Here is my review of progress after three weeks:
The Basil Brothers
Not much Italian cooking this week so not much need for the brothers’ leaves. Things look to be progressing nicely and only very little evidence of slug attack.
The tallest pitchers are still slowly dying off but the new growth is still very promising. Some of the intermediate pitchers look like they may also be dying which is slightly worrying but the plant has still found enough energy to bend one of the horizontal pitcher mouths up to the sun. The new soil arrived yesterday although the weather has been appalling. As soon as the sun shines I will add some soil to the pot and sort out those skewers which Pitch has largely rebelled against. He is also encroaching on Cass and Aggy. He’s been needing sorting out for a while.
Is anything actually happening in this pot. It is as if Sunny is trapped in a time freeze. http://www.predatoryplants.com/Drosera-nidiformis-p/dro-nid.htm states that dormancy is not required for this plant but that allowing the sundew to flower may cause the plant to perish. As Venus was supplied with a flower I am wondering whether Sunny may have shared the same fate, although there is nothing to suggest the plant has flowered. I wait, impatiently but with baited breath.
My patience with Sunny (indigenous to South Africa) has been bolstered because of the arrival of Drake, and what a fine specimen he is. According to http://bioref.lastdragon.org/Magnoliophytina/Drosera.html Drosera anglica is, “still very locally common in western Scotland.” but whilst it is less common in England it can still be found. Drosera anglica can be found on Dartmoor. https://data.nbn.org.uk/Taxa/NBNSYS0000146364 He hasn’t quite been here a week yet but he looks like he’s gonna do fine.
Venus & Aphro
I noticed on Thursday night that Venus’s back right trap had closed again. I have read somewhere that traps can only close four times before they then die. I am sad to say that this back right trap has now begun to turn black meaning that Venus will now be left with a single trap. As the poor dear is so busy busting out that flower I am nervous as to what will happen. After much deliberation about whether to remove the flower and flower stalk I decided that Venus was too far along for it to make much difference. We will have to see what happens when she awakes from dormancy next year as I doubt that I will see any new trap growth this year. The arrival of Aphro, who is more your London street kid (raised in the rough tough world of B&Q with all those curious children poking her) than farm lad from Suffolk, has put into sharp focus how underdeveloped Venus actually is. I will be keeping a sharp eye out for that flower stalk should it appear on Aphro.
Another point of interest is that Sunny’s one remaining trap has now turned completely red, inside and out. When she was first received, her traps were red on the inside but green on the inside, much like Aphro’s are now. This is most likely to have been caused by the sun and indicates that there has been a lot of direct sunlight on that South Eastern facing window sill in the last two weeks.
Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)
Despite being crowded by the spreading Pitch, these two are still going strong. Haven’t watered these two at all merely leaving it up to the rain to water them naturally. There are still some signs of slug attack, and I had indeed tidied the ladies up before this photo was taken, removing the holier or mankier leaves but they’ve branched out well and there are good signs like a bumper crop (or at least enough mint for a pot of tea) is still on the cards
I am absolutely petrified of over-watering this plant. When the leaves curl up this indicates that the plant is not getting enough water and although the plant came with one leave already curled, so far the others have not curled up at all. Good drainage, good drainage, good drainage was the mantra from all the advice I read and something that I have not got with the plant in an external ceramic pot. For this reason I have added no water to the pot at all but have misted the leaves about three times this week. My plan is to follow this pattern until those leaves start curling up. Reckon I need a moisture meter. After my previous disaster I will be gutted if this plant dies.
Am similarly petrified of over watering Hulk and although the advice says that he might like a little more water than the average cactus it states that “Plants are regularly watered and allowed to dry before watering again. Regular watering helps to keep the leaves from dropping” http://www.plantandflowerinfo.com/sansevieria/sansevieria.html
Let this be my guide, I’m not going to water him until his leaves look like they might drop off so that I can work out how often I need to water him.
One week in, Snake looks okay (but so did the first Calathea in the bathroom spot after a week). The plant has a thick rhizome that allows it to store water for a long time and the advice states tbat, “It will survive in lower light provided it is allowed to dry“, blanketly advising that one should, “Always err on the side of less water with this plant.” http://www.plantandflowerinfo.com/sansevieria/sansevieria.html
As Snake is in a dark and often highly moist environment (when someone has a shower) I have reasoned that I am not going to water him at all, hoping that the moisture from the shower will be enough, with periods of drying out in between. Fingers crossed that this strategy will work. Another of my plants that will also benefit from use of a moisture meter.
The advice states that the plant should be watered regularly, “when soil dries about an inch down into the pot or ground. … [The Plant is] very drought tolerant … [and is] susceptible to overwatering … err on the side of not watering.” http://thepalmroom.wordpress.com/plant-care-discussion-forum/kalanchoe-thrysiflora-kalanchoe-luciae/
I was under the impression that succulents did not need much water and this plant has also not been watered for the first week. I intend to water this chap when I water Hulk particularly as they are in similar positions in the kitchen. Need to find this little sucker a permanent home though.