Wednesday, March 7, 2018


On the occasion of starting to write again, I took a little trip down memory lane.  I started looking at the photos of my plants taken for this blog, starting in 2009.  It was a tad depressing to see how many plants I've lost over the years, especially in the last two. First there was the scale infestation that took my large White Bird of Paradise, (Strelitizia nicolai) two variegated Alpinia zerumbet and a few other small plants in the sunroom.

The Strelitzia nicolai that once anchored the northwest corner of my sunroom

Far worse has been the ongoing Great Mealybug Incursion, which began some time in 2016.  This devasted my succulent collection, particularly the Echeverias, Aeoniums, and other Crassulaceae. I also lost several tropicals, including a mature Piper ornatum, a large Dracaena reflexa 'Song of India' and several Phalaenopsis orchids. I still do battle with the mealies on a daily basis, to the point where I just put a spray nozzle on a bottle of rubbing alcohol. I carry it with me when I inspect my plants and zap the little white demons whenever I see them.

It broke my heart to get rid of this Dracaena

But there were some pleasant surprises. I was was thrilled to see how much a few of my plants have grown and changed over the years. This picture of my Euphorbia lactea crest is from 2008.

Euphorbia lactea with two other Euphorbias I had at the time.
The grafted one is the same one I dismantled in my 2013 post. The answer
to my question "How will you make is on your own?" is: Not Very Well.
Both parts of the graft died.
Here it is today, very much alive and quite a bit taller. Compare the distances between the crested portion and the top of the plant.

Euphorbia lactea, flanked by Crassula ovata varieties
Those Jade plants (Crassula ovata) seen on either side of the Euphorbia have done also done quite well.

Crassula ovata 'Gollum' in 2010
The same plant today

Crassula ovata in 2010

The same plant today

Both of these plants survived mealybug infestations, and have continued to grow and thrive, I am happy to say.  

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