YESTERDAY & THIS MORNING

A few of the plants on the front porch on 10-11-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. Earlier this week I was sad to see the forecast for Friday night. It said there was going to be widespread “F”.  While I can think of a few good “F” words, the second letter isn’t “R”.  Knowing what was about to happen didn’t make this past week any easier. I was not anxious to move all the potted plants inside nor were they ready to come. Or, maybe they were ready as the evenings started cooling off but their caretaker was in no hurry.

 

Colocasia esculenta on 10-11-19, #639-19.

The worse thing is being an aroid fan and watching them grow all summer only have them get ZAPPED in October. Just when they have grown so big and AWESOME! I have to realize that even aroids need a break and would go through their own dormant period whether or not they get ZAPPED or are moved inside. Even in the rainforests or someone’s yard in a tropical climate, they would still go dormant in one way or another.

The Colocasia esculenta in the above photo did very well despite the fact the top of their rhizomes had rotted a little. They grew to a whopping 73″ tall!

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 10-11-19, #639-55.

The Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ (syn. Colocasia gigantea) reached 70″ tall and the largest leaf is 42″ long x 36″ wide. It produced 12 flowers just like the one did in 2017.

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ on 10-11-12 at 52″ tall.

I was really impressed with the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’. It seemed to struggle for quite a while then it leaped to grow to a final 52″ tall.

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ on 10-11-12, #639-18.

The Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ was quite a show stopper all summer. It grew non-stop and surprisingly produced many flowers and the color is amazing. Its final height was 64″ tall.

So, putting the inevitable off to the last minute, I reluctantly spent Friday afternoon taking photos of each plant before moving them inside. Well, let me back up a minute. I didn’t take photos of the Alocasia… I was mainly concerned with taking photos and measuring the cactus and succulents, which in itself takes a very long time.

It may sound a little strange that I measure the cactus and succulents, but I have been doing that since 2009. I like to compare their size from one year to another and from when I first brought them home. Some seem to grow so slow while others surprise me. I think the cactus and succulents enjoy getting measured and have me tell them how well they have done. Kind of like us when we were kids growing up and our parents had us back up to the wall where they would put a mark on it. Well, maybe your parents didn’t do that, but mine did until they remodeled their old house.

 

Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) on 10-11-19, #639-83.

NICE! I was so glad to get a start Mrs. Wagler’s Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) and even more glad they have blue flowers instead of pink like the plants I had before. They have been blooming for a while even though there were none open when I took this photo. They are currently 47″ tall.

It was kind of breezy and cool during the afternoon while I was photographing and measuring. Toward the end, while on the back porch with the cactus, I had put on a light jacket. I was getting so cold I could barely remember my own name let alone the plant’s names and the ink pen seemed to be having its own issues. I began to wonder why permanent markers ink faded because the labels I put in the pots with the plants were blank! I realized Then I realized I had forgotten to take a photo of the cactus table before I started removing the plants. GEEZ!

I don’t remember the time, but during the evening while I was going through the 203 photos and writing captions, I had to go outside. I hadn’t measured the “ears” or Mexican Petunia (even though their size is written above). The temperature on the computer said it was 36° F… I went outside with the tape measure and there was already a light “F” on the leaves… The sky was clear and there was no breeze whatsoever. Luckily, the plants were still OK by that time and I was able to get a good measurement.

I didn’t sleep well during the night. I kept wondering if I should have cut the leaves off of the ‘Thailand Giant’ and dug the rhizomes. Out of curiosity, around 5 AM or so, I opened the side door to have a peek. The Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ leaves weren’t cupped shaped anymore and the erect leaves of the ‘Thailand Giant’ were facing downward. I closed the door, the temperature on the computer said 32°. I went back to bed and went to sleep… I stayed in bed as long as I could because I wasn’t any to excited to see the results.

When I did decide to get up, I looked outside and it wasn’t a pretty sight…

 

Jade, Nathan’s cat, has been in my bedroom constantly lately. She is old enough not to be annoying and sleeps most of the time. She is more like a human in a catsuit. I keep Nathan’s other cat, Simba, outside most of the time although be is also very well mannered. Simba had pretty much buffaloed the other cats here and they were afraid of him for months. However, somehow last week that all changed. Instead of all the cats running from him when he went to eat, now Simba stands back and waits for them to finish. This seems to have started to happen when the new kitten came and Simba was the only one that allowed it to eat. Simba is the only cat here that welcomed both of the kittens when they arrived. OH, I guess I didn’t mention yet another kitten beside the one I brought home from Kevin’s… Again, Nathan showed up with another cat. This time a very small kitten was given to him by a deputy who said he found it along the highway… I have to keep it outside because it refuses to use the litter box. It does sneak in faster than greased lightning every chance it gets, though… Jade doesn’t have front claws so, according to theory, she should stay inside. Nathan was told she is a Norwegian Forest Cat, but who knows for sure without the papers.

ANYWAY…

 

I walked into the kitchen and cactus and succulents had taken over the island.

 

More cactus by the back door…

 

No room for guests at the dining room table… More plants on the table in the front bedroom, on the coffee table in the living room, and Alocasia gageana lined up at the door to the basement…

I went outside after a cup of coffee or two.

 

The Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’…

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’… The Mexican Petunia was just fine along with the Astilbe ‘Fanal’ and Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. They are just looking bad because it is time for them to look bad.

 

The Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ looked like it had been beaten…

 

The Colocasia esculenta… Well, they told me they would be alright but their voice didn’t have the sound of confidence…

I walked to the other yard and everything seemed to be much like it was the day before… Even the Hosta looked the same because they are under trees.

 

A single Echinacea purpurea is still flowering…

 

No issues at the southwest corner of the house…The Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) is still flowering. I have no clue how the Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) got there… And what is growing in the bush? Of course, the Baptisia australis is fine.

 

The Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ is fine and flowering up a storm…

 

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is looking like nothing happened. Well, that is mainly because I covered it with the huge flower pot. I am not sure why I always do that. I cover it up every time it gets cold whether it needs it or not.

 

The Brocade Marigolds that came up volunteer in the southeast corner are still looking great. For a long time, I saved the seed of the red and had pretty much an all-red strain. So, last year I didn’t save seed because I thought plenty would come up on their own in the bed by the corner of the back porch. Well, that didn’t happen and only one plant came up there. Luckily, these two plants came up here but only one is red… I have to save the seed.

I had to go to town later in the afternoon and didn’t get back home until a little after 6. To my surprise, the Colocasia esculenta had perked up!!! Not like normal, that would be a miracle, but they did look a little better. The petioles on all the Colocasia and the Leucocasia are still standing and if we have warm days without any more “F’s” they will start growing new leaves again. That has happened before… Last year I dug the rhizomes and put them in the basement right after the first ZAP and they started growing new leaves… Well, no matter, I will dig them up in a few days regardless of whether we will have warmer temps. It is time now…

That’s about all I have to say for now. I have to start working on the posts about the plants I brought inside. 🙂

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Stay well be happy… Get dirty if you can and maybe enjoy a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows). 🙂

 

25 comments on “YESTERDAY & THIS MORNING

  1. debbie lansdown says:

    Hi There – lovely to see how things are going in your ‘yard’ . All your big plants look fantastic – there is enough space to really show them off: but Colocasia ‘Distant Memory ‘ is especially beautiful- do you know the origin of the name ? It’s quite interesting … it seems appropriate but I’m not exactly sure why?
    I like your description of Jade as a human in a cat suit – a perfect description of hector (my cat!). I used to have a (part) Norwegian Forest cat (Myrtle) & Jade appears to have the same big fluffy tail, Myrtle had a ruff too – anyway she looks very pretty.
    It rained steadily all day here yesterday but I put my waterproofs on and went out and did a few hours clearing down for winter in the garden- so I did get dirty and I am feeling a little virtuous as it looks much better after the ‘summer of neglect – I divided my phlomis and I’m hoping to do my hemerocallis today if the rain lightens up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Debbie! Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ is a Walter’s Garden introduction and was named in honor of Harriet Walters who had Alzheimer’s. They donate $.25 per plant sold to Alzheimer’s research. The Elephant is a symbol for Alzheimer’s Disease which is why they selected an Elephant Ear to be their cause plant. Jade looks a lot different now because she has gained A LOT of weight. I think she needs to go outside so she can get more exercise. She is a big fluff ball and has a lot of hair plus the undercoat typical of the breed. Glad to hear you got out in the yard even though it was raining. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do even though the weather isn’t perfect. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. Jim R says:

    The Colocasia looks kind of sad and droopy. So it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bittster says:

    That first frost is always a bummer, but it gets you going on so many jobs that sometimes later isn’t always better. I need to take cuttings and move a few things this afternoon. No sign of frost in the 10 day but that could change quick and I don’t want to have another frozen fingers holding a shovel and a flashlight kind of night!
    Have a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Frank! For sure the first “F” is always the worse and does get you motivated to move plants inside and to be prepared for the rest of the winter. Things we put off we now have to hurry and get them done. Glad to hear you don’t have any “F” in your near forecast so you have more time to take cuttings and move plants and so on. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. Never saw so many cactus. All the green plants are such a breather while we see only flower pots all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skyeent says:

    Ah, still I guess it is time. Our autumns are so drawn out that everything has pretty much given up due to lack of light by the time frosts come here (usually towards the end of November). I do like those colocasia. I’m definately going to try one for the polytunnel next year if I can….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Nancy! I am curious about putting a polytunnel over my entire house. What is rediculous is getting an “F” then it warms up again. GEEZ! I think Colocasia would do fine in a polytunnel and would probably do OK outside there. You can always experiment as they multiply. Thanks for the comment!

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      • skyeent says:

        The polytunnel may get a bit warm for you in the summer though, and all that watering! It probably would do OK outside, but may need a bit more warmth. I’m more worried about the wind shredding those lovely leaves! For some reason I hadn’t thought about multiplying – do they produce offsets most years if they’re happy?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Nancy! Oh yes! Colocasia esculenta produces MANY offsets. Their leaves are pretty tough and take a good amount of wind here but you know best in your area. Usually, they don’t tear up because of the wind, but because they have been hitting something next to them. I was only thinking about polytunnel over the house during the winter. I was mainly kidding, though… The neighbors would think I totally lost my mind and I am sure it would make the front page in the local newspaper…

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Masha says:

    Well you’re a great care taker of all the plants, although I don’t know how you do it, but they all seem to be doing so wonderful, they are thriving under your passionate care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Masha! Most of them are doing very well but some think I have behavior issues. They very patient, though, and once in a while I notice them tapping their feet to get my attention. It is great when there are so many amazing plants that do just fine when I get busy and don’t have time to give them a lot of attention. I can say for sure plants certainly raise the positive vibration of a home, inside and out. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Frost is such a foreign concept for us. We get just enough to ruin foliage of plants such as yours, but it does not kill much at all. I actually prefer to get some plants frosted. I don’t mind cutting back their foliage if it is already ruined. Cutting back good foliage on cannas is no fun. Cacti, aloes, agaves and yuccs all do very well outside here. It seems to me though, that those who grow the most unusual species of Yucca, are not here or in other Mediterranean climates, but in places with very cold winters, like Denmark!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Tony! Our first frost this year was very light, so only the tenderest of plants were affected. Then it warmed up again and the Colocasia flowered. 🙂 The common Yucca do well here and go through the harshest winters we have with no dieback. I always wondered how the more exotic Yucca would do here but I never see any in people’s yards. They are never available locally either. I have a huge colony of Cannas next to the garage and I always dread cutting the dead stems after a big ZAP. They grow up to 12 feet tall and everything has to be cut and removed then the bed mulched with leaves. They aren’t really supposed to overwinter in the ground here, but they do pretty anyway. Even the Colocasia I planted in front of the patch of Cannas overwintered in the ground last winter with mulch. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        You know, I was always told that cannas should be dug in climates even slightly cooler than ours (such as in Sacramento), but have seen them growing unattended in Oklahoma. They were out there in the winter, so I asked about them and was told that they had been there for years. I really can not imagine how they survive like that. Most of the yuccas are resilient to cold winters, and actually appreciate a dry (arid) chill, but also want warm and dry summers. The Joshua tree is native to the Mojave Desert, so it must actually be sheltered from the rain here! Denmark must be uncomfortably cool and damp for them throughout most of the year. Dampness is more of a problem than chill for those that are from desert regions. Tropical sorts have no problem with rain and humidity but do not like the chill. The common giant yucca that grows like a weed here survives our frost, but would not like it much cooler.

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        • Maybe the Cannas have adapted over time. There were a lot of the Giant Yucca where I lived in Mississippi but our winters are definitely too cold here. Strange, but a friend gave me two Yucca offsets from their yard and I put them in pots. They grew much differently than the parent with smaller, narrower leaves and never grew that large and made really nice plants. I left them with a friend but always wish I had brought them with me. All I have is a photo from 2012.

          Liked by 1 person

          • tonytomeo says:

            I sort of suspect that some of the fancier hybrids of canna really are susceptible to frost, but that some of the simpler species are more resilient.
            Is the giant yucca in Mississippi the same Yucca elephantipes that is so common here? My first Yucca aloifolia came from Mississippi, where it was considered to be common. I have seen big ones only in pictures. It has nastier foliage, but I found it to be intriguing. Also, the native mound lily, Yucca gloriousa, which lives on the coast there, is quite uncommon here.

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