Saturday, August 30, 2014

What's On My Desk?

Gotta love those big box nurseries. They like to keep us guessing about the mystery plants they sell. I found one this week with no label that looked so familiar, yet I couldn't quite identify it. Can you? It's sitting on my desk now.
The Oddly Compelling... Huernia
That "lifesaver" flower is pretty memorable. Alert Gardeners know this is a Huernia. No, not a Hernia Plant, a Huernia! A Huernia zebrina in fact. Huernia come from South Africa, Ethiopia, and the Republic of Zimbabwe. They are fairly forgiving plants that like life in many areas as long as they get bright indirect light, protection from the cold, and dryness between waterings. A well-draining cactus soil is perfect. Too much water or cold and it rots. Frost is deadly. It grows from seed or cuttings. I'll need to make a particularly spectacular pot for this one!
Miniature African Violets, feelin' pretty.
I admit to enjoying some flowers on my desk, and what says "Pretty!" more than miniature African violets? My favorite local nursery has had some in stock this summer--couldn't resist. They really make computer work more pleasant. I notice they don't last long at most nurseries because they are often watered to death, and allowed to sit in stagnant puddles until they collapse into mounds of smelly goo. They really don't need that much water! My minis are happy with a teaspoon of water a day, or tablespoon every other day, given from the bottom of the pot. They are in 50% humidity and doing fine without mistings. Easy peasy!

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