Here is my review of progress after seven weeks:
The Basil Brothers
The brothers were really shriveled on Thursday particularly Short Basil who was looking absolutely wretched. However, I gave them a decent drink and this perked them up no end. A lot of new growth in both pots and minimal Italian cookery. Slight suggestions of gastropod attack but nothing too devastating. La lumaca, the Italian slugs, must be elsewhere at the moment.
I have already acknowledged that the Basil Brothers were left thirsty this week but I have a larger confession to make. This week has been busy with work leaving parties lasting till late and preparations for a parental visitation this weekend. This week has also been consistently hot and frequently, if not constantly, sunny. After checking the carnivores water levels on Tuesday night, I was out until late on Wednesday night. Imagine my horror on Thursday evening when, after collecting my parents, I discovered the water trays of Pitch, Sunny, Drake and the Fly Traps to be bone dry. Everything I have read about carnivorous plants professes this to be the cardinal sin of carnivorous plant care with even the most lenient sites proclaiming that plants must always stand in at least a half inch of water. Other websites and care books state that in growing season plants must be left in between an inch and a half, and, two inches of water. All at once I am both mortified and guilty, feeling like a wicked and uncaring father, but simultaneously also feeling taken aback that the trays could dry out in two days. I am on holiday soon for a week plus and am worried about how to minimise the risk of such a re-occurrence.
Pitch meanwhile seems alright after this scare. Although it may take a little longer than two days for the damage to come to light the soil itself had not completely dried out and had in fact remained quite damp. The remedial watering of all three plants involved both filling the water trays and top watering the pot to re-soak the soil. Two days from ‘Dry Thursday’ he looks much the same as he did last week.
Following her dinner of yesterweek, Sunny’s curled leaves have begun to unfurl. Again her soil appeared to have remained damp and thus the damage of ‘Dry Thursday’ will have to be assessed later. Her flower is beginning to develop and whilst the pictures do not quite capture it (the limitations of my new camera are that it has been so far impossible to get it into focus) the purple flower emerging may well be quite striking. Just need a decent photo.
Another victim of ‘Dry Thursday’, Drake’s soil also appeared camp prior to remedial watering. These pictures were taken in the morning sun and thus do not show the detail that those taken later in the day can reveal but it seems fair to say that there is little difference a further week along but fingers crossed that there is no permanent damage.
Being in a shadier spot has its advantages and Piggy did not suffer the same fate as his cousins or his other more distant carnivorous relatives. In two days only half an inch of water had evaporated from his tray. Piggy does of course share a tray with no other and thus his water level is always relatively higher than those of his kinsplants. These pictures show how the morning sun moves round upon him from left to right before he is shortly later returned again to the shade until the next day. What these pictures do not show is much change from last week. However, he prefers this spot to his previous home and continues to develop quite happily.
Water deprivation is probably the last thing that poor old Venus needed at this point in time. She struggles on with re-opening her closed trap, which has now been closed for three days short of three weeks. Is she eating an elephant in there? The flower continues to blacken although the stalk itself mostly green. However, the new trap that has been slowly developing appears to in fact be not one, but two, maybe even three new traps. Hopefully the arid persecution of this week will not stunt this revival.
He muncheth, he twice muncheth and then thrice muncheth. He seems to keep eating those same flies previously seen in the traps, trying to absorb every last drop of nourishment. The front middle lower trap again closed and re-opened this week whilst the back right trap appears to have again shut. New traps developing well though. I hope they’re as hungry as the preceding array.
Cass and Aggy (The Moroccan Twin Sisters)
Not only has that cider trap not attracted a single gastropod and not only are the sisters showing some signs of slug attack, but, the cider itself has now vapourised. Time for the little blue pellets methinks. On the plus side, ‘new growth’ does not describe the reality adequately. Since moving the sisters into a shadier spot the girls have gone crazy. In addition to the bulking out of both of the sisters’ foliage, a number of smaller stems have begun to appear above the soil near to the base of the ladies’ existing stem bases. Mint tea by the end of summer is back on target. Have had to water these guys hell of a lot though, and before Dry Thursday I was giving them a decent drink directly onto the soil at the bases of the main stems, almost every evening once the sun had passed round. If the temperature and sunlight remain plentiful over the next few weeks then I will continue to water them more frequently, perhaps even every other night.
Although I have not again given Gronda a good soil watering with drainage (the last now being a week and a half past), I am still misting his leaves at least every other day. He does not have as many leaves standing so vertically to attention as he has had in previous weeks but he appears to have less curl in his general demeanor. Even the super-curled leaf (origin unknown) has begun to unfurl. I will leave my bucket moisture assessment measure at curl factor 2 although I expect this to be dropping soon. Luckily for Gronda, he is soon to be rescued from such quackery by the arrival of the proper moisture sensor. Until then I will continue to mist regularly but water only every three weeks or so.
Although that pinch, punch arrived in a conspiciously waterless week, Hulk somehow still managed to get his drink, a reasonable glug of water in midweek and roughly a month since he arrived. Despite this my girlfriend offered unprompted that he looks droopy so I am considering the possibility of finding out what, “likes a little more water than other cacti” actually means in reality. This advice, mentioned previously, stated that, “Plants are regularly watered and allowed to dry before watering again.” [http://www.plantandflowerinfo.com/sansevieria/sansevieria.html] Perhaps I should adopt a similar watering strategy to that of the calathea but at more regular intervals. My girlfiend has not seen Hulk for two weeks and if she has recognised a visible droop then the time to act may be now before those spines start to fall out.
If I didn’t know any better I would assume that Snake was actually plastic or fake. But fake snake he is not. On a trip to a museum today with my parents (on their aforementioned visit) I noticed abundant snake plants everywhere. Amen to low maintenance. Hope he’s not getting too much moisture in the bathroom. Another one for a definite check with the moisture metre when it finally arrives.
Poor little Flapjack has still not been watered properly although I did give him a single misting within the week. On balance it appears that this was not enough. Comparison of this to last weeks picture shows that the little fella is now drooping more than a hungover student’s eyelids. I need to check my watering advice for this guy this week. Reminder to self: water those plants lest their ‘metabolic processes become history’ (to paraphrase a parrot within a python).