New Plants & A New Week

Neanthe Bella Palm (lovingly named Adora)

I saw this palm in the gift shop at a botanical garden and fell in love. Luckily, it’s pet safe – and also luckily, I have a bunch of extra planting pots to stick her in as I bought her on a whim and didn’t buy anything to plant her in at that time.

According to the web, this plant is going to need weekly to biweekly watering and is relatively easy to care for – looks like I might’ve hit the jackpot here! It also seems to need indirect sunlight/lower light conditions, which is fantastic for where I plan to place this little one.

Currently, Adora is about five inches tall; she’ll be going in a nice big blue ~gallon pot where she should be happy for a long time.

Surprise Seeds!

Alright, now this is a fun one! My partner told me a bit ago about our favorite plant shop adding a seed vending machine that costs just a quarter; I totally forgot about that until the other day when we went there and he handed me a quarter. Now I have this little alien pod with succulent seeds in it.

I was SUPER excited to get inside!

I just opened the pod this morning and inside were these seeds. To my disappointment, there’s no information inside on what kind of seeds these are – I’m not sure if these are pet safe so I’ll be planting them out my kitten’s reach. I’m also not sure how to best care for them, since (1) I don’t know what they are and (2) I’ve never grown succulents from seed before!

Looks like I’ll have to do some research!

And speaking of aliens – my weird kitty cat has been yelling at me all morning as I slowly wake up with my head in my coffee – she wants to play and I need to work/wake up. So once I’d opened the alien pod and taken out the seeds, she got the emptied pod as a toy – and boy, has she been having a blast!

Here she is investigating her new toy.

And, here are her first tentative pokes at her new toy.

Just after this I heard tap tap tap as the thing rolled around my wood floor and she bounced it in and out of my (her) yoga wheel, which you see pictured here.

Jade Propagate

When I first got this piece of a jade plant I wasn’t aware that to propagate a succulent from a leaf like this, it’s best to first dry out the mother leaf – so I put it directly into water. Once I read this article I made some changes to my plan, starting with removing that leaf from the water and placing it on a tissue in some sunshine to begin drying out.

The jade leaf where it’s currently taking some time to dry out. This is its second day of independence.

Next steps will be placing the mother leaf on succulent soil, where I’ll allow it to dry out for the next few days until it looks a bit crinkly. Then I’ll water it via the soil (not top watering in order to avoid drowning the leaf; I’ll pick up the leaf and wet the soil it’ll be sitting on, then replace it). Apparently a propagate like this has to be watered near daily, unlike an established succulent.

Basil Hospital

I have not been good at caring for herbs in the past. Six rosemary plants have died on my in my home now, and I’ve had multiple basil disasters – the first of which being one of my childhood kitties, Oliver, knocking over my newly planted baby basil from a Girl Scout event and killing the plant.

As for the basils you see here, they came from a larger pot purchased from Home Depot. The other two basils dried out and got pests and died; I’m trying hard to rescue these two. Soon I’m hoping to add them to an indoor hydroponic garden, once that garden’s built.

Finding a Home for Catnip

And now, the kicker – did you know catnip is toxic to cats? Yeah. I knew they could get too much of the stuff, but I assumed the plant itself wouldn’t be a problem. Luckily my cat just likes to stare at it, not really bite at it, but I want her to be as safe as possible so I’m seeking a new home in my place for my fast-growing catnip plant that isn’t easily accessible to her.

At the moment, the plant is in a windowsill where it’s blocked by other things so she can’t get at it really; recently I purchased a wall-hanging planter that I’m hoping will work for the catnip. Unfortunately I was hoping to assess placement for that new planter today, but it isn’t sunny out so I can’t get a good idea of a bright, warm, dry spot to stick it up yet!

And if you’re curious about the planter, this is it. It’s gorgeous and should be easy to hang; my concern is that the catnip might be too big! Worst comes to worst I use that planter for something else (it’s not like I don’t have plenty of flora, including wildflower seeds yet to be planted) and create a Plan B.

Random Factoid for a Rainy Monday

Geosmin chemical structure

Lots of people love the smell of rain. Did you know that smell is in part due to a specific chemical that’s released from the ground due to rainfall? That chemical is geosmin, which is apparently also responsible for the earthy taste in some foods (which I did not know)!

Another fun factoid: that rainy, earthy smell is called “petrichor.”

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