Identify this red star spike's friends (image heavy)

ahyomSeptember 20, 2012

Another new plant I just purchased turned out to have its own little ecosystem. Can anyone tell me what the other plants are and if they would be at all detrimental to each other. Any tips on the red spike would be awesome too!

The first is the reddish drooping plant that's branching out. The lady who sold it to me said it's something used in chinese medicine, but she wasn't familiar with the name in english. Any ideas at all?

This one may or may not be the same species as above, it is more erect and more green, with some tiny flower bud bunches.

And of course the carpet of what I first thought was clover, but turned out not to be. Any guesses on this stuff?

The entire chunk of soil urgently needs repotting, I lifted it out with ease. As I did, I noticed a tiny slug and some vacant snail shells in the mix. I didn't grab it in time and it vanished. I know this will harm the plants down the line. Hopefully it's just the one and I will see it again soon!

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I think your spikey plant is a cordyline, but I'm not 100% sure. Don't know what the long stemmed plant is, but the little green stuff is treated like a weed where I live. It is akin to moss in that it likes damp soil, but I don't think the spike does. I believe cordylines are similar to dracaenas and therefore will take the same care. Others will soon chime in with more opinions.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 1:54AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The Cordyline australis is very easy to grow in full sun and a chunky, free-draining, well-aerated soil. I use them as one of the ht elements in a lot of mixed display containers that dot the gardens & decks. About the only thing you need to be careful about is a soil that tends to stay too wet for too long. If you get it to bloom, the plant eventually branches out into multiple 'heads'. I use Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 as a fertilizer, but any 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer should work very nicely, which makes MG 24-8-16 or 12-4-8 additional good choices.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 1:57AM
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I'm not to sure but your trailing plant looks like a fuschia to me.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:22AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That tiny green stuff at the base is a persistent little fellow in our yard, especially moist, shady spots. It can grow under an overhang that opens to the north. I've been impressed with that aspect of it, even as I'm pulling it out of places. As a plant I've only encountered in the past few years, its' name is having a terrible time finding a sticking spot in my head.

It never occurred to me to use it as a base in potted plants. Although I think your arrangement was unintentional, it shows a virtue for a plant I thought had no redeeming qualities. Don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I love tiny ground covers in pots and this one looks a lot like Kenilworth ivy although I don't think it will trail over the side of the pot and has no flowers as far as I've seen. That's good because pots with trailers need even more space when they come inside (or a serious haircut) and I already have a variety of those. I can't stand looking at the bare soil in potted plants, and the dry appearance tricks me into watering too often even though I know better, it's a compulsion some people just can't control. I try to keep the surfaces of pots that don't have groundcover companions covered with grass from the mower bag, but now that I've seen your pic, this weed I've been pulling would be an excellent companion in so many pots. When it shows up heavily again next year, I'll know just what to do with it.

The other unknown doesn't look like it's supposed to be red, and seems so familiar... It's extremely unusual for a hitch-hiking plant to be desirable, although how much of a threat can a "weed" be in a pot? Depends on where you put it (where the seeds go) and if it's perennial or not. It's usually one ubiquitous to your area anyway, or to the area from which the plant was propagated, usually a warmer place (required for its' survival, so it won't be a weed where you are.) ...assuming you're not in a really warm place already.

Did those flower buds do anything more interesting yet? You might want to put this up on "name that plant" to get a proper name for these two since they are not known house plants.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Ahyom...Your Cordy is nice-looking and healthy. Beautiful, in fact.

If the ground cover, 'taller plant' is a weed, I wouldn't mind growing one. lol.

Like Purple, I prefer trailers/hangers growing amongst taller specimens, but if it was my Cordy, I'd keep the weed? pruned unless it will eventually hang around the outer pot.

Don't have any idea what the shorter of the two weeds? can be. Toni

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It was ID'd recently, on the weed forum I thought, but I went back a couple months and didn't see it. If it was NTP, that's way too busy to try to find that one post again but ahyom should get an answer within a couple hours on either forum. The taller plant would be a lot easier to ID if that plant tag says where the company that propagated it is located. Apopka, FL?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Hi Purple. When you say the taller plant do you mean the Cordyline 'Red Star' or taller weed?

Cordyline's, 'green/red/purple/variegated,' are sold here at garden center in spring, 'called Spikes,' mainly used in a center container plant..they're categorized as annuals.
Most people toss potted plants in autumn, great time to walk through the alleys looking for pots and salvagable


    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sorry, the taller NOID. The Cordyline had already been ID'd when I jumped into this one.

Knowing where the propagator is would be a clue to common weeds of that area. My guess would be three seeded mercury (Acalypha virginica) but that's just speculation.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:25PM
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Purple, is Acalypha Virginica a plant someone might purchases as a house plant or definate weed?

I Googled AV...a couple pics looks similar to a weed that grows here.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:34PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

AFAIK, it's just a weed, common to the south, but maybe up your way too. Don't remember it from OH. That would be the sign of a "good weed" - the ability to be happy about anywhere. LOL!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Sorry I haven't checked back sooner. Thank you so much for all your answers, very helpful as usual!

I'm in zone 6, in Toronto.

I rather like the carpeting weed and will hold onto it. Not sure about the trailing one. It's started to wilt in a couple leaves. If it lasts, I'll leave it be. Will post in the 'name that plant' forum, as I'm still really curious about that medicinal aspect, if there even is one.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:07PM
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