Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lots of photos, scattered. also for miracletaste.com people.

I have lots of photos in this one, for the miracle taste people. The pictures shown will be the current ones, except for the one where the seedling is just poking out of the soil. I simply like that one. :)

I waited a while, because I had no idea how anything would turn out.

My plant arrived Thursday June 25th, In a surprisingly light package even though the plant was shipping bare root. After wildly ripping open the packaging, I saw a very healthy about 20 inch plant, with it's roots wrapped in moist paper towel. I was actually surprised at the condition of the plant, because there was not one dead leaf throughout the entire thing even though it had been the mail for ten days. The entire plant was tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, and when I opened it I saw a few flower buds! I have pictures below, but afterwords, I had a bit of a process. I had to get the entire plant completely submerged in water for about an hour to get everything hydrated, and let me tell you that is much harder than it sounds. After several tries in getting containers, I finally found one that was just big enough to fit the plant.

I went outside and decided I didn't have nearly enough distilled water to do the entire thing (duh) so I settled for filling it up with a garden hose, and I had to be very gentle with the plant. Once I got the entire plant covered, I added maybe a fourth cup of root starter to the mix, as was recommended by the seller. I let it swirl around for about an hour, when it just started to rain (I was outside, remember.) but I still had a crucial step to do. After intense searching, way more work than I needed to do, I found a maybe too big pot, but I supposed it would work. I mixed up another batch of peat moss and perlite, using a bit more peat this time, added a scoop of miracle gro dirt, some coffee grinds for acidity, and a small of diluted ascorbib acid. I then cut the ends off of two coat hangers, and stuck it in the soil in two sides, took the plant after soaking, dug a hole just a bit bigger than the root ball, and unceremonously stuffed it in. I took the original plastic bag, and following the sellers advice, made sure the soil and plant were wet before tieing the plastic bag over the whole thing. It was a bit of a squeeze, but most of the foliage was free to move. I had to edit my grow setup, so I moved pluto to a different window and raised the seed tray up so it could get an equal amount of sunlight as the larger plant. In the few days it's been set up, one leaf has turned yellow and fallen off, but it looks as if it will be okay. The plastic bag has condensation every day, so I'm prety sure I held it tightly.

And to the seedlings, two of them look dead, but three are pretty tall and are finally making leaves (at least I'm pretty sure.) None of the two leaf like structures actually formed in any of them, and I'm thinking that it's a side effect of the gibberrellic acid, since they're pretty tall for a week old (biggest one is 2 1/2 inches).

All pictures are in newest post, as miracletaste.com people should help.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pictures of setup, and seeds

For the people at miracletaste, I also have pictures of seeds from before.

New cactus, new setup, new things

Well, now that a few of the seeds have germinated I knew I had to make sure the growing conditions were optimal. The window that I had didn't get nearly enough light, only about an hour a day, plus we have had a lot of cloudy days so nothing was constant. I bought a compact fluorescent light made to simulate daylight, so I assume it has all ends of the spectrum. If that's not true, and it's missing red light, a little bit of true sunlight can go a long way, so the setup next to the window should keep that clear. I got a chain and attached it to the ceiling, and hung the light about a foot or so from the seed tray.

I'm only using distilled water now, since it's only 70 cents or so a gallon anyhow and I need it for my flytrap. I have a little plastic container I use to cover the seedlings which have germinated, which by the way still just look like sticks. No leaves yet. I open it up and spritz with distilled water maybe 5-6 times a day. I've changed the bottom of the aluminum container to moist paper towel to add to the humidity. the main things I'm worried about are the seedlings themselves, one looks dead, it fell over, another looks dry, and the other three haven't opened leaf yet, and I'm worried about the soil acidity, It's PH is 7 while it should be 5 or so. I need to counteract this.

Also, I went to home depot and saw a bigger cactus that was flowering green, and I got it. I replanted it into a larger pot with a pixture of peat moss, small amounts of garden soil, and perlite. I also put it under the grow light, and I'm afraid I'll need to get a second bulb! I'm running out of room if I want to keep them healthy. I took a good picture of the cactus flower though. Pictures here are of the cactus, next post is of MF and setup.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Actually, I'm really surprised.

A couple of interesting things have happened over the past few days, since I posted about not doing just miracle fruit. You know how I said I didn't expect any of the seeds to germinate? I was right up until today, there was no sign of germination yesterday, but I looked at the little seed tray today, and just like that, five seedlings were poking out of the soil! I was really surprised, as nothing like this usually works for me. I'm sure some others will also germinated if in one day five do, so I'll be waiting! it already proves that the gibberellic acid had an affect... the seeds are supposed to have a germination rate of 24 percent, but already it's 36 percent. I needed to take off the plastic bag covering the seeds, as one of them was pushing against it, so I'll put the tray in my room with a sheet of plastic covering the tray suspended with sticks. It was a really good surprise, as I was in a bad mood today.

Also, a few days ago, I was at lowes, and in the plant section I saw this tiny little venus fly trap! I had read that you shouldn't buy carnivorous plants at chain stores because they have been treated badly (given regular water, wrong soil, not enough sunlight, no dormancy, ect) but it was only five dollars and I figured I could nurse it back to health. It had only one tiny trap and some of it's leaves were black, so I pinched off the black leaves, and after coaxing it out of the container got a larger container, poked holes in the side, and mixed some peat moss and some perlite. The soil mixture is actually close to what you use for miracle fruit, except you use zero fertilizer. Only use distilled water, keep humid, good light, and bad soil. Also, every winter, keep it colder and with less light/water. They're perrenials, it's necessary for their health. To water it, I keep a bowl under the pot with water in it, and it soaks into the soil.

The first pictures are of my Venus fly trap, Pluto, the second pictures are of the new miracle fruit seedlings.

Also, the larger plant will probably be arriving sometime next week, and I cancelled the order of sundews, the customers service is terrible.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

There are a couple of changes to the idea of the blog..

By "changes" I mean that it is not going to be specifically about growing miracle fruit, as that isn't as huge of a project right now. Instead, it will just be about my pathetic attempts at growing other plants, and unfortunately my blog name can't be changed. On an update about the miracle fruit thing though, none of the fourteen seeds have germinated, and I don't actually expect them too. These types of things don't generally play in my favor.

I have also canceled my plans of buying a bulk amount of seeds, and a couple of dragon fruit cacti from the original seller. Not only is the person going on a vacation, but the seeds wouldn't be ready for a while and I don't think it would be a great project anymore. I doubt even one of the seeds would germinated... *mumbles*

So instead a mature tree is on the way; it's not here yet but it should be eighteen inches and bushy.

It should also be ready to fruit, so that will be good subject matter. Even though it hasn't arrived, a big issue will be making a suitable indoor greenhouse. I say it like that because I need a way to add more light and humidity/heat, because Michigan does not support the conditions needed. once I have that done, I might have a good chance at actually growing something. (My current plan resembles something along the lines of two fish tanks, stacked on top of each other to keep in humidity and fluorescent lamp also close to a window... but that's very prototype.)

And on to other things I'm trying to grow! In addition to the miracle fruit plants, if I can make a big enough enclosure, or depending on the packing, I'm also going to try and raise one or two carnivorous plants. I've done quite a bit of research recently, and one that appeals to me, the sundew, is in the mail and should be arriving about the same time as the miracle fruit plant (a week or less.) The sundew is a carnivorous genus of over 100 species that are called sundew because of these little gobs of nectar on the top of each leaf. When it is wet, and the sun is shining, it sparkles and glistens... like the sun shining on dew. Less romantic is what it uses this for. If a fly or another insect lands on these gobs, as they are attracted to the smell, they get stuck to the gobs, and another leaf curls over the insect, where it is digested while it struggles.

Yeah. Who wouldn't this appeal to? I'll explain how to grow them in my next post. (Pictures enclosed are of the cape sundew, the one I'm getting.)