Friday, January 27, 2017

Don't be ignorant or stupid, O.T.

              My take on ‘stupid’ is this: 

              The original meaning of ‘ignorant’ was not informed, as in ‘ignorant of the facts’.  

              Moving ahead, if one becomes informed of the facts and choses the wrong conclusion, then that is just stupid.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Who Knows Why Lipstick Plants Flower?

Lipstick Plant Flowering at Maturity

Who knows why Lipstick plants flower?

            The flowering response; that is, what triggers flowering of Lipstick plants (Aeschynanthus), remains a mystery.

            With this admission of defeat, I hope that all of you Gesneriad growers out there jump up and say; “What do you mean?  My Lipstick flowers regularly every Winter.  It must be day-length or the cooler night temperatures.  Or maybe it’s the cooler day temps.  Of course, I have had it for years, so maybe it’s maturity (old age).  And now that you mention it, sometimes it doesn’t flower at all.”

            It may seem na├»ve to believe that no one knows the flowering response to the common Lipstick plant.  My only proof is that no commercial grower is producing 4” – 6” pots of Lipstick in flower.  Green foliage --- sure, but no flowers.  If they could be produced, plants would be sold by the thousands. It’s not happening.

            Many years ago, I concluded that flowering is so uncertain that Lipstick plants should be abandoned as a commercial flowering crop.

            The most successful flowering seems to be when the plant is propagated and grown out as a hanging basket.  This allows for the shoots to get length and maturity for flowering on the terminals.

            I want to have flowers on small pots.  If we only knew how to do that?

            My method for Nematanthus ‘Cheerio’ could be adapted to Aeschynanthus.  Grow stock baskets until buds and flowers are set, take tip cuttings, root in small pots.  When the cuttings are rooted, the flowering will be there, --- sell.

            This will be attempted with Lipsticks.  What we don’t know yet, is if the buds will stay on until rooting occurs.  The budded cuttings are coarse and take a long time to callus and root.

            My friend Bob believes that flowering is due to short days (Winter) and that tip cuttings will have small buds set.  Thus, less likely to fall off before rooting.

            This basket shown is flowering now.  Can we create a 4” pot with delightful red flowers on command next year?

Lipstick in flower in small pot