While Annah and I were watering our plants this weekend, we noticed that a few of them were flowering. This was surprising because it had seemed like most of the plants had slowed down during the cooler and darker winter months here in Minnesota, but apparently a few of the plants found enough energy to start blooming.

Crown of Thorns Flower
(Annah's flowering Crown of Thorns or Euphorbia milii 'Creme Supreme'.)

Annah's Crown of Thorns or Euphorbia milii 'Creme Supreme', which we have had since January of 2008 (see Annah's post here), has decided to start blooming. This plant has small yet beautiful little flowers. It receives probably around 6-8 hours of sunlight per day and we allow it to dry out a bit before watering.

Kalanchoe Red Flower
(Red Kalanchoe flower.)

Our Kalanchoe, which has not been growing in the most ideal location, is still receiving a 3-6 hours of sunlight per day and seems to be doing well. When I first got this plant it had a difficult time adjusting the the growing conditions at the house and subsequently lost about 60% of it's leaves, but it has held on and is now seems to be healthy. While at the moment it only has one flower and one more on the way, at least this plant is alive and growing.

Lipstick Plant flower
(Aeschynanthus radicans or Lipstick Plant flowers.)

Our Lipstick plant or Aeschynanthus radicans receives about 6-8 hours of sunlight per day and gets a good watering every 7-10 days. The plant itself is in a pot with a hook on the top which allows me to hang it from the indoor greenhouse/shelving unit that we have. When we first moved into the house I did not have the plant hanging, but since I moved it higher up it has been receiving a little more sunlight and this has greatly helped the plant. This is the first time the plant has flowered since I purchased it, but I think the little flowers are beautiful and stunning, even though I almost did not notice them since they are such a dark red/purple in color. I would suggest this plant for anyone who is looking for a nice hanging plant.

Lipstick Plant flower
(More Aeschynanthus radicans or Lipstick Plant flowers.)

Propagating Fittonia

(My work fittonia in Novemeber 2008 when it still looked beautiful.)

You may remember my Fittonia Propagation Project (see picture of healthy fittonia above, read the post here) regarding my desire to thin out my Fittonia argyroneura that was growing magnificently in my office. Well, unfortunately this plant threw a fit while I was gone during my long New Year's weekend. I had watered it on December 31st before leaving work and thought everything would be just fine. However, when I returned to work on January 5th the plant was "passed out" and was very unhappy. I promptly watered it and thought it would return to normal.

Troubled Fittonia
(My pitiful work fittonia in January 2009.)

The plant did bring itself back up into an upright position, but many of it's leaves shriveled up and needed to be removed. While this Fittonia now looks rather pitiful, as seen above, it is still alive. I am very happy that I decided to take cuttings from the mother plant when I did because I still have two healthy new plants from the two cuttings I took.

Hopefully this will not happen to any of my fittonia plants again.

Three Beautiful Cuttings From Our Friend

Posted by Jordan | Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | , , | 2 comments »

Annah and I received three beautiful cuttings last Wednesday from one of our good friends. This friend, Valerie, left on Saturday to spend six months in Ecuador to study and explore South America. She decided to give us these cuttings as a gift for our engagement. Each individual cutting was presented to us in small jelly jars with glass pebbles and look very nice.

The first cutting is a Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) and should easily root in the water in which it has been placed. All of my previous spider plant cuttings that I have rooted have been successful, so I anticipate this cutting to survive without a problem. I hope I can keep the variegated white lines on this plant since I have been unable to do that with my own Chlorophytum comosum 'Hawaiian' which has not received sufficient light to maintain it's variegation.

The second cutting is a Jade (Crassula ovata) which should easily root in the water. I have had success with propagating my own Jade plants so this cutting should not be a problem.

The third cutting is from her Aloe vera plant. From my research I have now found that rooting Aloe vera in water will likely lead to rotting. I will likely be moving this cutting into a small pot of soil to see if it will root. Have any of you had success with Aloe vera propagation? Please leave a comment if you have.

Annah and I are optimistic that we can keep these cuttings alive so that we can enjoy our beautiful and healthy additions to our houseplant collection!

Edit: The Aloe vera cutting was moved from the jar to a small pot filled with soil on the evening of 01/13/2009. There did not appear to be any signs of rot following it's removal from the water-filled jar.

New Book: The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual

Posted by Jordan | Friday, January 09, 2009 | , | 1 comments »

Annah gave me "The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual: Essential Gardening Know-How for Keeping (Not Killing) More Than 160 Indoor Plants" by Barbara Pleasant as a gift for Christmas this year. The book contains delightful photos and rather useful information for how to care for more than 160 indoor plants, and from what I have read so far contains information for about 80% of the houseplants I own.

I have not yet had the time to read through the entire book to see if all of the information is useful or 100% correct, not that I would necessarily know anyway. But when I have the chance to read the entire book I might just post a review of the book on here.

In other news, it seems like time has been flying by since I last posted on December 21st, with Christmas celebrations left and right, New Year's parties, being busy with work, and if that wasn't enough, I am finally getting healthy after having a very bad cold which started on New Year's Day! As a result of being healthy once again and being less busy with everything, Annah and I hope to start posting more regularly once again!