Tuesday, April 23, 2019

String of Hearts has Problems

String of Hearts

            In our Pennsylvania greenhouse winter condition, String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii), does not grow.  Stock plants in full winter sun and in warm night temperatures (64) do not put out runners for propagation.   In the summer, they grow quickly.

            So, what’s the problem?

            It’s too cold?  The day length is too short?

            Experiments can be tried.  I can grow some under lights where they will get 18 hours of light and 75-85 temperatures.  If they grow rapidly, problem solved.

            Next problem.  How to make them branch?  We need a branch at every leaf axil, but most of the time only get one.

            A project worth trying is spray with B-Nine, a growth regulator that sometimes promotes branching.  Spray long strings of hearts to see if there is any effect.  There is a chance only the pair of leaves near the pinch will branch.  If so, it could be branched on the stock plant before cut for propagation.

            The lack of cooperation from our stock baskets is starving the market for the thousands of String of Hearts that could be sold.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Can we bring back Sinningia 'Little Georgie'?

Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie' - An amazing plant

My Sinningia ‘Li’l Georgie’ has been out of production for several years.  It is one of the best miniature flowering plants ever created.  The few that remain at the greenhouse always attract visitor’s attention.         

The limiting factor has always been practical propagation.  Tissue culture works --- we proved it twice until I lost my source.

Perhaps there is a way.  There is a ‘poor man’s' method --- establish hundreds of tubers and then cut the tiny young shoots, root them and pot three per 2.5” pot.  Grow out to flower and sell for a high price.

What has changed since we last sold ‘Li’l Georgie’?

1.      Houseplant demand has exponentially increased.

2.      Plant collectors will pay higher prices for unusual plants.

3.     Garden Centers with expanded houseplant departments are begging for rare plants like ‘Li’l Georgie’

Somebody should do this.

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Real Test

Happy Plant Buyer

            After unloading my plants at Strange’s Garden Center in Richmond, I observed a customer selecting three of my plants.

            I wanted to find out the ‘Why’, so I asked her-----

            She was holding two of our ‘hot’ plants --- Pilea peperomioides and Peperomia polybotrya ‘Raindrop’.

            I asked if she knew about these plants before she came there.  “Well, a little, but no.  I like these and I want to learn about them.”

            She also bought two nice ceramic pots to put them in.  There was a discussion about holes or no holes in the pot.

            Later, I happened to see her at the cash register and thought she needs to be in a blog story.  So, I asked her permission for her picture.

            She was very pleasant, and I met a real plant buyer who picked the ‘hot’ varieties because she liked them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mayor Pete, O. T.

Blue Skies Ahead

            After learning about Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a potential Presidential candidate, I discovered he has written a book about his life and accomplishments.

            I’ve recently tried audio books (Audible) so I can listen in the truck on long distance delivery trips.  I bought the book, ‘The Shortest Way Home’, written and read by Pete Buttigieg and I'm impressed.

            You owe it to yourself to hear the life story of a very smart and sensible American with the drive to be the President of the United States.  It is a compelling story and you will thank me for letting you know about him.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Anniversary - Going into the Eighth Year.

Just resting

Pic- Kevin Cohn

    This blog started April 8, 2012 ---  seven years ago, today.  Thank you, Google.

            I’ve reread many of the stories.  Many are irrelevant or time sensitive (fleeting).  Some are actually very good.

            My form is a picture and some words about a single idea.  My inspiration is Seth Godin, who has had a daily story over 10,000 times.  Only a genius can do that.

            That first post said: “My target reader will be, first of all, me.”  This has taken the pressure off.

            Forcing yourself to write an idea is so much more exacting than a bunch of jumbled thoughts.

            I should have started sooner.

             My interest in featured plants has changed over time.  The hot plants this year are Chinese Money Plant, String of Dolphins and Peperomia polybotrya 'Raindrop'.

             What's next?