Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Sincere "Thank You"

Petrocosmea sericea, in my plant room this morning!

I've missed blogging about my favorite plants। Sometimes, one is blessed with lots of "passions" in life, and priorities must shift. With only twenty-four hours in a day, and only one of me, the time left for plant passions is limited to only enough time for watering and maybe a little fertilizing and repotting. I'm happy to say, though, that at least for the moment, I'm finding a bit more time to not only water and fertilize, but also to stop and smell the Petrocosmeas (see my last post!!).

Most importantly, I must stop to say a most sincere "Thank you" to all of you who have taken the time to write, share photos, seek advice, and tell me of your experiences with Petrocosmea. It means a lot to hear that you have found the posts here on the blog helpful to your enjoyment of Pets. In the time that I have been away from the blog, I have continued, as time permitted, to do some experiments, study both old and new species, and to continue to grow and evaluate new seedlings for future release. I continue to learn so much about these plants every time I work with them. The feeding, watering and fertilizing may have been scarce, but my enthusiasm for the Pets remains. In your letters, you have given me many ideas for future posts, and I will do my best to get to those as soon as I can. Thank you for the suggestions, comments, and questions.

So, this morning, having a rare day off, I arose early and went to the basement to work with the plants. I was welcomed by the plant pictured above...Petrocosmea sericea, giving it's annual show of bloom. The plant pictured is now about ten years old. It was one of my earliest acquisitions as a gift of two leaves from a friend. This senior amoung my collection has been in the same pot for about four years now. It is potted in a 1:1:1 ratio mix of peat, perlite and vermiculite and is in a five inch pan pot. It sits on an acylic matting that is occasionally moistened for humidity. Humidity in my basement never gets below around 50% year round, and is often higher. This summer, as my work schedule has gotten busier, this plant has wilted several times and has only been fertilized maybe twice in the last year. But it is happy. This photo reasserts my advocacy of letting Pets dry out between waterings, and for going light on the fertilizer. One of the most common questions I get is "why won't my Pet bloom?" Often, with some questioning, I hear that the plants are kept constantly moist and fertilized often. It is true that his treatment makes lovely and lush foliage, but I fear it is at the expense of flowers. Pets in nature often grow in rather harsh conditions where they dry out between rains. Prior to taking the photo, I removed 17 spent flowers and there are 68 flowers still on the plant, if I counted them correctly. It makes a lovely sight and you can see the flower potential if given proper culture. SO, this morning, being greeted by this lovely sight, I took the time to stop and smell the Petrocosmeas! (I have three of these P. sericeas in bloom now.) And remember, this species is fragrant.... the scent is great! I hope you have some Pets in bloom to enjoy too~!!