I feel like it has been awhile since my last plant post. In fact I have been pretty much neglecting my gardening chores altogether. I guess I am still upset about the discovery of root aphids so after I disposed of all the infected seedlings and began inspecting my houseplants I just became angry and discouraged from caring for my plants. I did a whole piece about Root Aphids and why this is so devastating, to better understand pop over there to learn more.
It’s been a really hard month it seems like tragic event after tragic events keep happening all month. Like domino’s I feel as though everything is falling. I have been absent from many of my hobbies and barely there at work. My house chores are even getting neglected. Last night my spouse asked me if I was going to do any planting for the balcony this year. I answered solemnly “probably not”. He said to me that he thinks I should because he loved seeing how happy it made me and he is right. Today I have taken another look at my houseplants to see how they were faring against the terrible Root Aphids. I know they are still there but I don’t think I have as heavy an infestation as I did before.
I have been reducing water a lot so the soil has been allowed to dry out, the root aphids don’t like that. With the Yellow Sticky traps I have been keeping the adult flyers at bay. Today I dug up some of the baby plants that didn’t seem to be doing much and washed the rooting system and re-potting in hopefully clean soil.
A bit of very important advice for my gardening friends. When you buy a new plant especially if it is a houseplant please quarantine it away from all your other plants until you know for sure it is pest free. I would also recommend this for the soil you use. If you transplant something in new soil, same thing, quarantine it! I am not exactly sure how I got root aphids but I can say it had to have come in on a plant I bought or from the soil. I don’t want anyone else to have to watch their green family get infected sickly and perhaps even die.
Today I also poured the flower seeds in some pots outside. I don’t think my perennials are coming back it just wasn’t cold enough all season for them to “overwinter” but the roots seem to be alive. I am watering, haven’t completely given up hope on them but my hopes aren’t exactly up, they really haven’t been from the start of the winter season though.
Featured in the picture above are all my Thanksgiving Cactus’s. I mentioned before in the bloom post the cactus’s themselves may survive thanks to their ability to obtain nutrients from the air. That is a rock garden I can have water in and there is a humidifier nearby. The blooms are spent but they are producing new growth and that is a really good sign of health. I’m not too worried about them as soon as I know they are aphid free the two propagated segments will go in one pot and perhaps be gifted.
You will recognize this from my post the dragon rescue. As you can see it also has new growth and is looking really good. I am surprised myself to see how much it has grown as I know these are a slower growing plant. If it keeps this up that small little pot it’s in won’t hold it for very long. I am overjoyed about the new growth, one telltale sign of the root aphids is that the plant soil is often dry quickly and very little growth. So to see this is promising.
The African Violet no longer in bloom to see it in bloom check out this motivation post. This is the newest plant to my green family and I know the least about African Violets so I do need a little bit more knowledge here. I am not sure what the regular bloom period is or if there is a procedure to coax more blooms I don’t know. If you know please share I love learning about these things. The other plant in this picture is the lipstick. This plant has been really hard for me to keep alive. I have rescued it from death so many times now. If you check out my post from when I thought I had gnats before I learned they were root aphids you see how sickly this lipstick was. I had snipped off some healthy stems and put them in some water. Most of those didn’t make it but a couple did. I put them in pots and even more died. I tried again and this is what is left of the lipstick. There is new growth on the lipstick as well and I really want it to grow and be healthy. The blooms of a lipstick plant are so beautiful and unique. If this thing makes it than wow I’ll have to declare my awesomeness as gardener!
I am just realizing how small the Aloe Vera looks in this picture so I went and measured it across from the longest parts and it is about 25 inches wide. I am not 100% positive but when the tips turn a reddish colour it is ready to be harvested. None of mine are reddish so for now it just grows, and growing it is. This is the second Aloe Vera plant I have had in my life. The first one died because I got harvest crazy. I was still working as a chef in that point of my life so when I had a burn I came home to harvest and it eventually died. Now I am leery about harvesting in the event that I kill it as I did before.
The Arrowhead, this came to me as just a little snip and it grow so well and really took off. One day I over-watered it and gave it root rot. Seriously it almost died by my hand, I took a few good snips off just in case I couldn’t bring it back. I took the plant out of it’s dirt washed the roots and cut away all the rotted root system healthy roots are white and dead or rotted are black or brown. Both the snips I took and the recovered plant survived and they are all in this pot taking off once again! This is the first and so far only plant I have saved from root rot so I am really proud of it. I don’t know if it got the root aphids but it is still showing signs of new growth so hopefully no infestation.
Featured here I am pretty sure is a Hoya. I have never seen this plant in bloom but when I gooogle Hoya I see photos of the most beautiful and very unique flowers I have ever seen. I did see crawlers in this plant and I did re-pot it. I haven’t seen any crawlers in it since and it has a funny little growth going on. I have had this plant maybe about a year again from a snip and have not seen it do much growing. It made new leaves once but nothing since. To see this new growth is really exciting and I will have to keep my eye on it. Hopefully when I re-potted it I got all the pests out and it will just grow strong and I will get to see first hand a very unique bloom. Than I will know for sure it is a Hoya.
You may recognize these guys from the dragon rescue as well. I don’t think I was ever worried about these having the root aphids I did have a sticky in them but it came out clean. They are slow growers and I haven’t noticed if they have grown much or not. The soil has not been drying out as badly as some of the others that I know for sure were infected so that is a good sign. These are of the first plants I acquired since I went plant crazy! I think that would make them about four years old now.
The largest plant in my green family the split leaf. Also a fairly new member to my green family. I was trying to split up and spread this plant out because it was so root bound and crowded and still kind of is. I have to rotate this guy every couple of days and all the new leaves have many splits in them which look incredible to me. The location I have chosen for this guys seems to make him happy so really really hoping I’m not harbouring the root aphids in this guy. The root system in this plant would be an all you can eat buffet for those nasty little devils.
The next few plants I am about to show you do not share the same good health.
The English Ivy, I last talked about this in the mother plant. I published that post in February and since there has not been a lot of growth. That is very unusual for this plant as mostly I can barely control the growth and the length of the vines. I am surprised and since I have had to start trimming this plant down this is the longest I’ve gone since trimming. If you pop back to that post you can see there is barely any change in growth.
Here we have the lemon trees I have grown from seed, the two smaller ones have almost stopped growing altogether and I don’t think they will make it. The yearling lost so many leaves I actually cut the top off hopefully to promote new growth. I re-potted them and washed the roots out really well so I guess I just wait and see. I did say I was going to write a how to grow lemon tree’s from seed post and their lack of good health has postponed that.
Last I have my Avocado’s that I grew from the pit’s. Again I was going to do a how to post here but haven’t due to their lack of good health. As you can see the tips of some leaves are crunchy, some leaves are pale. The new leaves are so small and weak looking. Leaf drop on these plants are frequent. I’ve read that healthy avocado plants often have a reddish hue to the leaves, a lot of mine have a yellowish so I am thinking they are not getting enough nutrients probably because their roots are being devoured by root aphids. I gave a pit I stated to my buddy and it’s stem is thicker, leaves darker, and overall looks fuller than mine which are quite a bit older so there is definitely something going on with these plants.
If you didn’t know Spring time is not only the best time to get outdoor plants but this time of year some of the healthiest and best houseplants can be found. I am not allowing myself any new plants this year which is pretty sad but looking around I do have a lot and I have to make sure I get this pest thing under control before potentially wasting more money. When the weather warms up a bit more I may just put the lemons and the avocados outside hopefully some beneficial bug will get to it and kill the root aphids if not they die and I start over, oh well. That concludes my plant update.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the links provided to read more from my feature A Dirty Hoe Is A Happy Hoe