Thursday, December 6, 2012


Me and cacti do not get along. I don't know why I keep killing every single cactus I get. I can keep african violets, regular ground covers, and other plants just fine. It's just cacti that I have a problem with. I give them water when the soil looks really dry to the point the pot is almost weightless. It's winter, so I try to water them less due to slower evaporation rate. But why. Why do they keep dying? How much water is too much and exactly how much is too little? I can never know...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

One african violet led to another... and another.... and then another... It just never ends! I wanted to get more and more different varieties. There are so many varieties of african violets that you can choose from, starting from different leaf patterns and shapes, different bloom colors, and plant sizes. I'm usually easily swayed by the miniature varieties just because they look small.

African violets just seem to fit my schedule. They don't seem to require lots of care, and they're very easy to propagate. They can also be hybridized to create your own hybrid. That's why there are so many different varieties of african violets all around the world! Once you get into keeping african violets, it's hard to get out of it.

I've only provided a picture of some of the leaves I put down for propagation. I do have several more. These are the types of african violets I have for propagation: 

Midget Lillian
Trinket O' Pink
Rob's Twinkle Blue
Pip Squeek
Ness' Crinkle Blue
Bon Bon
Optimara Little Hopi II
Optimara My Joy
Rob's Cool Fruit
Star Wars
Rebel's Glory Be
Rhapsodie Rosalie

I still have more that I want to propagate. But being a full-time student, I have a very limited budget, and african violets aren't cheap! Either way, I am hoping to get a hold of these varieties:

Wish list:

Midget gumdrop
Senk's Fruit Fly
School Bells
Midnight Waltz
Rob's Twinkle Pink
Spunky Trail
Teeny Bopper
Shirl's Blue Eyes
Little Chippery Trail
Pixie Runaround Sport
Skies Over Italy
Precious Pink
Dean's Bunny Blue
Pink Dove
Midget Bon Bon
Baby Moonbeam
Optimara Little Moonstone
Rob's Copper Cat
Tiny Moon Goddess
Bridal Lady
Rob's Zippity Doo

1 step closer to my goal :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Farm was on the Way

I happened to spot a farm while i was cruising through the country side of missouri. It wasn't just any farm, it was a greenhouse. They had a variety of flowers for this upcoming spring and I just had to purchase some while I was there. There were still some plants that I didn't want to leave behind and not take home, but considering how I live in a place where there is no backyard, I had to limit my choices. The plants I picked up were bleeding hearts, phlox subulata 'candy stripe', lamium maculatum 'anne greenaway', and lamium maculatum 'pink pewter'. The two lamium maculatums were bought on the second trip to this wonderful farm. Here are some pictures:
I wanted to wait until the flowers bloomed for the bleeding hearts. : )

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Family

I stopped by Lowe's to look at some cacti like I normally do. Garden centers always attract my attention no matter how unprofessional some can be. Who knows, there are times when they have unexpectedly rare plants or plants that I've been looking for a while. But cacti are all pretty in my opinion and whenever I see new cacti stocked up in garden centers, I HAVE TO take a look. One thing to keep in mind is that big garden centers like the ones in Lowes are most likely to have those fake strawflowers attached to the center of various cacti with super glue. The super glue tends to make the cactus grow a little deformed, and a lot of people get tricked into thinking that these flowers are real. Sadly, these bright colored flowers are not real. I wouldn't want to encourage any cacti wholesalers to continue this procedure of super-glueing strawflowers on a majority of their cacti, but there are times when the cactus itself is a really beautiful kind of cacti. So, unfortunately, I ended up buying one (sorry!). The scientific name for this cactus is Mammilliaria hahniana. It has beautiful flowers that bloom on the crown area of the cactus in the shape of a ring. It also forms some cotton-type substance in between the thorns. White hairs grow from this plant, giving it an "old grandma/grandpa look". In this case, since the common name for this cactus is called "old LADY cactus", it's got an "old grandma look". This cactus had an orange-dyed strawflower (fake flower made out of straw) on the center. I had to use isopropyl alcohol on the glue and a tweezer to slowly take the super glue off. Sadly, during the process, the thorns on the top of the cactus came off. I don't think it's life-threatening for the cactus to have some of its thorns taken off, so I hope it'll be ok. Nonetheless, here is a picture of my pretty new collection:
"Old Lady Cactus". You can see 3 pink blooms and her poor bald spot.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

True Leaf Formation

My plants' true leaves are finally beginning to emerge from in between the cotyledons. I realized that the seeds that I've planted in self-watering pots grew their true leaves a lot faster than the seeds that I've planted in regular pots. Nonetheless, they are all growing happily. All their true leaves are out and as you can see, the pine berry cotyledon on one of them is starting to die off, which is a good thing because that means the true leaves took all the nutrients from the two cotyledons and are growing well. I've also received my self-watering seed starter kit from Lee Valley's and look how fast the seeds grew compared to my homemade self-watering pots. And of course, here are some pictures:
Pineberry True Leaves.
Alyssum True Leaves.
Celosia True Leaves.
Lee Valley's Seed Starter.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Growing Plants from Seeds

Growing plants from cuttings or by buying the plant itself at places like home depot are so much easier in my opinion than growing plants from seeds. Every single time I tried to grow plants from seeds, they either died off from dehydration or they would die off by too much water. But by taking a few minutes to make self-watering pots from water bottles, seeds are so much more easier to grow. Covering them up is not necessary to do if you have self-watering pots. Here are some pictures of cotyledons of the plants I am growing : )
"Pineberry" Cotyledons... not sure if these will be grow to be true pineberries, but let's give it a try : )
Peach-colored celosia "icecream" cotyledons. I believe these will be a bit larger than the kimono variety.
White Alyssum Cotyledons.. I remember having these plants as a border in front of my old house.. brings back memories : )

After a few more days of waiting, I am thinking about separating the peach celosia cotyledons so that they will be less crowded. I think I heard from somewhere that they do not like their roots being disturbed, but it is ok to move them around when they are cotyledons. Of course, moving them around a lot is never good, but once should be ok, I hope. More seeds will come to me through snail mail and hopefully, those will grow successfully too. Vegetables will be grown outside in my earthbox : )