Plant Diary | June 2021
I picked these oxalis plugs up for £2 each from Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The foliage drooped and died back after re-potting them, but they have since started to recover and put out new growth. I have left them out on the balcony in dappled sun – this corner faces south west, although it’s very built up so not a full south west exposure.
I planted marigolds in with my mint and strawberries this year to see if they would keep the aphids away. So far, so good. I don’t like using sprays and knocking aphids off with water is time consuming.
I bought this hydrangea when it was in bud and planted it in a terracotta pot filled with coco coir, vermiculite and pine bark for drainage. The drainage is almost too good as it dries out really fast on a hot day, but at least I know – or can hope – that it’s not going to suffer the same fate as my balcony plants usually do over the colder months, and die from root rot. The potting mix is neutral, so the flowers are pink and I’m really pleased with them.
The two tall grass like pots are cotton lavender or santolina. Again, these have gone a bit crispy with the sun and I need to keep on top of their watering a bit better. I don’t think they’ll flower for me this year as the house nearby that has these planted outside already has theirs in bloom – yellow pom poms – but I like the foliage too so it’s no great loss.
My peperomia hope cuttings weren’t growing very fast, so I pulled them out of the soil and am re-rooting them in water. I think I tried to plant them in potting mix too soon and the root system wasn’t developed enough to handle the transition. Patience is not my forte.
My rhaphidophora tetrasperma (also known as mini monstera) is doing well and has now put out three leaves since I rooted the original leaf cutting in October. In the glass jar below it are some string of hearts (ceropegia woodii) vines and peperomia hope coins I’m trying to strengthen before potting up. Again, I tried to plant the SOH before it was ready and it became very dehydrated. Thankfully it’s quite robust and has bounced back in moss.
My zig zag cactus (epiphyllum anguliger) is camping out on the balcony this summer in dappled sun, and seems very happy. The red tips are sun stress, but the extra sun is helping it grow as the cladodes were coming in a bit spindly when I had it in a shadier spot.