Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quasi-Mega Plant Update

It's been a while since I've done a full on plant update so I figured it was about time!

I'll start with what I did today.  There is a large mulberry tree in Cottonwood Community Garden.  It's currently covered with mulberries.  James and I LOVE mulberries.  I noticed a branch that was hanging really low (into a hydrangea) and decided why not try some cuttings.

Apparently they are quite easy to start.  It's recommended to try in spring or summer but I figured why not try now.  You can see they are different sizes so hopefully the variety will end with something that roots.  Each twig has at least two buds in the soil.
I also ripped out my spinach and pak choi because they were covered with flowers.  Then I went to Plant Works expecting to come back with enough plants to fill the rest of my plot.  Nope.  Sometimes I forget how expensive things are.  Like when I think $9 for a shirt is ridiculously expensive.  I think I may be a bit cheap.  I ended up spending about $15 on some petunias and reasonably drought tolerant, discounted, slightly sickly looking plants.  I dropped them in the plot but forgot to take a picture.  Next time.

Now for the Trachycarpus fortunei sprouts.  I've counted a total of 14!  There aren't any actual leaves yet but I'm still excited.  They won't even have leaves resembling a fan for at least two years.  Some of the seeds were picked off a tree and the others were grabbed from the ground (probably one and two years old, so not very fresh).  I don't think I'll split them up until after the second leaves are out.
These are the Yucca rostrata that I started from seed.  I had three but left one at The University of Western Ontario Greenhouses.  The one of the right has started growing again and has produced several healthy new leaves.
My Musa basjoo has recovered.  This is the one that I chopped in half, destroyed the roots and wrapped in a bag.  Apparently they can put up with quite a bit.  All four pups even made it!  I probably won't split any of them off until next year.  I got this one as a 20cm plant at Home Depot.

BTW My landlords are gone so may plants are strewn across their yard.  You can see their children's toys randomly scattered in some of the pictures.
Here are my Stevia seedlings.  Only a few sprouted and they were growing really slowly.  In the last few days they've really started to pick up and have almost doubled in size.  I'm can't wait to try them as a sweetener!
I have my Adenium arabicum located in three different spots (two outside and one inside).  These are the saddest.  They were hit with a basketball and then attacked by aphids.  I was extremely angry at the time but now I'm just a little annoyed.  I figure the aphids attacked because they were stressed, as plants in the other location seem fine.  They'll be almost a year old at the end of August.  The other plants look much better (not pictured here).
I split my Moringa stenopetala between my community plot and these three pots in the backyard.  These ones were hit with a rather bad attack of aphids.  I think they were stressed because as far as I know aphids aren't very common for Moringa.  I sprayed them with a water/onion/garlic mix and I think it's been working.
I'll end off with my Brugmansia.  I started this one from seed in early spring.  It's the only one that I ended up taking across the country.  You can see from the trunk that it got a little bent during the trip.  There is a lot of new growth towards the top and offshoots along the entire stem.  I'm hoping for some flowers this year but don't expect to see any.
Hope you enjoyed this long and arduous post!  I've been a little MIA the last two months. ;)  I also got recognized today!  "Hey, aren't you the guy with the blog?"  Yeah!  I'm famous!  I've officially arrived!!!  If anyone would like an autographed seed packet, send money to...  :P


  1. Yes, and it has been H-E- double hockey sticks while you were gone so long! LOL. Understandably so, but none-the-less, hard for us out here in bloggyland!!!

    I despise aphids and am working on my invention to annihilate them from the face of the earth! Would this totally screw up the whole ecosystem???

  2. There is a mulberry tree behind my neighbor's house! Really it's on Farmer's land, but it's next to the field and up against a fence. Maybe I should try to root it! But the berries have come and gone. Don't know how that would work. Any suggestions? Should I wait till spring?

  3. @Julie, Thanks! Aphids are pure evil. You won't be eliminating them from the entire ecosystem, just your own. Evil I say!

    @Randy, They suggest spring or fall. Apparently it's best to try finger width branches and at least two buds should be below the soil. I'm thinking little finger size. I tried smaller ones because I didn't want to remove a large branch just to get a few cuttings. Don't let them dry out and keep them shaded all day. Hope it works! Hope mine work...

  4. Looks like your plants enjoyed getting spread out on the lawn. Good luck with the mulberry. It always surprises me how easy it is for some of these plant to be reproduced using cuttings. It shouldn't but it always does. For some reason I naturally assume it should be more complicated than that.

    Thats wild that you were spotted!

  5. ooooh - I LOVE that mulberry. It's an amazing tree and probably my favourite fruit - the flavour is like no other.

  6. @Laura, They really seem to be enjoying the sun and heat. I sure hope the mulberries root.

    @Stevie, It really is fantastic! Delicious and never too sweet.

    @Dirty Firl Gardening, Thanks!

  7. I'm glad to hear the basjoo is doing okay! I think it gets a dull reputation as the one banana you can grow in a lot of places, but its a very tough one compared to many of the more glamorous cultivars out there. I love all your photos of containers in progress! Its very inspiring.

  8. Yeah, it seems to be doing well. Once it gets bigger I think I'll move it to be bit more sheltered and shady location. The leaves tend to look better.


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