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The pollination experiment was a success! Well.. mostly.

My experiment with cross-pollinating my Astrophytum ornatum and Astrophytum coahuilense kind of worked. I used a cotton swab to collect pollen from both flowers and rubbed it on the middle part of both stigmas. Then it was just a waiting game, hoping the flowers didn’t just pop off, like they do when they haven’t been pollinated.

A couple of days later, the flower dried up and fell off my Astrophytum coahuilense. But the one on my Astrophytum ornatum seemed to stick around. I noticed that the bottom of the flower kept swelling up, too. I think my experiment was a success! Mostly.
Now.. I don’t actually know if a cross between a coahuilense and ornatum is a thing. Or even if the seeds would be viable. I’ll make sure to take pictures of the seeds and my attempt to germinate them. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the result was a heavily fluffy and spiny cactus?

I found my macro lens

I reanimated my old iPhone 6 just to take these photos with the macro lens I bought specifically for this phone, so the quality of these images isn’t great. I just wanted to see my Hoya flowers up close. The Hoya cumingiana photo turned out pretty well, I think. They look like little shooting stars.

Checking the roots

I came in contact with the lady I traded Hoya cuttings with last summer and she told me, she lost 25 plants to soil mealy bugs in winter. I ended up giving her cuttings from the plants she gave me (+ more to kickstart her collection again) and she gave me more Hoyas I didn’t already have. She did give me something to think about as well. Maybe there was a reason why some of my plants grow so slowly.. so I unpotted all of the succulents that grew too slowly (in my opinion) and has been in contact with the cuttings she gave me. Time for a root check!
I didn’t find any bugs, aside from the occasional pot with springtails, but my Euphorbia obesa has something odd going on. There are no feeder roots! That’s probably why it hasn’t grown that much since last winter. It looks like a lot of the feeder roots on my Pseudolithos have died off, too. I still have some rooting hormone gel lying around from last time I propagated my Hoyas, so I’m going to use that to try and provoke new root growth. I mean, it can’t hurt that much, can it?

I included a bonus pic of my date palm. It’s growing slowly, but there’s nothing wrong with it. It just really looks like a leek now.

New to the team: Satin pothos

I’ve been looking for more fast growing hanging plants since I set up a trellis for my Philodendron brasil and moved it to a different spot. It didn’t take long to find its replacement. My local garden center has a pallet full of Satin Pothos mini plants, so obviously I bought 3 and planted them together. I can’t place them on top of my cabinet just yet, because they wouldn’t get enough sunlight. Right now they work well as a decoration for my living room table until the vines grow long enough.

I set my Hoya cumingiana free

I was having problems with the round trellis for my Hoya cumingiana because the vines are too stiff to properly wrap around the metal wire. It looked like a hot mess, so I carefully removed the trellis and let all of the vines hang loose. I had no idea how long the vines were! When I stretch them out, they can reach the bottom of my window sill, hanging from the top of the window.
The plant doesn’t look like it suffered too much from being unwrapped, but it did lose a few leaves here and there. The almost naked parts of the vines is the result of a couple of spider mite infestations. Luckily, I haven’t seen any spider mites since fall.

Now it’s easier to appreciate the flowers, too!