Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tiny cacti and updates

In the month or so since I have last posted, I do have a new blog ( of my current experiment involving the effects of Gibberellic acid with seed germination and growth, which is partly why I have not updated here. The results in there are not posted over here, even though it also involves miracle fruit. So, onto updates!

The tray of dragon fruit seedlings I officially consider tiny cacti now. They've made some very significant growth, and although have the little leaf at the base, the red fruit seedlings are about 1-2 inches high and have the general shape of the larger cutting I have. I can't say the same about the white fleshed seedlings, though... those are puny, looking like they've been starved or something. I can't think of anything I'm doing differently with them, I'm treating them exactly the same; rich potting soil with good drainage, watering once a week drenching the whole thing, same sunny window, so I don't know why. I'm guessing that maybe the white fleshed variety just grows slower..? If that's true, it doesn't make sense to me, because then the red fruited plants grow faster and taste better, but the white fruits are much more popular.

The other day I tried prickly pear fruit for the first time. It wasn't entirely good, it actually tasted a bit like white dragon fruit, but I'm interested in trying to grow it because of how it's a weed in almost every dry environment. I've even seen it growing outside in a Michigan garden. So I saved a dozen or so seeds from the sweeter one I had and planted them in the white dragon fruit tray away from the small cluster of seedlings, and either way I doubt the existing tenants will survive they're just so frail. I also put a few wrapped in a moist paper towel in a small bowl so I can see if that's also a good way to germinate cacti seedlings. Either way, we'll see.

My larger miracle fruit plant, in the 2-3 months since I have gotten it, has shown no new growth, so there isn't really a point to taking a picture. I was told by the seller that I should keep the plant in the plastic bag until I see new growth, but I'm wondering if that itself is the problem. If I don't see any growth in a month or so I'll gradually take it out of the bag. Hopefully a problem won't occur, and I really hope that the problem isn't my plant itself, because a forum member of says that he is doing what I am, and has gotten new growth after two weeks. I'll see then.

My first bbatch of miracle fruit seedlings are doing a little iffy. About a month ago, I had three seedlings left with three big, healthy leaves each. Then one died. Then one that looked dead sprang back to life, and now has three leaves. Then yet another one died. The only one that looked alive since the beginning has good growth, about five big leaves. Supposedly this is okay for this plant after a few months. I'll have to see in comparison to the other set of seedlings.

My larger dragon fruit cactus stopped growing after the 1 inch strand when I left it outside, and I figure now it was because of the temperature dropping to around 50 F at night. The strand shriveled and fell off so I brought it inside next to a well lit window. Since then it is showing great growth, in the two weeks since I brought it inside a section coming out of it has grown about 5-6 inches. That's about a half inch a day, maybe a little less. I doubt it will grow this way during the winter, but the growth overall is still considerable.

Remember my original Venus fly trap, pluto? And how it had just one tiny trap? (S)he's made considerable growth, gaining about 15 larger traps and an overall improvement in general health. My other venus flytrap, the larger one, is not doing as well. Many of the traps have died and it looks limp, plus the new ones are much smaller.

Large update, when something interesting happens I'll post again.