Plant Diary | November 2020
New leaves on my pilea peperomioides after I gave it a few drops of fertiliser. It’s really quite dark now, and some of the lower leaves were starting to turn yellow and drop off. I knew it wasn’t from overwatering as I’ve really got a handle on that now, but thought a little bit of food might help make it happier as I grow my plants in a soil free mix – coir, perlite and bark – and thought it might be short on nutrients as I hadn’t fed it since early September.
I bought this fern in Tesco at the start of the month. It came in a very heavy soil mix and was completely root bound. I let it sit in its old pot for a couple of weeks to get used to its new home, but finally re-potted it as I thought it’d rot if I left it too long. After pulling away and washing off most of the old soil, it’s now in a free draining mix of coir, a small amount of perlite and some bark. Fingers crossed it stays happy, I’ve heard that ferns are tricky.
This is my sansevieria masoniana. I bought it as a leaf cutting back in May. Well, I actually bought a cheaper zeylanica but the seller sent me the masoniana by mistake and I wasn’t complaining! It didn’t do anything for a few months but three pups appeared in August and the biggest one has grown to almost the same height as the original cutting in the space of two months. It’s very exciting stuff by 2020 standards.
After admiring a beautiful display of santolina that hangs over a brick wall in a local front garden I ordered some plug plants. I planted them out on the balcony in August which was possibly my first mistake, as it was quite late in the season. They’ve been left on the dry side in my little grow frame on the balcony since October, but I noticed that one of them had died and so brought the others inside, and have left them bare root to make sure that it’s not root rot. I suspect it’s just a lack of light and there’s not much I can do about that at this time of year. Fingers crossed they survive to spring, I’m really excited at the idea of having a pot of yellow pompoms to enjoy in the spring and summer. The foliage is beautiful too.
My opuntia microdasys. I haven’t watered it since September and probably won’t until March, unless it starts to wilt.
I had fun playing around with my macro filters capturing the leaves of my fern and the patina on the terracotta pot it lives in.
A hoya polyneura (fishtail hoya) cutting that has been in perlite for two weeks. I keep it in a glass vase with a saucer on top to maintain humidity, and put it on my radiator in the evenings to keep it warm. It hasn’t rooted yet, but patience is the name of the game. I was going to wait until the spring but saw a cutting for sale on eBay that was just a few pounds – they are usually much more than that – so snapped it up.
The final photos I want to share this month are of my geraniums. I have grown geraniums for a few years now. To my great surprise, they do well on our north-west facing balcony and overwinter just fine. One year I cleared a planter, thinking they were done, only to find a new geranium growing from leftover roots the following spring. I cut back on watering them over the cold months but other than that don’t do anything special for them. This summer I started some from seed and also took a cutting from an old Frankenstein of a plant that was growing sideways, and they have just started to put out new flowers. This amazes me, as it is now late November and the growing season should well and truly be over.