Faridat's blog

Update on my plants in December-new additions, maintaining older ones
Posted on Dec 9, 2017 1:41 PM

An Aphelandra squarrosa came home as a present from my dh. He is not a knower on plants,
so he just got this in an impulse, as he thought I'd love it. Which I do. But it's a very demanding plant,
requires high humidity and is better for terrarium or greenhouse conditions. Nevertheless, I love this one
and will do my best to keep it alive. Currently it's flowering, has four flowering stems with the most amazing
shape, from which little lemon colored trumpetey flowers emerge. Unique!

My other addition is a Gold dust Croton, I love Crotons but did not have much luck with them some years ago.
Trying to maintain moisture and humidity, while giving enough sunlight each day.

My succulents are doing great. My Portulacaria afra is so lovely and she has grown for me much since I got her.

My Tillandsia cyanea gets more of those purple pairs of flowers, which do not last long at all, just a couple of days
but they are a beauty to see.

I pruned much of my Tradescantia zebrina, it had gotten so large and heavy in her hanging basket.
I have put some of her cuttings into water and I hope to have another hanging basket with the same plant soon.

My Pothos plants are also doing great, albeit being rather slow growers. Their new leaves are still a neon bright color,
they will get their variegated appearance as they age more.

I see the best of responses to my care from the Chamaedorea elegans a relative gave me when he moved.
It has already opened a big new leaf and is on her way to six more! She was getting such a poor treatment for years
on a row, that now she is responding with almost a gratitude.(Yes, I know this is anthropomorphic, still I see them as
kind of kids that need care-my attitude towards having plants at home).

My Ficus benjamina is not only stabilized but having new growth, it's amazing what a difference it's showing since
I got him home. The Ficus nitida is more hardy, so I knew that this would survive from the start. He's also doing great.

My beloved variegated Ficus elastica has a new leaf unfolding these days. Still, he is poorly looking with his lower leaves
now gone, but what to do, he is healthy now and that is what counts.

The Spathiphyllum is also doing good, I keep this in a bright but not getting direct sunlight place in the room
and I am careful into providing some humidity.

My Mamie Croton is also having some baby leaves, it should be interesting to see if I can provide him the necessary
conditions for it to flourish. I keep him nearest of all plants, along with my succulents, to a South facing window,
he needs the sun, but also he loves humidity, so a pebble tray is doing some of the work needed to be done. But I'm sure
I will need a humidifier when the hotter seasons are here.

My Ivy canariensis is also doing good, this guy needs a lot of water, cool conditions and clean air. I try to give him
the best of all possible. I pruned some of the long stems and I am rooting them in water.

In the bedroom I am rooting a Dracaena and I have my Chamaedorea metallica, my Zamioculcas zamiifolia and my
Sansevieria trifasciata there, they are all doing fine! I have my mind always to keep the temperature moderate, when the heaters are on I am on the edge, ha ha. Yes, it's alarming, I don't want them to dry on me!

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Beautify, glorify
Posted on Dec 1, 2017 7:42 AM

I started beautifying my plants. I have a long way to go, some of them are still in the nursery pots, adjusting
to their new home. I am thinking to leave those who do not seem root bound, that is with the exception of the Zamioculcas and the Philodendron Super Atom, which are seriously in need of new pots.
I decided to only get pots that are super appealing to my taste and not so and so, as I will keep my plants mostly in the living room and I want to love every part. I still have some beautiful terracotta pots, but they have to wait until my plants get bigger, right now they would be overpotted in these.
I purchased plant labels and so every plant has one in its pot. I will gradually start to beautify them more, by different "mulch" on the soil surface, but not in all the plants. I have to feel and see the soil in some. But I guess it will be alright for the Succs.
I wanted to get my hands on a big, bold Sansevieria, I only have a compacta, it had two pups, but I will have to wait for that. I already got like ten more plants these days. IKEA has got a lovely silver and not chunky gravel which I want to use for my succulents, but I want to also find more options, so I'm searching.
No sun today, I wanted some sun to make the transition easier for my Croton, my luck...
And I now have a Tillandsia, never had one before.

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My plant collection is growing
Posted on Nov 30, 2017 11:05 PM

More plants were added to my plant family. I got myself a much loved Dreadlock Croton.
A plant that I didn't have luck with in the past, but which is such a favorite that I absolutely must give another try.
A beautiful Maranta, my first Tillandsia, another gorgeous leaved sleek Calathea, some succulents, mostly Crassulas,
a small Dracaena dorado, which I got small as I like to make them grow myself and watch how they take up over time,
a Poinsettia, which I know will die but it was such a nice priced plant, so cheap for that beauty and a Chamaedorea metallica.
Now is the most important part, that is to learn how to care properly for each baby, to give it the right conditions
and let it thrive. I hope to make it!

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Callisia repens, Tradescantia minima, Bolivian Chain Plant or Turtle vine.
Posted on Nov 19, 2017 4:07 AM

I accidentally moved my previous blog post of this plant to the Sand forum, I have yet to learn how to move around the site and thus
making silly mistakes like that. Well...Anyhow, I want to remember this, so I am making another entry. I am mainly using this blog to document
knowledge that I am earning, names of plants that I have, and reporting the progress of the plants I have inside the house or, in the future months,
the ones I will be growing outside, in the yard.
This small, dwarfish Tradescantia relative is a spreading, low maintenance, hardy plant, that I can use in some pots to cover the unattractive surface.
Or I can use in some spots in the yard, to cover some parts of the soil. I am wondering though, will it be invasive and difficult to control once planted and
it's starting to spread? Noobie questions and ponderings.

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Thoughts and questions about estimated hardiness zone
Posted on Nov 19, 2017 3:52 AM

When I first logged into the forum I followed the USDA hardiness zone, not the European one, as it was not an option.
But after researching my specific country, city, and part of the city climate, I decided I probably fall within the European 9b to 10b categories.
Those categories are not but a very basic guide to follow, one should always remember that even within a CITY, the zones are never the same!
Plants living in the concrete filled structure centre of Athens have got nothing to do with some of the areas on the suburbs, and even the suburbs have nothing to do with each other, for example on the North suburbs, which can easy get some decent snow days in the winter, have got nothing to do with the near the sea microclimates, which are more tropical by nature.
So, I am following the hardiness zone, based on the European chart, but I am keeping in mind the AHS heat zones, as one the major issues in the city that I live and the specific area of the city, is the excruciating heat waves that make our summers scorching.
I have to bear in mind that it is those specific factors that make the use of the Zones kinda problematic in my opinion. Other factors are the humidity ones.
The climate here is dry, I quote Costas Portocalos in the famous movie "dry as a toast". You can have some humidity in the late fall and in the winter, but most of the months the climate is benign to hot to scorching hot and dry.
We still have to have a more accurate and organized Hardiness and AHS system, the only map for Greece that I found
is so general, that it didn't even include the Islands! wow, is this uber general or what???

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