the leaves died as it took too long to root in winter. I managed to save it by putting it in moss (I wrote about that in a previous plant diary update) and it has rewarded me by putting out the two new leaves you see at the bottom. They’re small and a bit wonky, but they’re healthy. It is also working on another couple of leaves but they are hidden under the new ones. It seems quite happy, so I must be doing something right. I keep it in my little IKEA greenhouse and water it when the soil is dry. It’s in a 7cm pot, which matches the small root system in size.