The Garden of Live Flowers

Tales of the bintgoddess and her zone 5b garden in Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December: Coldest day since February

The greyhound puts on a lot of miles just looking for her morning pee-spot

Today we had a high temp of something like 5 degrees.  I peeked out the window at the snow and remembered that I never did bring the hose in.  I should do that one of these days.

Houseplant season is in full swing and I love it!  Unfortunately I'm contending with more problems than ever before, possibly because I have more plants than ever before, and from more sources.  The Stromanthe has mealybugs, which I've been attacking with a flashlight and alcohol with good results so far.

The Alocasia has spider mites and is also losing its older leaves just for fun.  And the Clerodendrum x speciosum appears to have thrips, of all crazy things.  What a great word, "thrips."  One thrips, two thrips, a hundred thrips!  The Clerodendrum is doing terribly and I should just pitch it but it's not a plant I see for sale often so I don't want to give up.  And yet just as I typed that sentence I realized I'm being silly and it's getting tossed tomorrow.  Goodbye, Mr. Thrips!  (ugh...I swear I didn't plan that)

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My Saintpaulia collection has recently grown from one to five plants.  One thing I've learned from my fellow bloggers:  if you're good at a certain plant, might as well own a lot of them.

The other major problem is fungus gnats.  I've done everything I was supposed to and yet there are gnats flying up our noses, landing in our water glasses, and generally making nuisances of themselves.  It's hard to believe they're coming from the plants since I don't see them on the soil when I water, and yet where else could they be breeding?!  I finally sucked it up and bought a bag of Bt from Gardens Alive.  First of three weekly treatments was Monday.  I have my fingers crossed because the next step is a bug bomb and nobody wants that.

Tradescantia zebrina 'Red Hill' cuttings.  The root hairs are so beautiful I want to pet them.

Senecio rowleyanus.  I killed one of these earlier in the year but am vowing to ignore this one for its own good.

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