My friend Leland has sent me many wonderful plants over the last couple of years. In April I received some very large cuttings of Philodendron warscewiczii. The cuttings were about 12-15 inches long and 2-3 inches in diameter. Seriously, they were like logs. I wasn’t sure what the best method would be for getting new growth from the cuttings, so I tried putting one cutting in a vase of water and the other directly into a chunky, loose mix of soil, bark, and charcoal and kept it pretty well watered.
The cutting which was started in water was the first one out of the gate, sprouting leaves and roots from two growth points. After a couple of weeks of growth in water, I decided to go ahead and plant this cutting in soil as well. The cutting that was started in soil did not show any progress for several more weeks. Finally I noticed a root emerging from one of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot (see image above). At this point there were still not any leaves. A month or two down the road and my potted cutting began to sprout a new leaf from the tip. When the leaf finally unfurled I noticed this leaf was a mature warscewiczii leaf, while the leaves on my other cuttings were the juvenile form, with less divisions in the leaf. It seemed counter-intuitive, at first, that this cutting which had just produced it’s first leaf had a more mature leaf than my cutting which had two growth points with several leaves already.
The more I thought about this, I realized that my “late bloomer” cutting had a key difference that was most likely the reason for this difference. This cutting was a tip cutting and the leaf was emerging from the end, where new leaves were developing prior to the plant being dissected and sent across the ocean to me. The cutting which sprouted the two new growths and lots of leaves was, in a sense, starting from scratch, while this other cutting was continuing growth that had been going on for many years.
Now my slower cutting is about to unfurl a fourth leaf and my fast cutting has unfurled something like its 12th. Both are pretty plants, but the tip cutting has produced beautiful mature leaves that are much more appealing and more warscewiczii-ish than the many leaves of the other cutting.
It’s been a while since I have posted updates on some of my plants that I’ve had for a year or two. So here are some of my Aroids, which are doing quite well:
Though Aglaonema ‘Gold Dust’ has not grown a lot, it has recently put out a new offset, which I would prefer over height anyway, since I just have one stalk of it.
My Aglaonema ‘Royal Ripple’ has been putting out many offsets and is now filling the pot rather nicely. Some of my other Aglaonemas are also doing really well: A. ‘Peacock’, A. ‘BJ Freeman’, A. ‘Abidjan’, and A. ‘Silver Bay’
The Anthurium barbacoasense which I brought back from the April meeting of the MidAmerica IAS chapter is growing really well. I need to figure out a good system for supporting it. I probably just need to set up a totem for it. For now, it has been growing leaning against a taller pot for support. This plant was collected by Dr. Tom Croat in Colombia.
My Epipremnum pinnatum v. ‘Cebu Blue’ is one of my favorites! It has been growing very steadily and has latched on to the wood totem I made for it. Recently this plant was knocked over in a wind storm, which caused me to lose a leaf or two and some of the plant lost its grip on the wood, but the plant was mostly undamaged. I’m so glad this one is doing well. You can see from one of the neighboring plants that I am a sucker for this foliage color. I just love the blue-silver shade.
I’ve had luck off and on with my Monstera obliqua, but this set of cuttings really took off recently and I gave it a totem to climb, which is going pretty well. It has produced some very large leaves down at the base of the plant, which I didn’t expect.
My Philodendron ‘69686’ is growing very well. It has been putting out leaves profusely, one right on top of the other. According to Steve Lucas, this plant is likely a naturally-occurring hybrid from Brazil. I’m glad it got out before they clamped down on exports of all plant life!
My unknown hybrid Philodendron from cuttings at my office has been growing really well and attached to the totem. It’s already taller than the totem I made, so I’ll need to come up with something taller or start cutting it back. It would be neat if I could make a really tall totem for this one and just let it keep growing taller.
This Philodendron was searching for something to climb, so I recently fixed up a totem for this one and have it temporarily attached with string. I really like the texture of the stems of this plant. This plant was a gift from Russ Hammer, who told me that it is called Philodendron florida, but I haven’t been able to find much information on that name.
My crowing glory right now is my Philodendron mayoi. About 6 months ago I found a really nice piece of wood that was contorted and scarred and it was scheduled for destruction, along with a bunch of other tree limbs. So I held onto it and waited for the perfect use. One day I realized it would make a really nice climbing apparatus for one of my Aroids. And I had just the perfect plant! The P. mayoi latched on very quickly and has roots wrapping all around this unique branch. It’s a work of art, in my opinion! I really don’t think the pictures do it justice.
My Philodendron ‘Rojo’ hybrid is one of the few Meconostigma self-heading (upright, self-supported, non-climbing) Philodendrons in my collection. This plant has been growing slow and steady since I got it sometime last year.
The other Meconostigma Philodendron in my collection has not been identified. For a while I was calling it Philodendron selloum, but I’m not sure that is correct. It might be Philodendron bipinnatifidum. My plant has stayed about the same size since I got it in a trade about 3 years ago. It puts out new leaves and loses old ones, but stays about the same size.
My Philodendron tortum is one of my newer plants. It has been growing really well. I will have to set up a totem for it soon. I guess that will make it a “tortum totem.”
Syngonium wendlandii is probably the most attractive Syngonium that I have ever seen. This plant, like my other Syngoniums, really likes water.
Last week I posted about all of the plants in my office building, many of which were installed and are maintained by a plant care company. The ladies were in the office yesterday, grooming the plants and watering them. I waited until they were finished in our office and then followed them out into the hallway. I really wanted a cutting of the Philodendron and figured the worst they could say is “no.”
I asked politely if they were allowed to share cuttings of the plants, and they lady said “Sure!” I showed her the Philodendron and she whacked off 4 huge pieces for me. She commented that it would just make the plant fuller, so she didn’t mind at all.
I didn’t have time to get the cuttings set up in pots last night for rooting, so I just put them in a vase of water. Christie (my wife) commented that it looks like a really nice bouquet on our table for the time being. I’ll probably pot the cuttings this evening, but maybe I’ll do an experiment and see which cuttings root faster – those in dirt or those in water. I’ve had pretty good luck with both and these are very healthy Philodendron cuttings.
Mr_subjunctive said that this plant looks like Philodendron ‘Red Emerald’ and I have to agree. I think ‘Red Emerald’ is a cultivar from the erubescens species. I have a Philodendron erubescens that looks very similar, except for the red coloration.
It’s nice to know that people who love growing plants are usually generous to share their success with others who also enjoy plants.
I’m not actually suggesting a new holiday. It’s just a clever name for my post. Although I wouldn’t mind this being a holiday – I already celebrate it everyday.
[For those who are interested, I work on the research campus at the University of Oklahoma. The research campus is made up of about six buildings built over the last 5 years. These buildings are filled with academics, government groups and private companies (like the one I work for). The anchor of the research campus is the National Weather Center.]
My office building (like the others on the campus) is a nice, new facility that has lots of plants in the hallways and office suites. Plants are added for decoration, as well as to help purify air in the office environment. This is a pretty trendy thing nowadays, and I guess it has been for quite a while. What’s cool for me is that some of my favorite plants are those common plants kept as easy-care foliage plants (such as the Aglaonema pictured above).
All of the plants are in really nice, huge pots. And the plants are grouped in twos or threes. This is my favorite grouping. I walk by it each morning on my way up the stairs. The Philodendron is so cool. I think I might have to ask one of the plant maintainers if I could get a cutting…
Other common plants in the office building are Dracaenas, Epipremnum ivies and large Bird of Paradise. Here is a nice grouping of two Dracaenas in the hallway.
Of course, being the planty guy that I am, all of these great plants scattered throughout the building aren’t enough for me. I have my own set of plants on my desk: Philodendron hederaceum (‘Micans’), Polyscias scutellaria, Scindapsus pictus, Aglaonema sp. I used to have a Philodendron ‘Brazil’ on my desk, but it got too large and had to be taken home.
The shield Aralia was a birthday gift the first year I started working here, so it’s now about 2 years old and has grown a lot. I’ve heard that these plants are a little finicky and hard to keep. No doubt it probably would not be as healthy as it is today if I wasn’t looking at it 5 days a week! The office environment (and my constant watching eye) has apparently suited it well.
My Philodendron ‘Micans’ is starting to grow as rapidly as my Philodron ‘Brazil’ did. It had to be taken home when our company moved and my desk space was reduced. I really like it’s rate of growth, but I hope the ‘Micans’ can stick around a while longer.
In addition to all sorts of health benefits in the office space, plants just make me happy and my work space would be depressing without them.
Do you keep any plants in your workspace? Or does anyone else in your office?
I have had three recent acquisitions of new plants from generous friends. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my trip to see Steve Lucas’s tropical atrium. I mentioned that Steve was kind enough to take cuttings of several of his plants and shared them with me. I have also received some plants (most of them Aroids) through the mail recently from some of my plant friends. Plant friends are great! I thought I would bundle all my new plants into one post. Most of them are Aroids, but there are a couple of plants from outside the Aroid family. Here’s all of them:
Steve has A LOT of Aroids, many of them Philodendrons. This particular Philodendron (P. mayoi) was named after a noted botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London – Dr. Simon Mayo.
Philodendron erubescens has really neat cataphylls that roll up into tight coils. Many cataphylls are herbaceous, eventually turning papery and falling away. These cataphylls are more persistent though. The inflorescence of this Philodendron is a really beautiful red. There are pictures on Steve’s website, if you’re interested.
This is likely a naturally-occurring hybrid from Brazil, commonly mislabelled as Philodendron Joepii (named after Joep Moonen). There has been much confusion regarding this plant and it has yet to be given a name. It retains the number until a registered cultivar name is assigned.
This is beautiful Philodendron with a wonderful leaf shape and a nice red mottling on the undersides of the leaves. By the way, Steve told me that noted Aroid collected Roberto Burle-Marx only collected plants for their interesting leaf shapes and didn’t care what their names were. I found that very interesting. There are a number of plants named after him.
This Philodendron has a bright orange stem and very distinctive, long leaves.
This Philodendron has a really cool coloration. The undersides of the leaves, which you can’t see from the picture, are red.
Steve has so many of these Alocasias spreading in his atrium every year that he has to rip them out and throw them away by the end of the summer season! Can you believe that? I helped him by removing one plant this Spring. 🙂
I have enjoyed pictures of this Aroid for quite a while. I went in search of a plant and found a friend, as well! 🙂 A fellow plant enthusiast (Beth in Mississippi) agreed to send me a cutting. Actually she sent three and included some more surprises in the box, as well!
Monsteras are wonderful Aroids, best known for their leaf fenestrations. Beth sent me this large cutting of Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ (below), which is a gorgeous hybrid. Apparently she has several pots of this plant that each have 5 stems this size!
She also threw in two really cool non-Aroid plants – Synadenium grantii ‘rubra’ and a variegated Pedilanthus tithymaloides.
Beth told me that Synadenium roots very easily and quickly. I have planted my two stems in moist Vermiculite, which has been the best rooting substance I have used in the past. Beth also warned me to be careful with the sap of this plant, which will burn the skin worse than anything else she has ever encountered. Vegetable oil can be used to remove the sap.
After a little research I found that Pedilanthus is a synonym for Euphorbia. [I have a gigantic Euphorbia post prepared for Wednesday. Stay tuned!] This plants is sometimes called “Devil’s Backbone” or more favorably “Japanese Poinsettia.” If I’m lucky, it will eventually produce small red or pink flowers at the top of the stems.
A fellow blogger noticed that I had a plant on my wish list that he had seen locally. He bought the plant, sent it to me and I reimbursed him for his troubles. This Philodendron has a different name everywhere you see it. It is commonly called Philodendron glaucophyllum (or glaucaphyllum), though I am told the true species name is hastatum. Some common names used are “Silver Metal Philodendron” or “Blue Philodendron.” Regardless, it is a very cool plant, and this one is in great condition.
Mr. Subjunctive had a large Aglaonema that he didn’t mind sharing. He split off a large division and sent it to me. He also included another cool, little foliage plant in my box – Pellionia pulchra. He didn’t provide it’s name right away, to allow me to track it down. I think I had seen pictures of this plant, but it took me some time before I got to the source. Along the way I thought it might be in the Cissus genus or possibly even a Begonia. My wife noted that the leaves are asymmetrical, which is true of all Begonia leaves. Eventually I found the identity in one of my plant books – Ortho’s Complete Guide to Houseplants. It’s a Pellionia pulchra, which is in the same family (Urticaceae) as another genus of common foliage houseplants – Pilea. Pileas are the plants commonly called “Aluminum,” “Watermelon” and “Friendship” plants.
That’s a lot of new additions! Thanks, Steve, mr_subjunctive and Beth, for the wonderful plants. 🙂