Friday, January 22, 2010

What is Wrong With My Strep?

I got a small Neil's "Canada" last summer.  It was planted in a very light mostly perlite mix. I repotted it immediately scraping off some of the perlite. I use a 3 parts milled sphagnum peat moss, 2 parts vermiculite, and 2 parts perlite for my streps. 

The plant seemed happy at first and then the burned leaves appeared. More leaves formed and the burning continued on the old and new leaves.  I finally sent Dale Martens a picture and asked her what she thought the problem could be.  She said "It looks like necrotic tissue from drying out once too often.  But if that were not the case, if it were mine, I'd get rid of it.  Sometimes due to the genetics of a strep, it doesn't cooperate in whatever conditions are ok for the other streps that grow near it."

I really like the plant and would hate to throw it out so I wicked it and now new leaves are forming and only one tip of a leaf has any burned tip.  Apparently, that particular plant doesn't like to dry out.

Article and photo done by Sharon J. Thanks and please comment on the post!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Refresh that Terrarium! HOW TO DO IT.

Winter getting a little boring? How about getting some of the violets that are blooming on display? A terrarium is a nice way to give the plants a little more humidity in the middle of the heating season when house moisture is usually very low.

Take a glass enclosure (which are very popular currently and can be found at places like Pottery Barn etc.) and line the edges with some long fiber sphagnum moss. The main interior space may be filled with a light weight soil mix or more sphagnum moss.

Make sure the potting medium in the container is nicely moist. It is very easy to over-water a terrarium, so use some good judgment on this. No standing water in the bottom of the bowl, no musty odor coming from the soil mix.....

Get some miniature or semi-miniature violets and put in a yarn/string wick. We are leaving the violets in the pots and not "planting" them directly in the bowl's medium. This way we can remove them quickly to freshen them and get them groomed and looking lovely.

Continue planting the potted violets and any other plants that fit nicely into your "landscape plan". The planting should look like a small scene from nature, not just a bunch of plants stuck hastily into a bowl.

Finish off with some accessories. Remember to think "in scale" when choosing accessories, rocks, pieces of wood and decorations. Don't go for huge when  small will do nicely.