Episcia ‘Karlyn’ flower and a bonus Streptocarpella picture

Episcia 'Karlyn'
Episcia ‘Karlyn’

This one flowered for me for the first time the other day, really like the colour, it’s a nice change from the usual orange-red on these things. Love the leaves too, definitely a keeper. It’s not the greatest picture though, colour is much more exciting in real life where this picture makes the whole thing look flat. Guess you’ll just have to grow this one yourselves to see how good it really looks.


Early last spring I started rooting tip cuttings from this plant I later planted out into shady spots in my garden where this has performed beautifully. It took a while to really get going but once it did it’s been trouble-free. Going to use it as a so-called “annual” again for sure.

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Aechmea fasciata – Pretty picture, rambling post

Aechmea fasciata
Aechmea fasciata

Last summer I got a written of Aechmea fasciata which had completely finished blooming. There were three good sized pups coming up and I figured I might as well give it a try. End of the summer bringing in the tropicals I cut back the mother plant but left the three pups as is, attached and I believe I potted them up into an 8″ pot? I think the 6″ was getting warped out of shape. Earlier this summer I noticed one of the pups had rotted off at the base which was likely because the soil was too heavy and someone else had been watering the soil in the pot (and to make it worse getting much less light than it should have been getting). I removed the two remaining pups and have mounted them bare root on my fence, keeping the center of the plant filled with water, flushing it with fresh and of course it’s getting rained on from time to time. These two are doing just fine but it’s getting to be about that time to bring it back indoors for the winter.

I’m a little concerned about potting it up again, and there aren’t many places I could hang it that it would fit/not get things wet etc. I guess my other options would be to pot it up just into LECA, but not SH, just dry stones.

Another thing I noticed when I removed the soil was how few roots the new plants had actually formed. Can Aechmea fasciata get by long term exclusively on water and nutrients from the water in the center of the plant or does it need to be planted? I’m not really sure where else I’m going with this post so I guess this is the question – can I grow this plant bare root long term and have it do just fine?

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New Plant: Lithops


No idea on species or cultivar but happy to have found some white flowering ones. This pot is only sort of temporary for this picture, I’ve got one about the same depth but wider for them, just waiting on a few things to mix up a good fast “soil” for them first (Saw a recommended 1/3 each of commercial cactus/succulent mix, crushed granite or similar gravely stuff and perlite and going to go something close to that).

Hoping I can do well with these, they sound hard but it also seems that with a little attention to what the plant is doing and all the time they spend dormant they should be manageable. And then of course if these do well I’ve got a few other mesembs I’d like to try (again in some cases).

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Random pictures from the Toronto Zoo

Went to the zoo yesterday. Here are some picture. Some of plants, a few more of animals.

Wollemi Pine
Wollemi Pine – This plant was not looking too great earlier in the year but has recovered very well and I was happy to see it looking this good. I’d bet a solid 95% of zoo visitors walk by this with no idea what it is or why they should care.

Acalypha cv.
Acalypha cv.

Bamboo – possibly Sasa tsuboiana ‘Green View’? (Should have played around with my Polarizing Filter for this one, though I do sort of like the effect here since it isn’t on the whole picture.)

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum cv.)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum cv.)

Justicia carnea
Justicia carnea (Thanks Aaerelon for the very fast ID)

Hibiscus moscheutos
Hibiscus moscheutos – This seems to be the species which I like a lot more than any of the cultivars I’ve seen. The way the flower isn’t opened into a flat disk adds a lot of interested. Looked to be growing untended in a swampy area.

And a few animals, because that’s apparently what most zoos are for.

Pink-backed Pelican
Pink-backed Pelican

Blue-and-yellow Macaw
Blue-and-yellow Macaw – This guy posed for me for a while in front of this waterfall.

American flamingo
American flamingo – I almost never get up to this part of the zoo with the Macaws, Flamingos and Jaguars so was happy to see all of them out and looking good when I was there.

Jaguar – Tricky shot. Enclosure is surrounded by Trumpet Vine casting very deep shade and shot through the wire fence.

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New Plant – Red Mangrove / Rhizophora mangle

Mangrove - Rhizophora mangle

Fairly inexpensive for a propagule like one of these so might be worth trying.

They can (apparently, I’ve had these only for a number of hours now) tolerate a wide range of conditions from fresh (with extra Magnesium) to brackish to ocean levels of salinity (clean salt deposits off leaves frequently).

As they grow you can raise them so they’ll develop their characteristic root system. They respond well to pruning by branching readily, though they are not especially fast growing plants to begin with.

They do need fairly bright light (usually growing in full sun in the wild) which may be an issue. These propagules barely fit under my lights and they don’t even have leaves yet. I’ve got plans for these though where it won’t be a problem. I’m in the process of setting up my 30 gallon salt water tank again (really bad issues with algae ended up with the fish moved into an alternate tank and the display tank drained and cleaned and blacked out for a while) and will be using these in that tank once that’s ready to go. (Would also be really nice in a brackish setup like a tidal area with mudskippers, or a deeper larger tank with archerfish, or a smaller tank with either bumblebee gobies or small pufferfish (not both). But I’ve already got my clownfish so they’re going in salt.

Occelaris Clownfish

And an old picture of my big girl from almost three years ago (really need to take a new picture of the two of them).

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Kaempferia pigmea

This is another plant I received last month from Gardino. It has recovered extremely well.

Kaempferia pigmea
Kaempferia pigmea

When it arrived the only thing visible was a single emerging leaf, white from a month in a box and limp. After watering it perked up and started growing.

The first leaf uncurled and turned mostly green with just a hint of silver. The second leaf that’s come out though was much showier.

Kaempferia pigmea

You can also see another smaller sprout that came up beside the larger and just in the center of the leaves the start of some flower buds. It flowered last night. Over night. I saw the bud sort of open and showing colour around 9 last night, and by 7 this morning it had already finished. I will turn the lights off on my stand earlier next time I see a bud about to open. The flower was a pretty magenta colour, not sure if it was fragrant or not.

I do not know what this species really is. I haven’t found any reference outside of Gardino’s website to the species. Anyone know what this might actually be?

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New Plant: Alocasia zebrina

Alocasia zebrina
Alocasia zebrina “tigrina”

I’ve been eyeing this one for a while now. It went on sale and now it’s mine.

Hoping to have good luck keeping off the spider mites this winter.

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