October 16, 2006

Foundling

You know what a foundling is, don't you? The whole "abandoned baby on the doorstep" thing? I bet you thought that only happened in 19th-century novels. Well, I'm here to tell you that it still happens today.

A couple of days ago, I opened my door on a chilly - though not freezing - day and I found this little darling shivering on my doorstep! I hustled in right inside into the warmth and took this picture to prove it.

Pothos

I still haven't figured out if it's a boy or a girl. Or one of each.

What I do know is that I now have a potful of two varieties of pothos, which has got to be the closest thing to a foolproof houseplant in existence. It is very hard to make a pothos unhappy, although a severe spider mite infestation will do it. But pothos will survive low light, indifferent care, no fertilizer and even no soil. I've known people who have grown it for years in vases full of water.

I'm not too sure where this baby came from, although I have my suspicions. I am pleased to say that it is in perfect health. I've grown pothos before, golden pothos to be precise, which has a deep green leaf with bits of golden variegation to brighten it up. No golden pothos in this pot, but I will confess to having eyed the pale-leafed type with real envy at my local bank, so I am truly pleased to have my own. It's even better with the plain-leafed variety in the same pot for contrast.

I've also used pothos as a great filler in outdoor pots, although it does have to be handled with a little care in these circumstances. Full shade is best, or at least in a spot that gets afternoon shade. And it will have to be hardened off carefully, more to the light than anything else, or the leaves will scald. Start by setting it out in deep shade and expose it gradually to weak sunlight. Once it's acclimatized, morning sunlight should not cause any problems, unless you're in a hot climate with intense sun.

Now if I'm really lucky, one of my knowledgeable readers will come along and tell my precisely which varieties I have, which will save me doing the research. ;o) And in the meanwhile, I'll have to decide in what room to give this baby a permanent home.

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4 comments:

waterroots said...

Janet, the stork left you some real beauties :)

Well it’s obvious that whoever left you this gorgeous gift felt you would provide a loving home.

I’m not sure about the solid green-leafed baby, although I suspect it’s just that – the solid green pothos. There actually is a variety like that, although not very common. (You may have inherited a rare version :) The solid green does not require the same bright light as the other members of its family.

The variegated one looks like a Marble Queen pothos, which requires brighter light to keep the variegation going. Hmmm…that would mean that the two shouldn’t share a home…???

Here is a link with pictures of the Marble Queen: Is this your baby?

If you recognize your new plant in one of the photos, then that’s the one! :)

Janet said...

My suspicions were correct. A neighbour in the midst of moving was the culprit. When I went over to wish her an official good-bye I came back with an African violet too. Help! Running out of room around here!

Waterroots, it certainly does look like a Marble Queen, doesn't it? Thanks for the link. I'm going to have to look more carefully and see if the green leaves are a separate plant or just individual leaves that have reverted. I noticed that in one of those pictures there were solid green leaves mixed in.

As for the different light requirements, I'll see how it goes. If one of them shows signs of being unhappy, I'll separate the lovebirds, assuming of course, that there are two plants. But right now, I'm downstairs at the computer, and tired from planting bulbs, so it will have to wait.

jlb said...

Couldn't tell you about the exact variety, but I can express my envy of your foundling. It looks so healthy too! What a wonderful gift!

Pothos are so hearty... mine are well on their way in pursuit of their plans to take over the world! Who knows? Maybe your foundling is a cutting of a cutting of one of my long ago cuttings? :)

Enjoy your new plant - I hope you learn its identity.

Janet said...

The solid green one is indeed a separate plant, but it has the occasional marbled leaf. It's definitely not Aurea, because the marbling is white, not yellow. So it might be a semi-reverted Marble Queen. In any event, it's nice. :o)