Monday, August 30, 2010

Fruiting Peach Tree

Our peach tree was planted in April 2007, as a congratulatory gift when I got my real job after graduation.  It was about 3 feet tall then.  Three years later, it's pushing 15 feet and covered in blooms every spring.  This year we noticed something a little different after the blooms had all been blown away.

young_peaches
Very young peaches on the tree
Our tree is covered in fruit.  Up until this point I had been referring to our tree as a "Flowering Peach" because I thought it was a flowering only variety.  The fruits were growing quickly in the early Summer, but did not get big enough to eat this year.  Now they're beginning to litter the ground and get squished on our driveway.

small_peach
Little more mature peach. They didn't get much larger than this - maybe 2" in diameter.

I'm hoping that next year we might actually have some fruits mature enough to eat.  The hot and dry latter half of the Summer might have contributed to the small fruits, but I don't know very much about that.

Does anyone know if Peach trees (or any other fruiting trees) take some time before producing mature fruits?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Aroid Photo Update

It's been a while since I have posted updates on some of my plants that I've had for a year or two.  So here are some of my Aroids, which are doing quite well:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Aglaonema 'Gold Dust'"]Aglaonema 'Gold Dust'[/caption]

Though Aglaonema 'Gold Dust' has not grown a lot, it has recently put out a new offset, which I would prefer over height anyway, since I just have one stalk of it.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Aglaonema 'Royal Ripple'"]Aglaonema 'Royal Ripple'[/caption]

My Aglaonema 'Royal Ripple' has been putting out many offsets and is now filling the pot rather nicely.  Some of my other Aglaonemas are also doing really well: A. 'Peacock', A. 'BJ Freeman', A. 'Abidjan', and A. 'Silver Bay'

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Anthurium barbacoasense"]Anthurium barbadoense[/caption]

The Anthurium barbacoasense which I brought back from the April meeting of the MidAmerica IAS chapter is growing really well.  I need to figure out a good system for supporting it.  I probably just need to set up a totem for it.  For now, it has been growing leaning against a taller pot for support.  This plant was collected by Dr. Tom Croat in Colombia.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Epipremnum pinnatum v. 'Cebu Blue'"]Epipremnum pinnatum v. 'Cebu Blue'[/caption]

My Epipremnum pinnatum v. 'Cebu Blue' is one of my favorites!  It has been growing very steadily and has latched on to the wood totem I made for it.  Recently this plant was knocked over in a wind storm, which caused me to lose a leaf or two and some of the plant lost its grip on the wood, but the plant was mostly undamaged.  I'm so glad this one is doing well.  You can see from one of the neighboring plants that I am a sucker for this foliage color.  I just love the blue-silver shade.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Monstera obliqua"]Monstera obliqua[/caption]

I've had luck off and on with my Monstera obliqua, but this set of cuttings really took off recently and I gave it a totem to climb, which is going pretty well.  It has produced some very large leaves down at the base of the plant, which I didn't expect.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Philodendron '69686'"]Philodendron '69686'[/caption]

My Philodendron '69686' is growing very well.  It has been putting out leaves profusely, one right on top of the other.  According to Steve Lucas, this plant is likely a naturally-occurring hybrid from Brazil.  I'm glad it got out before they clamped down on exports of all plant life!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="unknown Philodendron hybrid"]unknown Philodendron hybrid[/caption]

My unknown hybrid Philodendron from cuttings at my office has been growing really well and attached to the totem.  It's already taller than the totem I made, so I'll need to come up with something taller or start cutting it back.  It would be neat if I could make a really tall totem for this one and just let it keep growing taller.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Philodendron florida?"]Philodendron florida?[/caption]

This Philodendron was searching for something to climb, so I recently fixed up a totem for this one and have it temporarily attached with string.  I really like the texture of the stems of this plant.  This plant was a gift from Russ Hammer, who told me that it is called Philodendron florida, but I haven't been able to find much information on that name.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="461" caption="Philodendron mayoi - with two happy pups in the background"]Philodendron mayoi[/caption]

My crowing glory right now is my Philodendron mayoi.  About 6 months ago I found a really nice piece of wood that was contorted and scarred and it was scheduled for destruction, along with a bunch of other tree limbs.  So I held onto it and waited for the perfect use.  One day I realized it would make a really nice climbing apparatus for one of my Aroids.  And I had just the perfect plant!  The P. mayoi latched on very quickly and has roots wrapping all around this unique branch.  It's a work of art, in my opinion!  I really don't think the pictures do it justice.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Philodedron mayoi"]Philodedron mayoi[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Philodendron 'Rojo'"]Philodendron 'Rojo'[/caption]

My Philodendron 'Rojo' hybrid is one of the few Meconostigma self-heading (upright, self-supported, non-climbing) Philodendrons in my collection.  This plant has been growing slow and steady since I got it sometime last year.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Philodendron bipinnatifidum?"]Philodendron bipinnatifidum?[/caption]

The other Meconostigma Philodendron in my collection has not been identified.  For a while I was calling it Philodendron selloum, but I'm not sure that is correct.  It might be Philodendron bipinnatifidum.  My plant has stayed about the same size since I got it in a trade about 3 years ago.  It puts out new leaves and loses old ones, but stays about the same size.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Philodendron tortum"]Philodendron tortum[/caption]

My Philodendron tortum is one of my newer plants.  It has been growing really well.  I will have to set up a totem for it soon.  I guess that will make it a "tortum totem."

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Syngonium wendlandii"]Syngonium wendlandii[/caption]

Syngonium wendlandii is probably the most attractive Syngonium that I have ever seen.  This plant, like my other Syngoniums, really likes water.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oleander blooms and seedlings

Last year I bought an Oleander for really cheap at the end of the summer season.  It had finished blooming for the year, so I didn't know what color it would be, but it was covered in long brown seed pods, which was a nice bonus.

The seed pods stayed on the plant for several months and then finally burst open in the middle of the winter, while the plant was in my greenhouse.  Since there wasn't much air circulation in the greenhouse I was able to gather all the seeds and keep them from planting themselves in every pot.  That was a good thing, since there were thousands of seeds.  Based on my past experience with seeds, I assumed I probably wouldn't have much luck growing Oleanders from seed - especially after I read some information on the internet.

oleander_seeds
Oleander seeds
I gave some of the seeds to my sister to give to her friend who has a greenhouse and grows plants from seed.  After my sister told me that her friend had sprouted seedlings, I decided to try my hand.  Just about a week after planting my seeds I started to see some results.  Turns out the complicated directions on the internet weren't necessary.  I just stuck the seeds in a pot and slightly covered them with soil and watered.

oleander_seedlings
My Oleander seedlings
I've kept my seedlings alive and healthy, but they haven't been growing very fast.  My sister brought me some of the seedlings her friend grew and they are quite a bit more mature than mine.

oleander_grown_seedlings
My Oleander seedlings alongside the mature seedlings
In the mean time, this summer my parent plant bloomed again (the first time for me), in spite of the mealies that have been plaguing it.  Now I know that my plant has pink blooms.

oleander_bloom
Oleander bloom
Oleanders will always remind me of Rome, where there were some beautiful large bushes growing right in front of the Colosseum.

oleander
Oleanders blooming in front of the Colosseum in Rome on our 2007 trip to Italy.  It really just doesn't get any better than this.