Monday, December 28, 2009

More herbs, orchids and the amaryllis

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Herbs are holding out. Mints look pretty lanky though.








Succulents are thriving.




The amaryllis is going to bloom.





I dropped my favorite orchid. Check out the damage on the top layer of leaves.





It's fall didn't damage the blooms though.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Herbs + new amarylis bulb

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My herbs are, I think, doing well overall. Some — the thyme, lemon verbena, marjoram, and stevia — put out a lot of weak, tender growth. I'm not sure what to do about it. Maybe I'll just harvest the spindly bits to encourage more compact growth.

I had a helluva time keeping them watered. At this point I have them on a schedule of every other day. Although, some of the tender (and thirsty) ones like the lemon thyme and the mints get a bit droopy. Last week I forgot to water them until day 3 and almost every plant started dropping leaves. Even the ones that really like it to be dry and I hadn't had any trouble like that from before (the thyme, oregano, lavender, and sage).

I think the design of my apartment contributed to the problem. I have to keep the plants in front of the windows so they get enough light. But the heating vents are also right in front of the windows, so the plants have hot air blowing on them — making them dry out faster.

On the plus side, they keep the air nice and moist. Last winter I had to have a humidifier running full blast every night and sometimes during the day, just to keep the air comfortable. Out of habit I ran it a couple days when we turned the heat on last month, but woke up with condensation all over the windows. Even the curtains were slightly damp. So I turned it off, and put it away. Plants rock :D

I wanted to get some tulips to force for xmas, but I got to the garden center too late to get the ones they put out for fall, so I got an amaryllis bulb instead. A few days after I potted it I saw a bunch of little maggots wiggling around on top of the soil. Ick! So I threw the soil away and rinsed the bulb as well as I could. I didn't have enough potting soil to re-pot it, so I used sphagnum moss. At one point I let it get too wet and a bit of mold developed on the top layer, so I picked it off, and I'm trying to do better at monitoring when it needs water. It won't bloom in time for xmas, and maybe not for New Years. I'll have to make a note to start earlier next year.