Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Plants

Yesterday I saw a post for coleus canina on Freecycle (if you don't know what Freecycle is, check it out) - I did a google search and found that this plant is supposed to be a natural dog and cat repellant.  We do have a rather rough looking tomcat that is fond of spraying on our front door and wandering through our yard, so I thought I'd give it a try.  It's a nice looking plant, with blooms that look like lavender, so I picked some up.
It looks a little wilty in the hot sun, but this should be a good place for some of it, near the front door.  The cannas have really thrived in this little box, too - we relocated a pretty large aloe from here, and moved these cannas from the backyard when we got our banana trees.

Speaking of which, they are doing great:
They were looking pretty sad with lots of dead foilage from the transplant, but every single one has new growth and today I cleaned them up a bit, removing the dried crispy bits.  Our little plantation is looking good.
This one in the center had only one leaf when we planted it - they'll be 20 feet high in no time.

I also picked up some cactus cuttings off craigslist.  These were really large -  about 6" in diameter - big chunks from someone who had cut down a massive cactus.  It's an apple cactus - cereus repandus - and it has some new buds already.  We have several chunks of these, we'll see how we like it.  

The front porch gets some intense heat early in the day, so I added a little cactus planting by the front door (also hoping to keep that tomcat away).  It's close to the front door, but not so much that anyone would be in danger since it's on the hinge side of the door.

One thing Dale and I were both excited about is getting this pitcher plant - nepenthes mixta.
This is a carnivorous plant - it attracts bugs to the hanging pitchers, where they fall in and are digested.  We can peek into the pitchers and see bugs in the fluid.  It's a really interesting plant!

I think the pitchers are really pretty.  This plant requires distilled water, so it is a little fussy.  The reason it has to have distilled water is because it is most like rainwater - these plants don't do well with additives or minerals.  

This one seems to be thriving where we have it hung right now - it a tree where it doesn't get direct sunlight.  We'll have to move it indoors when it gets cooler outside.  

We'd also like to get some more carnivorous plants - they are exotic and fascinating!  The problem is that they need continuously moist soil, which we don't have.  They like a bog, where the soil is poor quality but moist.  We have the poor soil, but not the moisture!

Some of the interesting plants we'd like to get are sarracenia - pitcher plants that form tubes from the ground, and venus fly traps.  We may have to construct a bog for our carnivorous plants!

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