Plant Diary | March 2022
My hoya kerrii grew lanky towards late summer. It put out some new leaves, but then aborted them, and I was left with a long stem with some leaves on the end. With the sun returning and spring on its way, I got snip happy with my secateurs and chopped it back to the main growth. It’ll grow a new vine from the same node and the cutting will be rooted and popped back in the same pot for a fuller plant later in the season. I think I underwaterered it hence the aborted leaves. I’m still learning, and so fearful of overwatering that sometimes I’m too cautious.
I also ummed and ahhed and then held my breath and cut the head off my ficus lyrata bambino. It was beginning to lean and look a bit awkward, and I think it would look nice if it had some branches. Again, I’m rooting the top cutting so nothing is lost. The plant on the left is a ficus benghalis ‘audrey’. I really love matte leaved ficuses. Glossy leaved ficuses are pretty too, but the matte ficus species have my heart.
I have had to shift this one into a new jar so that it fits on this tiny window ledge. I found teeth marks in it again last week, and Gustave had pulled it half out of LECA on his morning rampage around the living room whilst Ed had his back turned making breakfast. He doesn’t eat my plants, he just likes to attack them.
I thought I’d lost my monstera over winter, but it bounced back and has recently put out a new leaf. It’s in water at the moment but I plan to move it to LECA soon. Again, it’ll need to live on this ledge for as long as possible because otherwise Gustave will help himself.
To kitten proof my smaller plants, I keep them behind glass. This enables me to place them close to the window without worrying that Gustave will get at them. The glass vases also boost humidity around the plants, which helps them grow. In this vase I have my dischidia ovata, which is growing rapidly now that it has higher humidity, my hoya curtisii, and an aeschynanthus ‘pink polka’.
This one has been on my window shelf for a while, but I think it needs higher humidity so I’ve shifted things around and put it in a vase to see how it gets on.
The top cutting from my ficus lyrata bambino, rooting in water in a trusty Bonne Maman jar!
A new recruit! This is my ficus triangularis, which I found for £5 on eBay! I bought it in January which was risky what with it being cold, but it survived UK shipping – it was above freezing – and only dropped a few leaves. it seems to have lots of buds on it, so fingers crossed it’ll start to put out some new leaves soon once the weather warms up a bit.
My hoya fungii grows like a weed. It was another eBay find, but the single node, single leaf cutting got lost in the post so the seller refunded me. It eventually turned up last summer, completely wrinkled and dehydrated, but I put it in my moss jar all the same. It recovered and rooted fast and has gone from strength to strength. It’s a single vine at the moment, I think I might cut it and propagate the cuttings soon so that I have multiple growth points. What can I say. I love my secateurs.
My hoya polyneura has recently been repotted as it was root bound. I’ve had to hang it to keep it out of Gustave’s reach. There’s a theme here. I hope that once he’s an adult he can peacefully coexist alongside my plants, but we’re not there yet.
I have been taking lots of cuttings from my plants. My plan is to root them and then plant them back in each of the pots to make fuller looking plants with multiple vines and multiple growth points.
My adhesive window shelves have been up for over a month now and are holding up well. I potted up my golden pothos cutting today as it was languishing in water. Hopefully now it’s in soil it will begin to put out new leaves.
My hoya lacunosa was also very nearly a victim of underwatering, as the roots dried up. I saved it just in time, and rooted it in moss. I cut the original vine to fill out the pot a bit and it’s now putting out some new leaves. This is a quick grower for me.
My fern leaf cactus is putting out the start of some new cladodes.
These shelves used to live in our bathroom, but I had to move them so that I could fit Gustave’s litter tray in to the corner at the end of the bath. They briefly lived in the en-suite but I had to move them as I couldn’t fit our drying rack in there and close the door with the shelves in situ. Kitten proofing is complicated business, and the laundry has to be hidden or Gustave climbs the airing rack and pulls clothes down onto the floor to play with them. The shelves are a good place to put Gustave’s favourite plant toys, including my zigzag cactus which he just can’t keep his jaw off. He has short stubby little limbs at the moment and can’t jump very high. For now, these two plants are safe. I am fully aware that this solution will be short lived though!