August 28, 2006

Happy pot heads

I don't know about you, but looking over my potted plants around this time of year is a rather discouraging exercise. And no, I'm not going to tell you about it in detail. There's only so much battering my ego can take.

Fortunately, there is an encouraging story or two, so that's what you're going to hear today. Maybe I'll feel better afterwards...

CyclamensSome of the happiest pot-dwellers I have right now are my seed-grown cyclamens. The tiny bulbs have been happily putting on weight and putting out beautifully marked foliage that earn them a spot at my place even without flowers. The ones I put in the ground have put out fewer, but larger leaves. Cyclamens are supposed to prefer cool weather and even to go dormant in hot weather, but I find they are very happy to spend the summer outside, even when it's blisteringly hot. They are also perfectly happy to sit with a puddle of water in their saucers, though all the books will tell you to pour it out. I usually do eventually, but it's only to do my bit in keeping the mosquito population down - the cyclamens thrive with wet feet.

HipeastrumAnother tender bulb that thrives on a summer outside is the amaryllis aka Hippeastrum. This particular plant, which I've had for quite a few years now (about six) has survived the trauma of being separated from her daughter bulbs very nicely. The foliage grown outside tends to be much less floppy because of the greater light intensity. I haven't yet decided whether I'll force this one into dormancy soon to stimulate a Christmas blooming, or whether I'll just let it continue growing to bloom on its own schedule, some time around Easter.

Yes, folks, you heard right. You do not HAVE to make your amaryllis bulb go dormant. The only point of the dormancy is to be able to impose your schedule on the bulb, or to save the space indoors that a mature amaryllis (or several) will take up.

And yes, that is yet another self-sown anise hyssop at its feet. I let the volunteers (and there are many when it comes to this Agastache) grow a bit, then make another batch of licorice tea out of them, iced of course at this time of year.

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pinar said...

hello again from Istanbul.. my cyclamen was planted in the flower bed.. looks OK too.. even if the slugs.. took some bites.. they didn't like the taste so much.. but I heard it was nearly impossible to grow cyclamen from seed.. and you did it.. =))
I finally.. started a blog in english too.. maybe you will come and visit.. it will be a craftcumgarden blog.. I hope..

Janet said...

Pinar, it was just beginner's luck, I think. The seed was very fresh, only a couple of weeks old. I sowed it in a little pot and put it in the butter container in the fridge for a couple of weeks because that was the closest I could get to 60F, which I had read was the right temperature. When I took it out, they all sprouted. And that's the whole story. And yes, I will go take a look at your English language blog.

pinar said...

where is my butter container.. I cant't believe I didn't pick the seed.. left it on the plant =(((

next year ??

I now have a blog in english.. craft and garden blog.. it will be.. maybe you'll come and visit=)