It’s not Christmas

Happy Christmas cactus

The Christmas cactus has developed a bud.  What’s up with that?  It’s definitely not Christmas!

The challenge with Christmas cactus has been to keep the soil moisture level just right so the plant blossoms and doesn’t drop the bud or blossom prematurely.  It looks like that’s not going to be an issue with the plant wall.

New growth

Hidden behind the Wandering Jew
Heliocereus puts out new shoots with shoots!
Fairly compact growth and more buds and blossoms
Roots on a begonia laying in the gutter awaiting LouAnn's wall build

Jade plant with new shoot

The Parrots Beak is continuing to grow, however slowly.  Until it manages to make it out of the understory it’s going to continue to progress slowly.

The heliocereus is putting out vigorous growth.  It loves being in the wall.

All of the begonias are doing very well with one putting out prolific growth and lots of buds and pretty blossoms.

All the plants laying in the gutter are doing great.  The rootless cuttings are all showing new roots.

The one plant that’s encouraged me the most is the Jade.  I didn’t think it would do well when I saw it really dislikes getting its leaves wet.  On the right side of the picture you can see another cutting that has a black and withered tip.  That is the result of being dripped on.

I have another plant in the wall that behaves the same way.  If the leaves get wet they wither and rot.  Once the plant has grown enough to be further away from the felt and the drippiness it shouldn’t be an issue.

Another approach

Johnson's clean water method uses plants but in a different way

Wadly’s really into building a community freshwater aquarium.  He’s now got a pair of platties in the tank.  He’s looking for a good fish and plant book for freshwater aquariums.  I ran into this while trying to find a “one book covers it all” on Amazon . . . it made me laugh!  Same result, totally different approach.

Johnson gives a really thorough rundown on his system what plants to use, how to propagate . . . pretty cool!  This might be the approach if you don’t have a lot of wall space or aren’t a huge plant fan like I am.

If you need a clean aquarium, don’t want to do water changes and don’t care a fig about sticking your nose into a wall of green every day, this may be the book for you.

Leaves, blossoms and a baby fish

New leaves on the Cape Primrose

I was wrong about what was happening with the streptocarpus.  It isn’t putting out flower stalks, it’s putting out leaves . . . lots of ’em!  There has got to be nearly a dozen recognizable full leaves sprouting from the junction and stems of the three newest mature leaves.  I’ve never seen the streptocarpus do this before!  I’m eager to see it start blooming.   The long blossom stalks with paired purple hearted white trumpets are really striking.

Blossom stalk on the Cape Primrose

The begonia from the old wall is putting out blossom stalks.  In the old wall, once blossoms appeared  it bloomed continuously.  The blossoms aren’t particularly spectacular . . . but the presentation is great; white blossom clusters at the end of a long stalk.

Wadly’s got live bearing fish in his aquarium.  Apparently the conditions are conducive.  We how have a baby something in there.  We’re thinking it’s probably a guppy, though there’s a small chance it could be a sword or molly.  We’ve been watching it grow and it’s now about half the size of the male guppy or the same size as the white clouds.  We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see what it turns into.  He’s big enough now he no longer spends all his time hiding in the weeds.  Previously we only saw him dart out of the weeds to eat at feeding time.

Spring is catching

click thumbs to enlarge

Nubs of flower stalks are beginning to show on the leaf bases of the Cape Primrose
Neophyte flower stem and bud on the gloxinia
Bud on the oxalis is showing color

Pretty in pink, begonia blossom and bud.

We’re actually days away yet from the official start of spring, but my plant wall says spring is NOW.  I have flower stalks starting on the Cape Primrose (streptocarpus) and gloxinia, buds showing color on the oxalis and buds and blossoms on one of the begonia types.  That pretty much says spring, doesn’t it!

Buds and blooms

Begonia blossom starting

Plants in the new wall are starting to put out buds and blooms.  I’m a bit surprised.  The old wall was a couple months old before I saw blossoms.

The begonia that’s got a blossom starting is a cutting I got from Mary.  I’m really surprised it’s got a blossom already.  I didn’t root the cutting, just stuck it in a slit in the felt.  The other two begonias in the wall are doing well but this little one is surprising in the speed with which it’s produced a flower.

Oxalis showing buds

The oxalis had a blossom on it when I planted it in the wall.  The plant looked shocky for a couple weeks while the blossom finished, but now the plant is putting out buds and is growing vigorously.  It’s going to be interesting to watch.  When its happy it blooms almost continuously.

I’m a bit surprised the streptocarpus (Cape Primrose) hasn’t produced flowers.  There are flower stalk buds on the leaf stems but no flower stalks . . . yet.