Leaf propagations that go nowhere

The irritation that comes with a leaf that sends roots through your entire propagation tray but never puts out new vegetative growth.  Times up! You’re evicted. It’s fine to start making room for the spring seed trays. You had all winter to get your act together.

Echevaria Nodulosa are notorious for this for me. I’ve heard some people swear that you can’t propagate then from leaves, and I have pictures to prove you can, it’s just going to take a lot of attempts and rejects like this guy.

Warm February

It’s unseasonable warm here in Ohio for February. If the weathermen are right, we are due for about 7 Days of 50 to 60 degree weather in a row. The spring bulbs are coming up a bit early, and the cats are demanding that I share the sunny windowsill. Fortunately for me they choose not to bother the plants much; as long as no one gets startled the plants are pretty safe. Knock on wood!

I’m going to take this opportunity to try to get a plant mail order in to replace one variety of haworthia that I lost in the fall. Wish me much that the beautiful weather holds long enough to get my shipment here and give the rabbits better lunch options than my hyacinths and tulips! 

Snap crackle pop

Yes, I listen to my plants when I water them. I get laughed at for it, but here’s why:

You might hear the occasional snap crackle pop sounds when you add water to the pot. It’s actually a pretty good sign because it means there’s good aeration in the soil. You’re hearing water fill in all those nooks and crannies and drive the air out. When I choose to give a pot a good soak, I usually plug the drainage hole with my thumb, fill the pot with water to the brim and listen for the sound of the crackling to slow down. Then you can remove the plug and let the water drain out. Is the water drains out it will pull fresh air down into the soil in its wake.

Snake Plant – Cuttings Repot

One of my very early posts on this blog was about starting a bunch of plant cuttings in fall/winter, including my first attempt to propagate a snake plant.  Sansevieria are not overly expensive house plants to buy as full adult pots, and they’re pretty resistant to whatever bad behaviors you throw at them — plus they’re near the top of NASA’s list of “air purifying house plants” so they’re good to have around.  But these cuttings are taken from a family heirloom plant of my partner that has somewhat sentimental value, and it’s always good to have a backup of a plant in case disaster strikes.  And if your experiment goes better than expected, well…. then you have little personally made gifts!

This experiment is a little over a year in, developing quite nicely, but lately I’ve had an itch to repot them.  I had to consult a gardening friend to see if he agreed it was a good idea, and that I wasn’t just inventing a weekend project.  (When I get stressed, I tend to go on a repotting spree, ripping things out of pots on some flimsy excuse.)  What bothered me most about this pot is how shallow the soil was and how low the plants were sitting in the pot, which decreased the amount of light they receive.  I originally planted them shallow so there was better drainage while the leaves rooted and they wouldn’t be sitting quite so long in damp soil, but now that it’s winter the original leaf cuttings are below the edge of the pot and it won’t be receiving as much light.  Now, given that it’s winter they are likely mostly dormant, so maybe that won’t matter so much – but the original leaf cuttings were also starting to look a little funky to me, and the new sprouts are dwarfing the original cuttings enough I figured they could stand to be separated.

From a side view, the original cuttings are barely even visible:

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Haworthia seedlings

A while ago I posted about fostering some seedlings for a friend from work. I had a difficult time getting them to germinate, eventually I got five to appear out of about ten seeds. One fell over early on while watering, but we’ve just finished adapting to having the covers off. I’m a little nervous about the color change on the one seedling, but on very close examination it doesn’t look sunburnt, more like stress coloration. That may not be great on such a young plant, but overall they seem to be doing well enough. Fingers crossed! Slow and steady wins the race with succulent seedlings. Emphasis on “slow”!