Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Monday, April 25, 2016

Checking in on the plant babies

I'm currently getting ready for my first hike of the season, taking a friend to Beacon Rock and Hamilton Mountain, on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. Before I go, though, here's a quick look at the progress of most of my seedlings:

The Glaucium flavum var. aurantiacum grew rapidly in the greenhouse as soon as we got a few warm, sunny days. They've been hardening off outside next to the garage for a week or two now.

That foliage...

Less impressive in photographs but just as interesting (to me, at least) the Bupleurum spinosum seedlings are growing well, too.

 These Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Lemon Queen' began as cuttings from the garden of Anna at Flutter & Hum. They've been growing prodigiously, and I've been dutifully pinching them back to make nice, bushy plants. Now that they've been moved outside, they're just starting to take on the grey coloration more typical of these fragrant, shrubby herbs. I became smitten with this santolina after seeing in Anna's garden because of the pale, moonlight yellow flowers on fragrant grey foliage, when so many other grey-foliaged plants have jarring, true yellow flowers.

Because they've been in the greenhouse and growing rapidly, they aren't as grey as they normally would be. Now they're starting to take on that desirable coloration.

I've gone Bupleurum crazy this year, also growing a flat of Bupleurum fruticosum. I started the seed at work, actually, but had such prodigious germination that I took a very small portion of them home, as well. With 2-4 seedlings to a pot, this is more than even I can use in my large garden.

The greenhouse isn't bereft of babies, though. Here's the seed corner, still full of exciting things.

I'm trying Asclepias speciosa from seed. Actually, I purchased Asclepias tuberosa, as well, but chose to direct sow that species, mixed in with the meadow seed I spread over most of the new beds. To the left of the milkweed seedlings, just starting to pop up, you can see a few Billardiera longiflora seedlings. These I sowed intentionally, but I also had a fair amount germinate at the base of the parent plant and took those to work to pot up. I was rather surprised to find them germinating on their own outside. Unfortunately, that location, at the base of an Acer griseum, proved too good a location. I dug up the parent plant and relocated it to the base of the star magnolia, a much larger plant for the vine to climb up.

Artemisia ludoviciana, two pots in center, will be added to the oak woodland/meadow area, and other places as I decide. I think I'll have enough.

I'm very excited by these Aristolochia fimbriata seedlings, which I brought back from North Carolina and then promptly forgot in the refrigerator for a couple years.

And finally, anyone want tomatoes? I don't know why I sowed this many, but I did. Two varieties, a cherry tomato named Isis Candy, and a beefsteak tomato named Chianti Rose. The latter is said to have the full, complex flavor of heirloom tomatoes with a shorter ripening time. I'd better pot a few up for the spring swap, though even with our two heatwaves, it's a bit early for tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest.

13 comments:

  1. You are so successful you could seriously consider starting your own nursery! This must feel really awesome.

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    1. Having the greenhouse really makes a huge difference. I didn't have a good place to start seed/root cuttings or grow the resulting plants before.

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  2. You really got good germination, Evan. Lots and lots of cool stuff. Your Glaucium really took off! I planted mine out about a week ago and they didn't miss a beat. Aren't those leaves the coolest? I started some Asclepias speciosa 'Davis' from seed three or four years ago. They started off slow and now they are running and popping up three or four feet from the original plants. Great foliage and super cool flowers. The monarchs seem to really go for those in my area, along with the similar A. syriaca.
    Good luck getting all of those guys planted out!

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    1. Thanks, Tim. These are the successes. There were plenty of failures, too. I need to plant my Glaucium soon. I set them outside a couple weeks ago to adjust from the greenhouse, but I've been too busy to plant them. Looking forward to the Asclepias, too. I also want to try Asclepias fascicularis, suppose to be good in clay soil.

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  3. Do you prick out the crowded babies or just thin down to the numbers you want? Either way, your garden is in for a lush year ahead.

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    1. I prick them out and plant them in separate pots once they produce their first set of true leaves. My garden is in for a year of tiny plants everywhere that will need lots of water. Hope I can keep up.

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  4. I got all excited about some accidental propagation over on my blog today, but once again you are proven to be the master.

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    1. To be fair, it is kind of my job. Accidental propagation is the best, though.

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  5. I'm very impressed by your babies, Evan! Enjoy your trip!

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  6. So nice! Somehow a lot of my seedlings are kind of stunted this year; I wonder if there is something wrong with the soil I have been using.

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    1. If you're using a different potting soil than you have before, that's probably the cause. Some potting soils are really bad. I had a couple Thanksgiving cacti and an Abutilon in some pots with bad soil, and they were all chlorotic and grew poorly. I changed the soil, and they're responding well.

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  7. Your Glaucum flavums are so compelling, I love silvery foliage. I'm starting some Eriophyllum lanatum for my silvery fix, hoping for something tough that will spread. Also starting some Dusty Miller. I forgot to go back for the Artemisia 'Silver Mound' at the fair but can hopefully find it at a nursery. I start seeds under lights and have 288+ this year.

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