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While I’m Not Looking

June 13, 2010

When I’ve got time to keep a close watch on my plants, they don’t do anything exciting at all. And as soon as I ignore them for a bit, they do all sorts of stuff.

They grow new stems:


Dendrobium, possibly D. agrostophyllum x tetragonum

They grow stolons:

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

They grow all over the place and get all tangled up:


Wax plant (Hoya carnosa) clinging to Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

They offset:


Aloe vera - this shouldn't be so big a deal, but I've had this plant for nearly four years now (I took it home as a tiny little baby plant the first time I divided and repotted aloes soon after starting my apprenticeship), and while the ones at work were offsetting pretty much constantly, mine never did until now.

They grow taller and taller:


Begonia (B. maculata or B. corallina, maybe?) - it's grown 30-40 cm in just a few weeks.

They get flower buds:


First flower buds on the same begonia. Won't stop me from chopping it up for cuttings, though.


Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) 'Bogota'. This was tagged as 'Lima' when I bought it, which would have been an even cooler plant, but apparently, the growers thought, 'Lima, Bogota, all South American capitals, all the same thing.'

Oleander (Nerium oleander). This didn't bloom last year because I had had to cut it back due to... what? Bad spider mite damage, I think. It's just a boring red one, but I bought it on a business trip to Italy during my apprenticeship. Fun times, and I like plants that remind me of fun times.

Lantana camara. Yes, I'm aware that this can be an invasive weed in warmer parts of the world, and yes, it's messy and smelly, but that doesn't stop me from liking it because I had one as a kid, and because I grew this one from a cutting myself.

They grow new leaves:


Aspidistra lurida. Stuck in the living room planter, with little light and less attention, it's at least survived so far, and occasionally even puts out a new leaf.

And they grow new leaves with holes  in them:


Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera adansonii. Or M. obliqua. I'd bounce with joy if I could get a definite ID.) As with many other plants, I got these cuttings from the apprenticeship place. And now they're finally old enough to be growing leaves with holes in them. So cute!

They also do annoying things like dying from thirst and getting spider mites, aphids and mildew, but for the most part, I’m pleased with what my plants do when I’m not looking.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2010 16:52

    My understanding was that obliqua was a now-obsolete synonym for Monstera adansonii, though I no longer remember where I heard that or why I believed it, so it’s a little questionable.

    • June 13, 2010 18:17

      Wikipedia and my ‘Zander Dictionary of Plant Names’ (which I was taught to consider the ultimate authority on botanical names) both list them as different species. But neither tells me what the difference is. Very annoying.


  1. Another Out-of-Season Flower « Letters & Leaves

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