Opinions after my latest trip to the nursery...

fun-giJune 28, 2012

Hello everyone,

I recently received a gift from my wife that I had been expecting for several months. While very healthy, I really want to insure the best growth and vitality that I can. So to that end I am contemplating different mediums for the container. If an arguement can be made for the gritty mix, I would consider it since I have many plants already in the mix and they are doing great.

I am unsure of container size since I have such a vigorous grower, but I really enjoy re-potting so I should have no problems there. As far as fertilizer, my wife prefers to handle that, and she uses a natural product that contains all of the major and micronutrients.

Overall I feel confident that I can give the proper care, since I have two very similar examples already. My experience does wane a bit with the more mature specimens, and from what I understand care and patient training will become even more important as they progress.

I know I don't post often, but I value the wisdom of the many knowledgeable posters on this board, so if you have any insights or anecdotes that you would like to share, then I would welcome them.

Thank you,


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Awwwwww! Congratulations! I'm way too young to give any advice, other than don't give them too much shelter as they mature, and let them deal with the full stresses of the open sun and air while they can still fall back on your nurturing if necessary. It inevitably results in far more spectacular blooms in the future.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:42PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

I vote for the gritty, carefully plant about ankle deep, firm in, and keep well watered for the next 18 years. Apply fertilizer as needed for optimal growth. :) congrats!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:54PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

The best container for this specimen would be your arms, or your wife's.

:) Beautiful!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:51PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Lovely!! I would say you could use something soft and warm with lots of love!!



    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:30AM
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This species grows seductively fast. The joys of each grow spurt are past very fast and cannot be redone except by starting a new plant. Growers in the past have been able to provide new starts up to 20 times, but alas times will not allow such anymore. The solution is to make the most of everyday as every plant is unique. Al

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 7:51AM
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What a beautiful gift.
I am sure you'll take exeptional care and may it grow healthy and bring you & your wife much happiness.

(PS: One of the best posts I have seen on GW, btw...)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:42AM
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I think a 511 mix may be better since that specimen needs to grow fast. Also a wick may be needed since I have heard that although this specimen makes noise at one end but it has no control over the other end.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:23PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Just like the other things I grow, I like to make sure I spend time with it every day, so I will never say that I missed out on seeing it grow. And they also grow better when you spend time with them. I have one that is 4 1/2 now.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:16PM
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Beautiful and wonderful!
Thanks for the smile your post brought with it.

I prefer starting in soft seedling mix as the young ones are tender.

A conventional peat based mix for the elementary school years should give them enough support, but not be too harsh.

Middle school years, well, go with the 5:1:1, it will give them the breathing space they need.

High school, oh boy! That's when you need to grit your teeth and hope for the best. Gritty mix it is!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:40PM
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    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. This is a male of the species, and my other two are female, so I'm sure their will be a bit of a learning curve.

As expected we have been up nights as his cultural requirements vary. Mostly he seems to dry out faster than my other plants, and we are doing our best to avoid wilting. Frequent waterings with full strength fertilizer are needed often. This should lessen of course as he grows in size, and his root system can make better use of available nutrients.

I don't talk to many of my plants, but from my experiences with the females of this species, speaking to them seems to make more of an impact than on my standard houseplants. As many of you know our plants each have a personality of their own, and this variety definitely exceeds the norm in this area.

I appreciate each of your comments, and we will surely be taking to heart both the advice and the spirit with which it was given.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:18AM
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Argumentative for the ideal mix ! Are you certain ?

Regardless of what mix you choose each grower will yield different results regardless of what mix is used. This is what makes each of the plants unique.

I know I sound confusing just as 40 isn't the new 30 but 12 is the same as 20. If this newly acquired is the first from your hybridization efforts of this species later my confusing will make sense.

Yet even under careful vigilance and although you might not have a head full of hair 22 - 25 will be the ideal 30 and every moment will pass you once again.

From what I read and see on this subject you are on a very good direction for a wonderful growing experience and for all who witness it as well.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:08AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

You got me good! I was expecting a plant picture. Especially love the baby toes picture! May God Bless You All!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 7:21PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Haven't had a 'gotcha' moment recently - thanks for sharing your joy with us. A healthy child is a blessing to be soo thankful for, as I'm sure you are. Congratulations dad & mom!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:33PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Fun-gi - you are well named. I like the double-entendre. I had a couple of these plants and found that a bit of benign neglect helps a lot in the later growth stages. Obviously as seedlings they need a lot of care but later on if you fuss too much they tend to grow bit floppy and dependent. For a sturdy specimen a bit of buffeting from the social weather will toughen them up. This one looks like a potential show winner. How are the young females taking the newly germinated off shoot?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:05PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well done!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Thank you all again for the kind words.

My female examples were growing as expected, and they do tend to become more vigorous during this time of year. However, they have begun to flourish past my expectations, since the addition of the new perennial. This of course is very encouraging, and I expect all three to thrive as they grow together.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 2:31PM
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From what I can tell from this thread, you are an extremely exceptional nurturer. I have no doubt your latest gift will flourish under your kind, gentle care.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 5:25PM
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You made me laugh out loud. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Be careful not to overdo it with the fertilizer for the first few weeks. And be sure to provide adequate drainage and don't let the "roots" stay wet for too long. Also, beware the accumulation of toxic gases, a result of insufficient drainage. And be prepared for plenty of re-pots (potting up) over the coming years.

Nice thread, fun-gi, congrats again.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Congrats. Never had the pleasure of raising a specimen from a seedling, only having much older specimens arrive with a partner, which I'm sure is not quite as satisfying (and a lot more frustrating).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:37AM
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pink_warm_mama_1(Z4 Maine)

This seedling looks beautifully healthy! The females of the species may want to handle the seedling too much, but that kind of love is nurturing and will produce strong roots. God bless.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Congrats! Be careful about watering - especially when changing those nappies! You might be the one getting watered....

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 3:42PM
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