(Update) Various plants

Nepenthes (mirabilis x rafflesiana) x coccinea.

A forming pitcher.

Nepenthes ‘viking’.

One pitcher.

From the back.

All heal (prunella vulgaris). Known in TCM as xia4 gu1 chao3.

Lavender from Sandi.

Nepenthes gracilis.

A forming pitcher.

Drosera paraxoda and pinguicula primuliflora I got from Talos.

See the number of babies?!



All heal, plantain, nepenthes

My all heal has sprouted – I see one tiny little sprout in the pot. I’ve found out that it’s also used in Chinese herbal medicine, and is called xiang1 gu1 chao3.

My plantain now (plantago major).

Seed heads.

The unidentified nepenthes species I’d bought for $6 last time at World Farm.

(Updates and observations) Ginger mint; Chinese kale; tea tree; butterwort; pitcher plant

First off, I’ll talk about growing plants permanently in semi-hydroponics and such, using my tea tree (and chocolate mint) as examples.

What I’ve noticed if one plants a plant using any sort of hydroponics method is that over time, the plant shows sign of deterioration, even though the roots can absorb minerals and water easily. While my chocolate mint planted in semi-hydro showed very lush growth for a few months, after that, a large part of the leaves constantly yellowed and dropped off. Stalks turned limp and brown for no reason (that I could discern). After a while, the plant started looking bad. Since the roots had grown down the twine and ended in a mass at the bottom of the bottle, I ensured that they got to breathe by not filling by the whole bottle with the solution. However, the roots started breaking off on their own like brittle hair.

The corn mint I planted in semi-hydro showed the same symptoms more quickly than the chocolate mint. This prompted me to quickly transferred all of them back to soil.

I suspect the reasons are these: 1) that the constant soaking in liquid to ensure the plant doesn’t dry out does more harm than good over the long term. Maybe it causes the roots to really rot (even though I don’t see them rotting); 2) that roots might need something firm to grip upon (like LECA bits or soil) to be healthy.

So, my conclusion: I’ll recommend hydroponics/semi-hydroponics for plants which you plan to grow on a short term basis before harvesting (like vegetables; not those like rocket which you can pluck and they continue growing, but those which you have to harvest the whole plant), and not on a long-term (say, more than six continuous months) basis.

Currently, my tea tree plantlets are growing healthy and strong in semi-hydro. However, I’m keeping a very close eye on them. In fact, I might just plant them into soil very soon.

Ginger mint

The only survivor out of the six. How sad. I transplanted the plug into a more well-draining mix of Tref potting mix with vermiculite, giving it adequate water and the morning sun. It’s looking good now, I hope.

Chinese kale

Seeds from SJ. Finally sowed them last week. I don’t know why, but there are weird things growing on the soil in all the pots. Don’t seem to be harming the seedlings yet. But will monitor.

Butterwort has been catching small insects lurking in my room. Good job!

Pitcher plant from May 2009 gathering being pudgy and cute.

Tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) teenager plant | Pitcher plant since May gathering 2009

After about another one month and slightly more, here are how my tea tree seedlings look like now:

The pitcher plant from Joseph (I think) through Green Baron:

The carnivorous plants in my life right now

Drosera burmanii

After giving away two thumbpots of burmanii to Vi and Karen about nine months ago, I bought one from YK and he gave me another pot.

Pitcher plant from Green Baron during the gathering

Butterwort from Carl

Two drosera intermedias. One was from Carl

Drosera paradoxa