July 29, 2010

Exploring Tokyo DIY Gardening.org

A fellow contact on a social media site, shared this site with me, and it looks interesting enough to share.
Tokyo DIY Gardening.org, is a site where anyone can post images from the city of Tokyo, organized by category and theme, to share with an online community. It's an interesting model, to try in any city, and hopefully, someone will try it for mine!

July 28, 2010

In Bloom Today - Rebutia 'watermelon'

As cacti go, the South American species reign as the most colorful and floriferous, especially the Rebutia species. I keep many in the cold greenhouse, where they spend the winter dry as a bone, under the protection of glass. They freeze a little, since they are kept near the glass in the coldest of corners, but in full sun. With this treatment, once watering starts in the spring, flower buds form quickly. This named cultivar blooms later, in late July, but most bloom for us in June in colors which are hot and bright, in most every shade of gold, pink, orange and red.

In Bloom Today - Scadoxus multiflorus, the Blood Lily

I thought I had lost it, my large pot of Scadoxus multiflorus ssp. kathernae which I've kept in an increasingly larger pot, every year hopping to get a large specimen. When our greenhouse froze last December, I thought I had lost it. Well, actually, I did lose it. Shoved under a bench most likely around November, when I brought the plant indoors for the winter, it remained dry, on its side, and dormant until last week when I found it while cleaning the greenhouse. It's looked better in past years, but it still had a flower bud, which bloomed this week and the plant resumes it's growth for what's left for the summer.
An easily grown plant, it can be fussy when trying to coax a bloom from a house plant specimen. Best advive is: Allow your Scadoxus multiflorus to dry off in the winter months, giving it just enough water to keep the bulbous shoots green and firm. When spring arrives, increase watering, and if you can, bring the plant outdoors where it should bloom. Another one of those borderline 'bulb' plants which sometimes never really go dormant, I too never had flowers until I had the greenhouse to winter them over in. So the situation is similar to my Clivia issue, before greenhouse, few flowers, after greenhouse, all the clivia bloom exactly at the same time. So I continue to believe that the triggers are a special combinations of daylength, temperature and perhaps moisture, but to be honest, my Clivia and Scadoxus get some water year round, since they do spend dormant time under the mesh greenhouse benches, where plants get watered with the hose above them, year round.