My plants are blooming! Gardenia Miracle!

meyermike_1micha(5)February 5, 2011

It's a Gardenia miracle! While everyone here in my area are loosing theirs, mines is flourishing!

Just thought I would share my excitement with you since I think after all these years, I have finally found a way to tame these

I have learned a lot from everyone here and thanks for all the support over the years.

I think threatening it, that I would be stick it on the other side of that window might of worked too.

Since this is a fragrant forum, I thought I would also share a pic of my orange and ponderosa tree too..:-)

They ALL smell so great!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful plants, Mike! They look so incredibly healthy!

Say, what's that you're growing in, there, Mike? Is it a durable, well aerated, free draining medium? I think so! Well done, Mike! You're really applying all that knowledge well... and it shows! Great success! :-)

I wish I could smell those blooms!

Hi, Mom! :-)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Thanks again for sharing your pics. They sure do a great job of illustrating your remarkable progress, Mike. Strong work!

Send Sissy another hug from me, too!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Mike,

Those Gardenias are so green and healthy...I wish that I could smell them right now....I love them too!

The Ponderosa looks like it is very happy as well..I hope you have the same size lemons that Brooklyn Greg had on his tree...I have to order one of those trees this spring for myself!!! (One lemon could make pies, cakes, lemon bars...etc!! LOL...)

Everything looks great!!! Congratulations!!

My DR is showing signs of new branches...I trimmed one of my dormant trees to see its reaction...much to my surprise, it has started new growth!! I will take a pic and show you...
Is your DR showing any signs? I just watered mine today and thought of you...I know that your DR will bloom for you this summer..that one I sent to you is a very strong bloomer!

Take care of yourself...and say Hi to your Mom for me...

Hello Everyone....Hope you all are doing well...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jodi! Mom says hello and she thinks a lot of you as I am typing. We are spending the day together.
We just ate Chinese food and cleaned the house. I also took more pics of plants that I can't wait to put outdoors! Thank you for your kind words.
Yes. she also is asking for Jojo since she knows that Jojo is bound to be here soon. Jojo, my mom hopes your plants make it through that dreadful unusual cold weather as I do.

Hello Al!! I owe it to you, and yes I know, myself for paying attention and applying what I have learned. But, you have been a great teacher that I can not put a price on what you have done for me.:-) Thank you

Laura: I am so happy to see you and so happy to hear that your DR 's are doing ok! I have some very sad news and yet good news!
I have not watered it but once since I have had it. It has been in the cellar all this time in very little light and dry as a bone. I decided to bring it up and set it in my windows at work, but noticed the branches are starting to rot off! Receeding back to the main trunk mind you. The caudex is fine and hard and as I cut those branches back, I noticed the rest of the plant is doing well.
I watered it for the first time today since I thought it was starving for water and the ends were basically desiccating off because of no water?
It will receive much warmer sun now and longer days. Did I do ok? That plant means so much to my mother and me.

Yes the gardenia smells so nice! I work with a women that just lost her husband at the age of 50, and has looked sad ever since. I know she loves gardenia's. So I put that flower on her desk before she came in to work and later that day she called me. She was in tears of joy. I told her for as long as that gardenia sits there, every flower it puts out will end up on her keyboard.
If that plant can make someone happy, then that plant has served its purpose.
Just as the DR is serving its purpose thanks to you.

Everyone, thank you again for helping me do what I enjoy most!

How I wish that snow would melt away soon. I guess it is a good reflective:-)


    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Mike,

I think that your DR will be fine...It probably is very thirsty!!! LOL...Give it some light and some water and you will see a big improvement!! No worries...

Here are a few pics of my dormant DR's...then a close up of the one that I cut back..notice the new growth...I couldn't believe how fast it responded... Hope this helps!! Send me a pic of yours...I bet that it will come back full of new growth for you and your mom!!!

Take care...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG! There's that awesome Christmas Cactus in that spotted large cat pot that I love so much! The contrast of that plant in bloom and that planter just blows me away! :-)

I love that planter, Laura!

Nice caudexes! Bulbs and bulbous plants are my thing! ;-) I'm totally into any plant or tree that can hold its own moisture supply or behave like a little living battery.

Nice pictures, Laura!

Aw, thanks, Mike... thanks, Mom! :-) You guys are the cat's meow! Love ya's! Your day together sounds nice... I used to do stuff with my Mom a lot, too... we'd shop together, spend the day sitting on her deck just talking and watching her hummingbird feeders... stuff like that. I miss her.

Great pictures, everyone!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 7:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Mike!
Sorry i'm late getting here.
Yesterday was a huge let down, and I spent it sulking.

Please tell mom Hi, and give her hugs for me!
Sounds like a nice day you had.

Hello to Everyone!

Your plants are beautiful!
I want to find a few that will bloom and smell good in the winter!
May go shopping today for a citrus. Need a "cheer me up" of some sort. I have the perfect spot in the living room for a tree, in front of a south window!

I'm NOT ready for a Gardenia! LOL!
My mom has had a few, and if you looked at it wrong , flowers just fell off! LOL!

That was sweet of you to put it on her desk!

Oh, hubby got up, and saw the pic with all the snow and asked if you were in Siberia! LOL!

Threatening to put her out would certainly be enough to get her blooming! ROFL!

Sorry to hear your having trouble with the DR. I know they can be tricky if they go dormant. Mine never did, it's in a sunny window and green and growing. I know some people grow them year round.

Keep an eye on the caudex, soft is bad news. I'm sure it needs water as Laura said. And sure it will be fine. They are tough plants.
I have some seedlings that just sprouted a few days ago! OH they are cute!

I'm with you on the cat planter! Wow! I love it!!
And Laura! i've never seen such a big agave in the house! lol! It's beautiful!

Have a good day everyone and stay warm!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 11:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jojo: I heard about your experience at the pet store

I would of felt that way too! It'so horrible to see what they go through. It almost reminds me of the plants I see at HD or anyplace else where workers just don't even know how to give proper care. It is digusting! Then if you bring them home, they could have mites which is a death sentence, unless one is willing to dish out big bucks for vet bills.
I am sorry about what you saw Jojo and I really think you deserve to shop for a beautiful CITRUS tree. I think I might of got Jodi going now..

Having a tree like that Jojo, a citrus, will brighten anyones day in bloom, especially this time of the year.
I started a new thread at the citrus forums and I would love it if you all took a peek.

Just don't ever walk into an animal shelter. It took me days to stop envisioning those poor defensless creatures. Just as you said, if I had the cash, I would do something with them and save their lives.

Your right, I meant to mention that huge "agave" in Laura's house! lol..What the heck Laura, how do you do it? lol.
Thank goodness you get to put them back out in a month and have that "crane" at your Beautiful and to think that I have a piece of that baby. I just wish I could set mine by a crystal clear pool like you.
It is doing so well. And that CC, you just had to throw that in there, didn't you?
If you ever decide to give that away, you can give it to Jodi first, since she has givin you the most compliments on it thus

Jodi: I am sorry you can't spend days like that with your mom anymore. I know how close you were. I bet your heart and mind are full of her memories all around.
My mom says that she is willing to adopt you and the gang anytime. She loves you all so much and has gotten close to you all just in your writings, kindness, and pictures. Says she sees such a diverse group of plant lovers who know how to act like good human beings and add such quaility to these forums. I knew that..:-)

Ps. I am also a cat lover, next to a bird lover. I guess the two go hand in hand, right?

Do any of you like fish? I am in the market for a black Betta fish to stick in a bowl with a peace lilly growing out from the top as the roots reach into the water for my desk here at work.:-)

Yup Jojo..The threats do work! It is the second year I have done this. Last year there was no snow on the ground, and all that plant did was just grow. This year, snow, and I think it is a better visual for that Now the flowers.

Tell your hubby if he saw what I wore today to walk to the backyard, he would think I am an Eskimo lost in Siberia!lololol. The snow is actually 8 feet high in the back yard and makes my pop up greenhouse look like a dog house in size. I won't even go into what I have had to do to stop it from getting buried and collasping! God, the things we do for our plants right? The dogs and cats seem to like peeing right at the entry way those! What a pain. Yeloow stained snow that I have to step on to open the doors everyday!

I will keep an eye on the DR. I did water yesterday and today we have full sun for a change. I will take pics tomorrow and ask you guys/gals what you think. I would love your guidence. It is still in a peat mix, but root bound and I did not want to disturb the roots till summer.

With Josh's experience in cutting things down well and knowing his are starting to grow, Jojo's experience with the hot sun and gritty mix, Al's pruning tecniques of roots and trees and good mixes, then Jodi, your desire to grow them too, and Laura's experience in growing such beauties, and anyone else might I add, I think my DR will be ok. I am feeling pretty good about now!

Much love everyone from us all here!

Thank you for all your awesome help and kind comments.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Hi Mike.

I've been seeing a lot of your posts as I browse the Citrus forum and the container forum. It seems like you've had great success using al's gritty mix in zone 5 for citrus but I just wanted to be sure before I try to repot some of mine (or use it on the new ones I'd like to order for Four Winds if I can get my money back from Clifton's after that fiasco, see the citrus forum for that story).

Are you growing all of your citrus in that gritty mix? And the plants do spend some time indoors and out? What is the largest plant you've tried to use it with? I'm worried some of my larger 10' trees will use too much water, especially when they are in full sun in 95 degree St. Louis weather?

I've lost several gardenias in the past to root rot so that's why this thread caught my eye - are you using the same 1:1:1 gritty mix with that gardenia? I also wonder if the gardenia spends any time outdoors in the summer and if so is it in full or part sun?

Thanks for reading - and the gardenia looks great.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Redshirtcat. Nice to meet you:-)

I don't think I ever saw your post in the citrus forums. I shall have to look for yours.

Yes, I use the 1.1.1 mix on that gardenia and my citrus.

All my trees spend time outdoors all spring to fall and then come in for the winter. My largest plants are my orange trees and my grapefruit. I think they are in 5 gallon containers soon to be re-potted into ten come the spring.

Your trees will not be needing water as much as you think. The gritty mix holds moisture much longer than you might think, especially in larger containers, but never stays wet. Wet mixes is what citrus hate.

Especially because I get my trees from 4Winds, they must go into a high quality mix prepared ahead of time since they come very healthy, and that is the start I always want to give them to keep them that way. They take to the mix very well immediately.
That calamondin tree you see in the picture, was potted right into the gritty mix as soon as I got it last spring, and put out new growth within a few days.
I also find they take the potting process from barefoot into the 1.1.1 mix very well, immediately without a shock period.

That gardenia was almost dead in a peat based mix. It was on it's way out. When I potted into the gritty mix, it perked right up within a couple days and has resided in that mix, same pot for years.
Some of my citrus trees are still in the same pots since I first learned of the 1.1.1 mix.

You might find yourself watering more frequently in the start on some plants until the roots have begun to fill into the mix. I can water my trees everyday in summer if I want, or go for a few days without and they do fine.

In winter, I can still water more frequently than if they were in a peat based mix, and yet hold off a few days longer than I do in the summer.

Why don't you try one tree in the mix for the summer and see what you think?

Once you get to know the mix, you'll never go back to anything else, wish you had done all of the others just the same, and rush ot get your others in it before the summer is over.
If your trees are showing signs of weakness or not as vibrant as you would like, or if you feel your mix is slowly killing your plants, then plan on a major re-potting come this spring:-)

The gardenia gets morning and late afternoon sun, but not full at mid-day. Mine seem to love staying out of the full sun between the hours of 12-2 in the summer, so I stick them places where they will get early to late morning sun, or late afternoon to evening sun.
They seem to loose their deep rich green color and get pale if kept in hot sun all day, and promotes flowers that die off within a couple of days.

You will love the feeling of being able to water your plants outdoors every morning without fear of rot. Just make sure you follow Al's instructions to the tee with sifting and particle size so that you have no perched water in your containers.
You can also learn of using wicks if you want to, and wooden dowels to check for moisture if need be.

Hope this helps you. Ask for help anytime:-)

Let us know what you do. We are all here for you and your plants.
Josh is also another good one to ask since he too uses the 1.1.1 mix on his citrus and has great results.


Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus in 1.1.1 mix

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Mike,

You all are so much fun to be around!!!!

I think this is my favorite forum...I'll have to change my profile on that!!! LOL...

JoJo..sorry to hear that you had a tough day yesterday...I can only guess by the way some have mentioned that it had to do with a bad experience at a pet store....

My daughter bought her dog from a pet store...I tried to talk to her about how and where they are raised etc...needless to say, it was to late...she fell in love with that little weiner dog...the one that looks like it has a mink coat on!! The second day it was home, it developed kennel cough..I tried to keep her seperated from my little weiner dog...and yep, you guessed it...they both had it..after several visits to the vet...I finally nursed them both back to health... I don't like to go near those stores..It makes me feel bad...knowing what they have to go through...So..I decided to post a pic for you and Jodik!!
It will be over on the thread for my screens...that way Mike can keep his great thread going...Hopefully this will make you both smile!!! are way to funny...My Back is the "crane" and I have to be extra "careful" when moving it...It has a natural way to "pierce" anything and everything in it's way!!! LOL...I really need to plant it in the ground this was given to me froma a special friend whois no longer with I am very nervous about losing this "granddaddy" of a has produced many offspring...I am glad that you have one of the many babies!!! Anytime someone comes over they just look in amazement at this Agave...They look at the sharp points and say some very interesting things!! I have to take the clippers out and cut the sharp points off every season..

Jodik..I love the Dr's too! Thanks for the compliments on the "leopard" planter....I have had it for over 20 years!!
Your pic is next door too! I also will post a pic of my baby DR...for you!!

Take care everyone...

Hi to Sissy!!

Laura in VB "Go Pack Go!!!" : )

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 10:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't get me started on pet shops, Mike and Laura! As you know, Mike, my husband and I have been successful canine breeders, working with Molossers for the better part of our lives, and there's a huge difference between treating animals purely as a commodity, and breeding them with a purpose in mind. If you're doing it right, you'll always be broke! ;-)

But seriously, pet shops are the worst! They usually purchase stock from puppy mills and other poor sources, where the only thought that goes into breeding is money. I'm sorry JoJo was disappointed, too. That's another industry filled with fallacy and out to make a profit by taking advantage of people's ignorance. Knowledge is always the key to success.

And this is true in the world of plants and growing, too. Knowledge is what puts that green on our thumbs! We may be born with a certain inherent love for flora and fauna, but without the learned knowledge to properly care for them, all we can do is appreciate their beauty.

I don't think I'm quite ready for a Gardenia, either... I just don't have a hospitable environment for certain plant types. Other types, though, like Amaryllids, seem to thrive in it! Well, they do now! Ever since I got their roots out of the soggy mess of bagged soil and began using a more inorganic, durable, highly aerated, free draining gritty medium, they've been growing much better!

As for fish, Mike... I have an empty 20 gallon high tank and all the accessories sitting out in the garage, waiting. I don't have any room to set up a tank. Long ago, in another life... or so it seems... I had a lovely tank of tropical fish. Watching them swim around and interact was so relaxing! The tank contained an assortment of fish... neons, loaches, peppered catfish, and several others. I wish I could set it up again, but I just don't have the room, or the time to take care of it. Someday, though...

Well... I hope everyone has a nice day... chores call! :-)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 9:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Jodik,

Just wanted to say that I totally agree with you on anyone going to a pet store...bad news!!

Growing up my Mother and Father Bred and raised Miniature Schnauzers...I also followed the circut and showed them as well as different terriers...loved it. I was young, but every would recognize me because of the purple outfit that I would always wear back in the was a good luck outfit!!! LOL... So you could imagine how I felt when my 22 yaer old came home from a date with this puppy in her arms..the first thing I asked her was "where did you get it?" You could imagine what was going through my mine.

Hope everyone has a great day...

Hello Mike..I hope that you have new blooms n your Gardnia today!!!

Take care...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I understand where you're coming from, Laura... we were involved with American Bulldogs even before they were known as American Bulldogs, and well before they hit popularity through Disney movies.

The media is another reason rescue organizations are in full swing and shelters are full... the moment the public is introduced to a specific breed or animal, everyone rushes out to get one, regardless of how well they know the animal or breed in question. Frequently, it turns out to be the wrong breed or pet for their family situation. Just as frequently, it ends up in a shelter, or ends up being euthanized.

We've been approached by production companies and advertising, and each time we tell them, "no, absolutely not. We will not contribute to the demise of our beloved breed."

I hate to say it, Laura, but we're not very thrilled with the AKC or UKC, or how they handle their business, either. Basically, they're out to make money from registrations and shows, and they're a lot less interested in how the animals they represent are bred. We belong to a private registry that authenticates every single pedigree to cross its desk, and it has turned down dogs because they don't fall into the 15/16th pure category. We're all about maintaining a clean and pure gene pool, and keeping our breed as it was intended; a healthy working animal of quality. AKC accepts pretty much anything and everything.

I could go on and on about dogs and breeding and registries and all that's involved, but that could take up pages! :-)

It's a crying shame how the human race treats its best friend, the canine... and other pets or livestock. And the saddest part is... all the information needed to do the right thing is freely available. Having any pet is a lifetime commitment... the life span of that animal... and they depend upon us so much. All they ask is to be loved, cared for and respected, and they give so much in return!

Anyway... the more I see Mike's wonderful Gardenia and his awesome fruit trees, the more I want to try my hand at growing a more diverse collection of plants! I just wrapped up 4 avacado pits to try to get them to sprout, so I'm on my way! Now that I know a little more about how plants grow and what they require, I think it'll be easier to diversify! :-)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey, you wrapped your avacado seed up before me!@! I am still waiting for mine to

You know, I can't even watch those suffering abused animal commercials about donating, you know, the ones when you could swear the dogs are crying! I always wondered why people just can't get their animals spaded or nutured?
Oh well, I could go on, since I am a big time animal lover next to plants, but that would be a sad thing. We would all get started even more.

Ok,Gardenias! They are easy to grow Jodi, in the gritty mix that is...

But I am sure you, Jojo and I , maybe Laura?lol, will do just fine with our mentors to back us up with our Avacados!
I can't wait to see how they do since I could never grow one of these right!

Are you taking care of your back? You better be..:-))))
In another month or so, you should see buds on your roses..:-))))

Jodi, I would LOVE to set you up with a small citrus, a ponderosa in particular! They flower like mad, they are easy to keep short and in control, they give huge fruit, teh fruit are sweet, and they LOVE the gritty mix, They can even do great in partial sun! It is on, come spring.;-)

Laura: How about you? Are you growing any citrus? I can't remember right at this very moment.
You should see the agaves you sent me. They don't seem to mind sitting on the side of my lights, as long as I keep them on the dry side. I love them and the color.
I will take photos of those too.

I was going to wait to post since I wanted to come back with a pic of the DR you gave me, but I will put it here tomorrow. I think it liked its first drink. It was dry again today, so I watered since it is sitting in full sun.
The mix dries out very fast, because it is very rootbound.

Fish: I am getting a black Betta tomorrow and going to put it on my desk. I could use a little life nicer than the ones I work

Ok, I also have another pic of the gardenia soon, since it is about to burst with more blooms. I can't wait!

Laura: You should use that plant as a deterrence for robbers. no one would ever want to get jabbed by them pokey things..I got poked badly by one of the babies you sent me.Wow, they are sharp.

Jojo: What NIGHTMARE at that place! No wonder you were so bothered by that. I saw the e-mail on my phone and just wanted to say it is a shame that people even think like that! 20 dollars would of taken them poor things out of that H... hole and they were too greedy to budge. They are responsible for those little things. They will get their day.
I hope the ones you got are doing ok. I bet you just love the music to your ears.
I am going to get another bird very soon, believe me!

Many hugs to you all and my mom needed your addresses. I shall have to check if I still have them all.



    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 5:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Everyone!
Thanks for all the kind words about the birds. I hope someone gets them out of there and they don't get any more!
Next month is the big Bird Expo with breeders from all over the state, and a few of the surrounding. I'm really looking forward to that and WILL be bringing home very nice birds!

The parakeets are good! I got them a ton of goodies at the store yesterday, now I need to get stuff cooked up for them.

Well my "cheer me up, citrus shopping" did NOT go very well either! lol!
I only had time to go to Wal Mart, and all there tree's were a nightmare from the freeze a few days ago! All dead!!! I did find one little orange tree, about 3' tall, and got it. But no blooms on it. :(

So i'll get out again this week and look around at some other places.

you should have seen the look on hubby's face when I told him we are going to line the living room window with trees'! It's a good south facing window! ;-)

Looking forward to more pics!
I don't have anything blooming right now. And even if I did, having trouble getting a new cord for the camera! Ugh!

you'll have to post pics of the new fish. ;-)
Were looking for a new tank right now. I've worked in 3 pet shops over the years, and love fish! Miss them!

I used to raise Betta's! I love them! My favorite was a pure yellow male! A bright yellow! He was so cool! I"ve had from bowl up to a 135 gal. tank! some salt water too. :-)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Jojo. I bet you can't wait until the bird expo!

I have one coming up in March, and you have to be an "early bird", lol, to get the best choice birds for sure.

Have you ever heard a green singing finch sing? Oh my God, they are so beautiful. That is my next d=bird for sure.

Fish? You had salt water ones too? I think that is so cool. You know, I remember the humidity being much higher in my plants room when I had my 55 gallon tank in there. The sound of the filtered water falling back into the tank was so soothing too. Oh I miss my tam. I even had underwater plants growing so beautifully!

I am going to pick up a Betta tomorrow. I shall have to look for a yellow one. It sounds so pretty. It is either that or very blue, or black with grey fins.

You got a little citrus!!! Sweet! You know you have us to help you make it one of the most rewarding plants you will have. Lol. I can't believe that you are going to have wall to wall plants in the sunny window..Mike must be either loving it or thinking you are going

Jojo. I also thought I would show you a picture of my sleeping fig trees, all nice a cozy wrapped up with insulation in my 35 degree shed. I can't wait until I can set it outside on my nice hot sunny roof..

Jodi: I can't wait to start seeing your flowers!!!!:-)))))) I think very soon, right?
Have you ever grown paper whites? Lol. My mother had mine sitting on the sink to throw in the trash when I arrived home. She says she is sick and tired of smelling what smells like a baby diaper with

Laura: Just in case you didn't see me post a picture of our treasured DR, I thought I would show you here too. It gets watered now once it dries out and seems to be reacting well:-)

I do have a question for you? Where do you put your DR in the winter? They look so ready to grow. Now mine. I think your look so nice, even while dormant! I hope mine grows like yours.

Al: If your reading this, thank you for all your fig ideas!

Thanks all!

Jojo, my fig trees.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When it comes to pets, Mike, I believe in being a responsible owner... and not necessarily always rushing to rip out the reproductive parts by spaying or neutering. Let's not forget that the hormonal system is one that works in conjunction with the rest of the body, keeping the animal healthy. Human females have the option of hormone replacement therapy... animals do not.

Animals don't go into season that often, and it's not that big of a deal to separate or otherwise keep them confined for the short time necessary. In spite of what vets tell everyone, it's not healthy to alter the reproductive systems of animals that are not having problems... if they're healthy, leave them intact and simply be a responsible owner. It's not that difficult.

People treat their animals like they treat their plants... with total convenience in mind. It's a crying shame! If we can go through the effort to keep our plants healthier, we should also be willing to expend the effort to contain our pets when they're in season, and keep their systems intact.

Most people don't even think about it or research it... they believe their vet always has the best interests of animals in mind... when the truth is, spays and neuters pay a lot of office costs, but are not the healthiest things for animals. Would you take your wife or girlfriend in for a hysterectomy if it wasn't needed? I hope not!

We've kept our males and females together, and in 30 years of breeding, we've never, ever had an accidental breeding. We simply kept the female in question confined until her cycle was over. We don't believe in unnecessary procedures... we believe in being responsible.

Like the plant world, there's a lot of fallacy floating around the world of pets. Spaying and neutering interrupts the hormonal system, which works in conjunction with all other body systems to keep an animal healthy. Why would you want to deliberately take away part of that system?

We keep a crate handy, or a stand up kennel pen. That's where Maia goes when she's in season. Instead of letting them out together, I simply walk her on a leash or place her in the pen. No accidental breedings take place.

I think people are too quick to believe what they hear, and they don't really give it much deep thought. They rush out to the vet and hand over that cash, and allow the doctor to interrupt the whole body systems of their pets, for their convenience. I'm sorry, but that's how I feel about it... it's an unnecessary procedure 99% of the time.

I have a lot of rants where pets are concerned... they're living breathing animals, and they deserve to be treated with respect and care. Mankind seems to prefer convenience over everything. It just angers me so...

Mike, the Avacados we got were pretty ripe when bought, so it only took a couple of days for them to fully ripen. I made sure to grab them and be the one to make the guacamole so I could keep the pits. Otherwise, they'd just go into the trash. I wrapped them in moist paper towels and placed them in an open baggie. They're sitting in a cabinet right now. Josh says about 10 days should bring sprouting! I'm looking forward to it!

If any of my indoor bulbs do decide to bloom, it will be soon, yes! I'm not sure if many will... I did ignore them pretty badly over last summer. But, you never know. They are growing nice green leaves, but that doesn't mean they set buds. This spring, I'm whittling down the collection. What I keep will go out to the greenhouse or outside, and they'll get much better treatment than I gave them last summer. They'll all be in much better medium, so that will help.

I've never grown Paperwhites indoors, but I did grow some Hyacinths a few years ago. They were ok. I think those kinds of bulbs do much better outdoors, in the ground. That's what I'm really waiting for... for all the spring blooming bulbs to begin! First, it'll be the Crocus, and then Winter Aconites, Scilla, Muscari, Daffodils, and so on... and I really can't wait for the roses to begin!

I sure wish spring would hurry! :-)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 10:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mike, congratulations on getting the gardenia to bloom! That's so wonderful (and so nice of you to share with your coworker). Getting a gardenia to bloom indoors is like landing a quad in skating, or something, isn't it?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It good to see someone out there has a true sense of love and resposibilities for animals Jodi. I love your attitude and view of these great animals.
Too bad you couldn't educate with classes to many on this and help these poor things out. You should be another dog whisperer. I LOVE that show!

Avacados are going to be ok for you. After all, we have Josh on our side!
Mine are ripening fast. I will then do exactly as you did and we can try a way with them. I can't wait until I can sprout a seed. I never have.

Don't ever bother with Paperwhites They do smell good up close with your nose right in the flowers, but from a distance or in the same room, oh my, like the after smell of a babies diaper.
They do belong outside just as bagged mixes

Hayden: Thanks man. And that is an Good one.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mike, have you seen the outtakes and Youtube clips of what happens when the Dog Whisperer doesn't think the camera is rolling? It might change your mind. He's not always the patient, loving trainer that the show portrays him to be.

There's what Hollywood and the media want you to see... and then there's the truth. Never forget that television shows are scripted, edited, and aren't real. Personally, I'd never call him to train my dogs... even if it were free. Not everyone has the true gift of being able to work that closely with animals. It's another industry loaded with greed... too many inexperienced, unlearned, shoddy trainers are out there, who really don't know what they're doing, sucking money from unsuspecting pet owners. It's a profession that's fairly easy to fake, unfortunately, and there's no real regulation.

We do our own obedience training... that part is easy and doesn't require much more than patience, repetition, and consistency. All you're really doing is instilling good manners in your pet, and all your pet wants to do is please you, so it's fairly easy. And by working closely with your dog, you're building that bond of love and trust and mutual respect that is so important.

Other types of training require evaluation and an experienced trainer with the capacity to "read" dogs. It's more of a gift than anything, but you do have to know what you're doing. It's too easy to completely ruin a dog when a trainer doesn't know what he or she is doing. We used to work closely with a professional trainer for the more involved aspects... such as protection training, which includes bitework and such. There are many avenues of training... sport, street, show, etc... and it's so important to find a reputable, knowledgeable trainer.

I'm not a trainer, Mike... I don't possess the gift necessary to read dogs or the knowledge necessary. I'm a breeder, which also requires dedication and knowledge of a different type. Beyond obedience, I can't claim to be a trainer, so I call in a professional when I need one... one who is not scripted and edited.

We actually use one of two very reputable trainers... either one... both who have worked with Chicagoland area police departments and their K9 Units. The problem with the world of dog trainers is... there's very little regulation or training involved. Anyone can claim to be a dog trainer.

As a dog owner, you really need to do your research before choosing one. You'll want to speak with his or her clients, watch them in action during a session or two, and gauge their ability by how their own dogs act and react. You don't want to just pick anyone who calls himself a trainer.

I'm watching my Avacado seeds to make sure the paper towels retain some moisture, but other than that, I'm just trying to be patient! I can't wait to see sprouting! I know Josh will be here to help... once they sprout, I've got everything ready to pot them up. I can't believe the price tag on some of the nursery grown dwarf Avacado trees... I just saw one in a catalog selling for over $40, for a tiny bare root plant!

Narcissus is something I can grow right outside in the gardens, so unless it's a tender variety that wouldn't survive here, I'd be more likely to plant them outdoors and enjoy their blooms in spring. If it were a tender variety I really wanted to grow, I'd try them indoors in containers. To me, most Narcissus smell rather nice... though I haven't grown them so close to my nose!

Hyacinths smell wonderful... you should try some of them indoors next winter! All you need to do is make certain they get the proper amount of chill time in a refrigerator, then move them into a warm, sunny room and allow them to grow and bloom! It's easy! You will need to choose a variety bred for forcing... not all varieties do equally well when forced in containers. But overall, they're wonderful candidates for scented indoor blooming!

You can even get them with special bulb vases that hold the bulb suspended above water, and it's fun to watch the roots grow as the bulb sprouts and flowers! I'm sure you've seen them, right next to the other bulbs sold for forcing. You should try a couple next year, Mike!

I'm not a great ice skater, so I'll stick with my Hippeastrum bulbs, and leave the Gardenias to people like Mike! I'm just not quite ready for a plant like that... I don't think my present environment would support one very well. Mike has skills... this much is obvious! :-)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 8:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

You'll have some awesome Avocados by this time next Winter! ;-)


    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 9:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't wait, Josh! I've started these before... eons ago... but they didn't get a chance to develop into trees. I don't know... I was young, we moved a few times, things happened, they died. You know how it is.

Anyway, this is a good time in life to grow them again. I'm a lot more knowledgeable and dedicated to this sort of thing! I checked them today... paper towels are still nice and moist.

I appreciate the help... just in case I forgot to mention that. :-)

Oh... and this is what's happening here! This little guy was born a few days ago... mom and babe are doing great!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

My Oh MY....How Cute!!!

That's a beautiful Miracle!!!

I love their sweet!!!

Thanks for posting these wonderful pictures!!!

Congrautlations Jodi!!! (and dad!!!)

Have a great everyone!!! : )

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Happy to share what's going on here! Isn't he cute? He hops on all fours, like a bunny! It's so adorable!

Anyway... mom and baby are warm and happy. They're sharing kennel heat with the dogs. Too much dry material in the barn to run a heat lamp, and it's a little too cold for newborn babies out there.

He's a riot to watch, and so little! My husband calls him Charlie the goat, so... I guess that's his name. :-)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 7:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

AWW... Jodi, what a cute little thing! I too have a fondness for baby goats! They are so innocent, until they grow up that is
Great job at raising them too.
That area looks so clean and they look so shiny and healthy! Look at the white fur on the mom.
I never saw such clean looking animals Jodi since I have been around many farms and only saw dirty goats.
Great job and thanks so much for sharing this little guy. The mom seems to enjoy having pictures taken. Looks like she smmiled for

I do a question if you don't mind?

I can't seem to find the info you already gave me, darn it
Once the Paperwhites/ Narcissus are past bloom, what should I do with them? I would love to re-grow them and hate to throw them away. What a waste that would be.

Have a great everyone, and thanks again Jodi!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And thank you for sharing Jodi!

I am with Laura on that..CUTE!! And Charlie sounds good to me..

Josh, I hope your right buddy! I am about to peel my first ripened

Now we are all in the running for the first to see growth on our seeds!lol

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Great pics to warm the heart. I was hoping for "Goatee" as his name, but then I wanted to name our last dog "Kitty"?? He sure is a cute little feller. Proud mama seems to be saying "Look what I did!" ;o) Thanks for giving us a peek!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Mike, get that Avocado pit started, man!
The sooner you get it cleaned and into the cupboard, the sooner it'll sprout! ;-)
I think Jodi has a healthy headstart, however....

Al, my grandpa named his dog "Girl." Makes it easy...

Jodi, I'm a real goat fanatic...they're some of the funnest creatures out there.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Good Morning everyone!
Sorry I haven't been here much, been a little under the weather.

First off,
Mike , my package got here yesterday! Your mom is an Angel! I love them!! Huge hugs and kisses for her from me, please!

My dog (Bitsy) is finally healed. The brat just would not sit still! LOL!

My parakeets were never given "treats" by their former owner, so it's been a challenge getting them to eat new foods! I've cooked all sorts of stuff and they just stare at it! ROFL! I'll sprout them some seeds here soon.

Mike, our expo is the 27th of March, when is yours? Funny it's March also! Oh, I can't wait! Looking to bring home exotic finches for sure, and what ever else catches my eye!

yes, you do need to be early! That's no joke! The last one we attended, we were 45min. after it opened, and people were coming out the doors with birds like crazy!

I am aware of the green singers, and they are on my wish list. Pets Mart has them right now, but they dont look very healthy. The Gouldain finch is the other I really want!

I still have alot of work to do in their room, but they can hang out in the plant room till i'm done. ;-)

Your figs do look nice and cozy! LOL!
I hope were done with the nonsense of freezes, i'm going to get out in the garden today and get things started! At least greens!

And a bird seed patch. ;-)

Al~ My son is planning on growing you some sunflowers for your little wild birds, he just gets the biggest kick out of them!

Mike~ I can guarantee hubby thinks i'm a nut,for wanting plants everywhere, but he'll adjust! ROFL!!

You guys are making me laugh with all the 'Avocado' talk! ;-) Guss I better get my seeds in the cupboard today! LOL!

Jodi~ Last week I picked up 5 when they were on sale, was gonna send you some, and the very next day you said you got 4 ! ROFL! Talk about being alike, we were on the same wavelength that day! LOL!!

We'll Keep Josh busy that's for sure! Good thing he's such a great guy! :-)

Laura! Hello! I'll write back soon!

Jodi~ The goat is just precious! Oh , what a little cutie!!!
And Al's right, mamma does look proud! Look at her just smiling for the camera!

I was thinking munchkin would be a good name. But charlie is good too! I like all the suggestions.

Al~ Kitty! I love it! ROFL!
We had a golden retriever/ lab mix named Dinky, ;-) So many people questioned that name. LOL!

Bitsy, just because she was cute and it seemed fitting.
Rowdy, well as a tiny pup, he'd tug on my pant leg on walks and to go out. so hence his name.
And Gabby, well he's a TALKER! lol.

need to run guys , I'll look in later tonight!

Hugs all around!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As long as you keep their areas clean, and provide clean, dry bedding, any animal will have nice clean fur, Mike... of course, they also have to be willing to groom themselves! Goats keep themselves fairly clean. There is a slightly pungent musky odor, but goats have lots of glands and stuff. I believe they secrete lanolin, which is used in our soaps and lotions.

Goats aren't my area of expertise, but like any other animal, they eat and drink and poop... and you just keep removing the ick and replacing it with new bedding. Notice the dog crate half with pine shavings in the corner... they seem to be using it as a litter box, and sleeping in their hay... which they're supposed to eat! Oh well... what can you do?! I put that crate there so they'd have a soft, dry place to sleep.

I hadn't really thought of names... but Old Guy started calling him Charlie, so I guess that's his name. I call all the girl dogs "girlie", and all the boy dogs "bud" or "buddy"... so he'll probably end up thinking his name is Buddy! I don't even know if he'll be staying... they're not my goats. I just take care of them.

He's certainly cute, though! His antics are fun to watch!

Well... my Avacado pits have a few days on yours, Mike, but you never know. Yours could sprout early, I guess. I don't think there's a set number of days or time. You could actually get a sprout around the same time, I suppose! Mine are just sitting there, moist. That's it. :-)

Goats are ok, Josh... they are funny to watch! The only thing I don't care for is the aroma of the adult males! Ew! It's rather strong, and it clings to your clothing and hands if you pet them! I guess all livestock has an odor, though... horses, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, etc...

Al, when we were kids, we had a mixed breed dog named "Dishes"... don't ask, I don't remember how! We had a German Shepherd named Bootsie, and the mutt named Dishes. So, names come about in strange ways sometimes, I guess!

Hey, one of the horses is called Doofus, so go figure! :-)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Lol - there's a joke about a dog named 'Dishes', but I can't quite remember how it goes ..... Something like: A relative comes to visit an old man - maybe his long lost uncle or grandpa. Grandpa offers him a hot bowl of stew that had been simmering on the stove. As they finished eating the stew, and as the old man's dog, older than the old man (in dog years) was sleeping in another room by the stove, the younger man asked his older relative why he called the old dog 'Dishes'. The old man eyed the youngster carefully for a few seconds, then leaned over, placed his bowl on the floor next to the chair, and in a voice loud enough that the old dog could hear, cried, "DISHES".

I hope everyone has a jump on making it a good weekend. We're ALMOST up to the freezing mark here, and tomo it's predicted that we might see 38* - a good day to play with the birds ....... or goats. ;o)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Lol - there's a joke about a dog named 'Dishes', but I can't quite remember how it goes ..... Something like: A relative comes to visit an old man - maybe his long lost uncle or grandpa. Grandpa offers him a hot bowl of stew that had been simmering on the stove. As they finished eating the stew, and as the old man's dog, older than the old man (in dog years) was sleeping in another room by the stove, the younger man asked his older relative why he called the old dog 'Dishes'. The old man eyed the youngster carefully for a few seconds, then leaned over, placed his bowl on the floor next to the chair, and in a voice loud enough that the old dog could hear, cried, "DISHES".

I hope everyone has a jump on making it a good weekend. We're ALMOST up to the freezing mark here, and tomo it's predicted that we might see 38* - a good day to play with the birds ....... or goats. ;o)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

LOL! I love it Al!
I used to let my lab have a few treats after dinner. Pasta was her favorite. ;-)
But I would joke she got the plate so clean, we could just put it back in the cupboard. LOL!!

Maybe there was some truth to that joke. ROFL!

Well..I'm glad your warming up! But 38 sounds more like hibernating weather to me, than playing with the birds. lol!

80* here today.. Don't hate me guys. lol!

Wal mart got some new tree's in today, so I treated my self to a little "Improved Meyer lemon". :-)

Not sure what to call the container it's in. The tree is about 3' with out the container, and it's about 12" or more tall, and only about 4" diameter. ? Anyway. Very nice little tree. :-)

Hope your all well!
Talk to you soon! I'll post pics if I ever find a new cord for the camera! Grrrr....


    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone!!!

Just wanted to say that those goats are so cute...I love their faces...yes, Proud Moma indeed!!!

We are to have temps in the mid to upper 50's tomorrow...Great day to go outside and watch the snow melt from three days ago...They always say that our temps here in VB change so blink and it will be a major change from one day to the other... 5 inches of snow...then temps into the mid 50's tomorrow, then into the 60's for a few days mid week...wait until the weekend...back down again!!! Uggg...

Mike...first of all, I received a surprise in the mail as well!! Thank you so much for the great gift from your mom...I have been feeling "under the weather" having those warm special gifts were just what the doc ordered...

I keep the DR's in my greatroom with all of my other tropicals...they stay in the same place all winter..just in the corner...not direct light..but just "comfortable" with being in the corner of the room with the other babay Agaves and Mangoes...They are not kept in the backroom like the Plumeria...They also get watered more than the Plumeria too!
Not to much..but I do give them a drink every 3-4 weeks...I don't let them dry out for to long..but they are very easy to winter..since they take care of Jodik said...they have their own "batteries" LOL...Love that!!!

I also wanted to ask you about the Fir bark contact that you had mentioned earlier...I would be very much interested in any info...I have had a hard time here finding what i need...I did purchase some Reptibark..(Thanks Jodik) but i would like to find it in larger quantities..,

Al...I did receive your package this afternoon...Thank You so much!!! The mix is just I have a great "model mix" to follow...It looks "perfect" : )

I did go to the Feed and Seed store that we had talked about...I do have the turface ordered...that will be in on Thursday..They also have the "coarse" perlite...and I did order the growers grit...all to be picked up on Thursday..
But I did come to a stumbling block when searching for the fir bark even the fine pine bark...They did search the "Wetzel Catalog" and didn't find anything close..they did have some Bonsai mix.. but evevrything else was a no go!!!
That name that you gave to me "Jeff" who lives here in Va...may come in handy...I want to search further before I contact him...but, thanks for the contact!!! If I can't find anything..I will give him a call...Mike mentioned a place that I can order..That would be nice...that way I can order direct..

Thanks again for your generosity... (I am very excited to get started...Thanks again for all of your help!!!)

Josh...Thanks again for the info from the C&S forum about the type of netting/screens for the bottom of the pots!!!
I have found a great supply for them..Thanks....: )

I hope everyone has a great weekend..Stay warm and hope everyone has a great Valentines Day... "don't forget...we women love Truffles...any kind of Chocolate!!!"
Makes for a great start to the day!!! LOL.... : )

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's what we say about Illinois... if you don't like the weather, wait a minute! ;-)

It's 34 degrees and sunny right now, with a projected high today of 46 degrees. So, we're finally coming out of the deep freeze we've been in!

I don't know what I hate more... being so cold, or all the mud and mess from thawing! Spring brings muddy paws, muddy puddles, water and mud everywhere... it's messy! We're constantly cleaning, it seems!

We've always placed our plates and bowls on the floor for the dogs to clean up. I still wash the dishes, of course, but it makes it a lot easier when they're licked clean! And to be honest, most of what we eat is a lot better for dogs than the cheaper kibbles on the market. We always give leftovers to the dogs... and I always pour fat or grease over their food, if there's any left in pans. Sometimes, I bring grease or leftovers to the barn for the cats to enjoy. Not much goes to waste here!

Laura, I'm glad you're getting closer to obtaining all your soil ingredients! Isn't Al's Mix wonderful?! When I began, he sent me a care package, too... and I just loved the mix! It IS a great model... it's nice to see it firsthand, so you get a feel for particle size and whatnot.

Well... I managed to slip again and hurt myself. I slipped while closing a goat pen gate yesterday, and I jammed the lower latch up under a kneecap! Youch! I swear I cried and yelped for a good five minutes before the initial pain subsided! It was horrible! I've got a nice red mark and swelling, but nothing seems overly damaged. I've been so clumsy lately, I hope I make it to spring! :-)

And then, when we were shopping yesterday afternoon, my gardening partner did a face plant right in the parking lot of the grocery store! She tripped where two pieces of pavement were at different levels, and splatted face first! Nothing broke, and she's ok... but we're both bruised from all this ice and our own clumsiness!

It's been a heck of a past few days, I gotta tell ya! We've each fallen twice on the ice in the driveway, and each did something to further our bruising! It must be a sign of getting old, although we are both blonde, so that could be it, too! ;-) I'm 50, and she's 61, and we're both clumsy blondes... a dangerous combination! ;-)

Speaking of Valentine's Day and chocolate, we decided not to wait for the guys to buy us anything... we bought two bags of assorted chocolate truffles, one for me and one for her, while shopping yesterday! We'll take any extra if the guys do buy candy, but we're not counting on it! ;-)

We don't usually celebrate the holidays... just Thanksgiving and Christmas... so we treat ourselves whenever we're shopping! :-)

Nothing on the shelves yet for spring planting. Just seed displays. I'm waiting for summer blooming bulbs to come in so I can find an Alocasia and a few other items.

Well... guess what? Yup... chores are waiting. Have a nice day, everyone! :-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My internet just stinks today!!!!!! ARH+G!!!!!

I apprciate everything you all said and showed. Love you all! This is to much. I can't even scroll up to read what you all wrote and to recheck takes over a minute or more to preview! Arg


    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No big deal, Mike... we've all dealt with internet issues at one time or another. Technology is great... when it works! :-)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi everyone!

Please take a look at the link I will provide at the bottom of the page! I am growing flowers only, yes only flowers on my lemon tree trunk. Does that make sense? lol

Jojo: I told my mom you got them and read her your message. She smiled and said to make sure you keep your feet as warm as your heart is..

By the way, we don't think your crazy like Mike might think you are, just a little bit
I guess you asked for trouble when you started keeping your plants alive a lot longer than ever, was introduced to the gritty mix, then finally decided to buy Elk

Al: Nice joke....Mom got a kick out of that one as well as me. How are the birds doing anyway? Is the ground showing for you yet? Unbelievable this weather is I tell you. The winds have been crazy too! I am tired of it.
At least we get a free roller coaster ride out of the deal, with the temps going up and down from teh frigid to spring, then back down.

Laura: You could be so If I got inches of snow then it was warm enough to melt it all away the next day, I would be in heaven! Your sun is so much hotter than mine.

You see, you order up a good dose of medicine for your plants, the gritty mix and FP of course, and my mom orders up a good dose of medicine for you too. What goes around comes around and you certainly have been very generous in all your ways! I could never forget.

So far so good with the DR, although I chopped that thing down as suggested with Josh, or with Josh's help.
He is one smart person I tell you and has a vision with all his plants, such as AL.
I am cofident he is going to work with me to have that thing looking mighty fine by the summer. I shall have to post a pic very soon.
Al also suggested I use waterproof wood glue, in which I did to seal the wounds, and it is looking very good at this time..:-)

The agaves you gave me are looking great, and thanks for your idea on where to keep my DR.

Jodi: Deep freeze, warm spells, a whole lot of fun isn't it? lol
By Friday it is suppose to be 60 here, then two Artic fronts come a rolling through again for a week at least, bringing the temps down to the 20's by day again. I am really bummed out about this.
I suppose it is better than everything coming back to life with unusal temps higher than they should be, just to freeze to death by spring. I remember one year it was 90 at the end of March for 4 days, then a snow storm and frigid temps to follow and I lost all my fruit crops and flowering shrubs..Ouch.

Between you and your friend falling, my goodness! It's a good thing you are not old yet. Breaking a hip is not a fun thing. I am glad you are both ok.Please be careful with that hidden ice under the snow. I fell yesterday and I am still sore.

Josh: The Avacados are in the cubbard! All moist and just buying their time. And so the race begins, right Jodi and Jodi?
With your help your help and guidence Josh, we sould be well on our way to some great looking trees buddy!
I can't wait to see the start of

I could always buy a plant from Logee's with baby avacados on them already, but then that would be cheating, right?

Have a great day all and stay out of trouble everybody. Who else is going to care for our plants less any of us get arrested...?


Here is a link that might be useful: flowers on my trunk

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Mike - I wanted to talk a little about sealing tree wounds because I think you had questions after one of Dorie's posts the other day.

The late Dr. Alex Shigo practically revolutionized the way we think about trees when he presented us with his findings on how trees react to injury. He called it the CODIT system. CODIT is an acronym for Compartmentalization Of Decay In Trees. He discovered that trees have their own natural defense against injuries and decay, essentially creating barrier or boundary zones that help prevent the spread of decay through these zones and into other tree parts. He also discovered that the WAY we prune was far more important than how we treat wounds after pruning. He didn't speak out strongly for or against treating wounds, but he did say that treating wounds was of no value insofar as curbing the spread of disease is concerned. He taught us that cuts flush to the trunk inhibited barrier zones from forming or greatly dininished their effectiveness, which allowed the spread of disease into the tree's interior.

In nature, trees die primarily from mechanical injury or the effects of mechanical injury, including insect injury. Eventually, these injuries result in structural failure of tree parts. Trees rot - the wind or snow loads break them - the tree ends up with too little photosynthesizing surface to sustain it, and the tree starts using more energy than it is making, making death inevitable.

We needn't worry much about wind or snow breaking our containerized trees. Actually, structural failure is rarely an issue for our containerized trees. Even if the center was to rot out of out, the cambium will still go happily about its business of making wood. Most of our trees won't live long enough for structural failure from natural causes to be any consideration at all.

So - on containerized trees only - not on trees in the landscape, I generally seal any wounds with a product most bonsai practitioners use, called 'cut paste', or I use a twig as a 'paint brush' & seal them with waterproof wood glue.

What does this do? On small trees in containers, and especially when we make cuts flush to the trunk (not recommended but common practice to avoid ugly scars/lumps) the cambium can dry out and die back a significant distance from the actual cut. Sealing that wound prevents the cambium from dying back, this allows callus and wound wood to begin forming quickly and the scar heals faster. Note I'm not approaching this from the perspective of disease prevention or helping to keep decay from spreading - I really don't care about that in containerized trees. I'm approaching it from the perspective of aesthetics.

Also, I do a LOT of succulent cuttings, lopping stems in half that are anywhere from 1/4" to 1-1/2" in diameter. I ALWAYS seal these wounds to prevent tissue from dying back as far as 1" from the cut site. You've seen this plant many times

Looking closely, you can see that after I chopped this plant off, many new buds emerged directly out of the cambium at the wound site (where I chopped it). If I hadn't sealed the wound (waterproof wood glue), those branches would have emerged from latent buds up and down what was left of the stem/trunk, and the particular way I manipulated the Aeonium wouldn't have been possible.

Just wanted you to understand my thinking, in case you were wondering.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks for the explanation, Al.
When it comes time to prune my Pachira, I'll seal the cut with woodglue.

Hey, Mike, finally you've got the Avocado started! May they sprout in a timely fashion.
I'm very excited for you all to begin the Avocado journey...then we can compare notes
on our plants throughout the seasons, kinda like you and I are doing with our citrus on opposite
ends of the country. I'll be eager to see if your Avocadoes grow year-round, too.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Mike,

Few questions on gardenias:

How often do you mist/wet leaves, for humidity purposes?

What does it mean if buds turn white then yellow without opening?

Can you look at these pics and give me an idea of what you think?

As you can see, the buds are turning yellow from the bottom up and not opening.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Sam...

That is called bud blast/drop and is very common with gardenia, especially if their is a traumatic change in their environment or cultural needs.

Causes can be over-watering, under-watering, insufficient light, high temperatures, rapid temperature fluctuations, cold drafts or change in plant locations and even transplanting.

In other words, gardenias are temperamental!

For those that get too much warmth, they will not usually set bud.

I would not worry about it, as long as your leaves hang on. It can always generate good growth and a next generation of beautiful flowers for you.

Just the fact you potted into a much better mix is a great start.

By the way, I do not mist my gardenia, but every once in a while I wash the leaves off on the ones at work by pouring a watering can with a sprinkler attachment over them only when the sun is on them, and shower the ones off here with a hose when the weather allows me too.:-)

Relax since it will be spring before you know it and we can set these things where they really love to be, out doors...Just make sure to graduate them into the sun and there is no need to give them full hot afternoon sun. In fact they despise it.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I've been noticing new growth so thats why im not too worried. I just wanted to make sure it is getting it needs.

I'm a little nervous because it was in bloom when I bought it. I did repot it though about a week and a half ago...

I hope to have mine grow as tall as the one you have in this post!

Thanks again


    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 11:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can a peat based mix be used for 2 seasons?
Hello - Considering compaction, etc can a peat based...
Best glue for terracotta pots?
Yes I did. Left some of my pots outside and now they...
container mixture
hi, Can someone give tips on how to choose composting...
Hello! Houzz's new format has presented some challenges,...
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)
Indoor vegetables and 5-1-1
I'm growing vegetables indoors in containers. Is the...
Sponsored Products
Indoor/ Outdoor Silk Rosemary Spiral Tree
Classic Stainless Steel Watering Can
Signature Hardware
Slamp | Cactus Prisma XL Floor Lamp
Silk 38-inch Delphinium Flower Arrangement
Safavieh Area Rug: Bohemian Caramel 4' x 6'
Home Depot
Pro Track 150 Watt Three Light Spiral Ceiling Light Fixture
$99.99 | Lamps Plus
Literary Library Candle
$20.99 | Dot & Bo
Set of Three Addison Planters
Grandin Road
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™