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Rex propagation

Rex begonias and their fabulous foliage is a beautiful sight when sprinkled throughout a garden. They look great indoors as well. We have a small collection that we started in the winter months from Hyams and Logee’s.  There are several more I’d love to get from Logee’s but for now I’m going to focus on expanding the collection we currently have and enjoy.

I looked through a few tutorials, some called for rooting hormone and others didn’t. For this exercise I dipped half of the leaves in rooting hormone and left the other half alone. I have no idea how well I’ll do with these (I had pretty good success with fibrous rex stem cuttings this winter) and I’ll post updates when noticeable changes happen. Any feedback/ideas are welcomed.

What I needed to complete the project:

  • Sterile scissors or razor – I ended up using my scissors for all cutting steps
  • Rex begonia leaves
  • Soil is a mixture of 1 part peat moss : 1 part Perlite
  • Rooting Hormone – optional
  • Container to cover/tent the plants

Choose (healthy) leaves. A couple of mine may be a little suspect. The ideal leaves are mature leaves, but not too old.

Trim the outer edges.

Cut 2-4 wedges per leaf. If using rooting hormone, dip them at this point.

Plant the leaves in the peat moss/Perlite mixture. The leaves with the rooting hormone are in the two containers on the left.

Cover the plants and keep them in a brightly lit area, but away from direct sunlight. Keeping them covered will allow them to stay moist, with seldom if ever watering needed.

Once new growth appears (can take up to six weeks) the cover may come off and the plants are to be watered sparingly. Depending on the pot size they may not need to be transplanted for a while.

*Fingers crossed!*

Monday, Monday – I suck at succulents and other confessions

I was out most of last week tending to life, the family and everything. We did manage to spend some time outside and tackled a few projects.

As the title of the post states, I suck at succulents. For a long time I’ve gone about trying to keep them happy with my soil mixture of sand/potting soil and living outside when weather permits. For the most part, I’ve been unsuccessful and it made me sad. I was at the point of swearing them off and having to look upon their awesomeness at a distance. Michael convinced me that we should try one more time. We found what we hope is a good soil recipe to try (bonus is that we had all ingredients on hand) and we planted several plants in a variety of containers yesterday. I’m very excited to see how these do and I’m holding myself accountable for their survival via the blog. Otherwise, I’ll just toss them if they don’t do well.

Another confession is that I also suck at fuschias. I’ve tried several times to keep them alive for longer than a few months but inevitably, they perish. I had also sworn them off but I find them irresistible. I decided that if I am going to work through my succulent issue then perhaps I should also address my fuschia problem. We brought this planter home and discovered a few stems broke somewhere in transit. We dipped them in rooting hormone and set them on the ‘propagation station’. I will be thrilled beyond words if these root and we end up with multiple thriving plants this year and beyond!

We were also able to try leaf propagation with some of our rex begonias, which I’ll post tomorrow.

Monday, Monday

Eeeek! Today’s post is a tad late in the day but errands had us out and about for a good portion of the day. I’m sure it would be hard to imagine that we would be found out in the garden this weekend. The weather was amazing, minus the tornado warning and severe storm that hit us late Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day Michael took me to the ‘Plant Guy’ to pick up a few things. I can never remember his or the company’s name, but he sets up in the parking lot at Hwy. 61 and Wappoo Road for two to three months during the spring. We make a couple of visits while he’s here. Oh, and we also hit Hyams. Some things are so predictable. So for today I will share the latest photos!

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How does your moss grow?

I’ve always loved the look of moss covered pagoda lanterns. I have dreamed of one day seeing the two we have covered. Ok, one isn’t going to be a reality as long as it’s sitting in the sun all day but the one behind the pond has started to see some growth on the paver base. We have a nice row of moss along the bottom porch step/landing that I scraped off and placed on the roof and side yesterday. I didn’t add a coating of anything to it such as yogurt or beer. I figured that since it was growing elsewhere without help then maybe it would take off on the stone.

I’m open to suggestions!

{ Top photo credits: www.tochigidailyphoto.com1 | 2 }

Monday, Monday

I’ll start the week off with a mega dose of cute! I finished clearing the back porch of the remnants of Operation Greenhouse and while I still need to do a bit of organizing, life has returned to normal. And by normal I mean the cats are out there from the moment the door is opened until late in the evening when we close it for the night. Well, minus the time they spend hanging with mom.

Now, a little more on the ‘good’ side of a mild winter as mentioned in Friday’s post. I cut back most of the parrots feather in the pond and lo and behold, lily is coming back! The King of Siam is a tropical lily and in my laziness I didn’t bring it in for the winter.  Now we wait to see if we get this in a few months. Oh, and we’ll most likely move it to the big pond where it can get a little more exposure to the sun.

Hyams had these beautiful hanging baskets on sale a couple months back and I finally got around to planting something in them. We also picked up two begonias (our collection is coming along quite nicely!) while we were there and I decided to add those to the baskets. I also rummaged around the beds for various additional foliage. I hope these grow into something lovely!

And last but not least, another fun discovery. Back in November or December I cut a stalk of the umbrella plant to experiment with the prescribed propagation method, which is to turn it upside down and stick it in the dirt. It was in a spare pot and I thought it was long dead from the wilds of neglect and was wonderfully surprised when I saw this little shoot peeking through the dirt. I planted it behind the pond on Saturday. Now on to more propagating for other areas in the yard and to share with others. 🙂

Happy Monday!

Bon Weekend – Anniversaries

I moved the blog from Blogger a year ago this week. I’ve been very happy with WordPress so far. I’ll celebrate three years of big time blogging in August. Woot!

I took a few Instagram photos of some of the plants today. I’m happy to see more life emerging from the ground. The mild winter has been great in some respect but we’re going to pay for it this summer. The good:

It’s mid-March and some of the ginger is already above my knee.

The kaffir lime did very well in the pot and only lost a bit off the top.

I’m still scratching my head with this peony. We thought it long dead last summer but here it is!

I love Green Fever. Please have a safe and fabulous weekend. If the weather works, I hope everyone gets some quality outside time!

The makeshift greenhouse worked wonders

I made some pretty good progress in the back beds over the last couple of days. The side was empty a year ago! I’ve made it to the other corner of the house, to the banana plant. In a fit of hating the creeping jenny I planted in various places last year (it got leggy and has made me unhappy), I’m pulling it up and replacing it with the sedum ground cover pictured below, which we have elsewhere. Like in the top photo. The big fish will be moved to the big pond once we have it dug and everything installed. I hope that happens before it gets too hot but we’ll see! The parrots feather needs to be addressed and I’m waiting to see if the lily is going to come back. I didn’t winterize it. The fish seem to be very happy!

Dirt therapy

We’ve spent time every day this week working to reclaim the back yard. We brought the plants off the porch to give them a taste of the outside and will hopefully take the plastic down this weekend. It’s exciting to see life popping up from their winter hibernation. Several stalks of ginger are quite high at the moment as well as the canna.

I decided to pull together some of my favorite photos from last year to inspire us to make it bigger and greener this year! It feels great to have dirt under my nails again. 🙂

Mail order love

A couple weeks ago I pinned a photo of a Begonia ‘Curly Fireflush’. I knew we had to have one so I headed out to Hyams to see if they had any but no luck so next was Abide-A-While. Again, no luck but I didn’t leave either establishment without some other beautiful tropical begonias! I turned to the trusty old internet and discovered Logee’s, based out of Connecticut, to find my precious. I placed my order on the first and my box arrived yesterday. I added a couple more plants to the order to even out the shipping and they arrived happy and healthy! They’re shipped in adorable 2.5″ pots and I’ll most likely repot them tomorrow as they don’t seem to be in any kind of shock.

Thanks Logee’s, you’ve earned a new customer for harder to find plants!

2011 in review

When I look back on what we did last year I see that we accomplished quite a bit! Sometimes it’s easy to lose track while going through the daily, weekly and monthly grind. Here are the highlights of what we did/made…

Bedroom
We went from ugh to ah in a matter of months. I was frustrated with myself for putting off starting a few things but in the end I think it worked for the better!

What we did in 2011:
Painting and a needed update for our bedspread. I’m still thinking of going with white and accenting with color through pillows.
Hung our Nelson bubble lamps.
Starry pelmet

What we need to work on/finish:
Recover bedside stools & redo lamps
Wood floors or decent carpeting
Louvered door for the closet

Stay tuned to Offbeat Home this week for the constellation light tutorial!

My Studio
I loved it when we got it set up the previous year but after working in it for a while I realized I needed to make changes.

What we did in 2011:
Made the steel prep table mobile
New flooring
New center work table
Reorganized the layout

Window shelf (in action)
Thread storage

What we need to work on/finish:
More shelving
The closet of doom

Breakfast Nook
A lackluster and unused space became a family project. Mom served for much of the inspiration.

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