Sunday, July 05, 2015

Gardening at the guest house

Well, no pics of most of it, But here's what I'm up to... we had a temporary employee that was supposed to clean up the flower beds... for some reason he pulled out ALL the holly ferns and chopped a lime tree sapling down to the ground and was quite proud of that bare dirt. 

He's not around anymore, but the courtyard is now bare... for various reasons we weren't able to immediately replace any plants, and so I've taken it upon myself to aquire cuttings and attempt to fill in. 

Its interesting... many of the plants I'm getting I know as houseplants, but they're outside plants in this climate. 

I've taken three leaves from the Sanseveria on the front porch, cut each sword in three pieces and planted them in the ground... they now have roots and I'm expecting the first growth in about a month. 

There are two vines of ornamental sweet potato that I rescued... they had wandered to far from a public planter and were being beat up by foot traffic.   There's a "chartreuse" And a "blackheart" Just rooted good and beginning to grow.  Since these can grow six inches a day, I have faith that they'll soon make short work of all that bare dirt. 

Currently, there are several cuttings in my bathroom rooting on water.  Its not the best situation, but I'm working with what I got... Lol.

This mess consists of elephant ears, (Calocasia esculentia) fibrous rooted begonias (Begonia sempiflorens) Aluminum plant (Pilea cadierei) and a piece of Swedish ivy, ( Plectranthus esculentia  ).  

These were found dumped in a nearby vacant lot... it looked like a gardener had thrown them over a fence actually... the Colocasia were all small plants with a few roots and the bare beginnings of a bulb... they were put in water to perk them up more than anything else and they'll go outside in a day or two.  The begonias look like trimmings,  a couple had tiny root balls, the others were just broken off stems.  Rooted plants will go out on a day or two... probably near the pineapple tops I rooted. 

The aluminum plant will brighten up a shadier area... natives of Vietnam, they do like the climate here and I've seen some very happy plantings of them around.  

Same for the Swedish Ivy... its reasonably common around as a kind of informal ground cover.  

And now for a question...

I found this clump of upright elephant ear (Alocasia macrorrhiza)  in a lot thats fixing to be built on... and as much as I'd like to take a giant 7 foot tall clump home with me, i dont have the means.

But I inspected it further and found these...

So...does anyone out there have any clue as to how one sprouts Alocasia seeds?

Ive grown  them Texas, and I've even seem them bloom, but this is the first time I've ever ran across seeds... any help appreciated as the web isn't being encouraging at all


  1. The International Aroid Society's instructions for Alocasia are probably good, especially the storage and cleaning parts. I'd personally be more inclined to use vermiculite than the options they recommend, because it can usually be relied upon to be sterile, it's relatively cheap, and it's what's worked for me with Spathiphyllum and Anthurium. (Perlite is sterile too, but it's been more difficult for me to work with, because it's so much more porous: plants tend to fall over, or dry out faster.)

    I'd also deviate from their recommendations in that I'd just leave the container sealed for a long time and not worry about slowly loosening a bag to acclimate the plant until I intended to transplant it to soil -- I'm under the impression that the climate in New Orleans is basically the same as being in a sealed container at 100% humidity all the time anyway, so I can't imagine that the seedlings would even notice a difference -- since once you unseal the environment, you have to start worrying about when and how much to water, which is more difficult to do if you're using a plastic clamshell-type container, or a glass jar, or whatever, and I'm lazy enough to want to postpone decisions like that if I can. As long as the plant's not bending itself all crazy against the walls of the container, it's fine.

  2. Mr. S, thats pretty much what I was thinking... except i was going to go with peat moss. Still might... I've got 3 of those seed heads, so I've got room to experiment. Thanks for the input, and I'll check out that site.

  3. Claude,
    Glad to see you have been able to get your hands back into soil. Knowing y0ur propagation skills there will be new plant growth shortly in the courtyard shortly. – G

  4. Oh this is fabulous, Claude!!! How much fun can this be????? I love it. I've just finished filling in one of my tires with sweet potato vine cuttings! It is a glorious lovely, green, and bushy....spilling over.....