Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hugs, Not Drugs.

I mentioned in the last post that the plant really started doing well when I took it home. My house has a lovely bank of windows with southern exposure. That and more water sprung the plant to life, so to speak. I stopped with chemical fertilizers then too. A few months later I finally got around to re-potting it. I bought some much larger pot, at least 4 times the size. I got some organic potting soil mixed with sand, and organic blood meal. I mixed the blood meal in at around 5%. After carefully moving the plant to the bigger pot, I sprinkled the Holy Tone fertilizer lightly around the plant, covered it with decorative rocks, and gave it a good soaking. Now based on reading the ingredients of the Holy Tone, I am pretty sure it qualifies as organic, but would welcome insight from anyone who knows.

Before long the plant started growing faster than ever. It the months since it has at least doubled in size. The new leaves sprout two at a time. They used to grow to maturity before two more would come. Now the next two often come just a couple days after their predecessors.

When I first re-potted it I was watering it heavily. I was nervous that if I didn't it would suffer from the change of pot. Recently I have cut the water back dramatically. From well over a gallon a week, to less than a quart. I did that because I learned in Costa Rica this year more about the flowering cycle. With a specific wet and dry season, the flowers come shortly after the heavy rains begin. I have been watching my plant closely since cutting the water back so much, and it seems to be just fine. Also, the leaves it grows now are much bigger than ever before, many of them as big as my hand.

So that's where it stands. On a whim last night I emailed Dr. Mike Maunder, the Director of the famous Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami. I ask him for help getting my plant to produce, and really didn't expect to hear back. I was very pleased to get a response from him first thing this morning. He has referred me to their horticultural expert for assistance. I very much look forward to hearing from her, and will update you all when I do!


Παρης Πλατανιας said...

Πολύ καλή ιδεά!!

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