Brace yourselves… w̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶ SPRING is coming

After the big snowfall we’ve had here in Vancouver, it almost seems like we’ve had a true winter.  Not winter like the midwest experiences.  Compared to what we’re used to, it almost seems like we’ve moved to Winterfell.  I think we had almost 6 or 7 inches of good snow before it crusted over with ice.  Nothing like what the gorge had, but good for us lowlanders.

Since I don’t want to take a picture of the dreary, soggy spectacle outside (I’d rather forget it) I’ll show you what I’ve been up to lately.  A little bit of searching on the internet has turned up several good places to find rare and exotic seeds, which we all know is a great way to become frustrated for a few dollars.  I could talk about the process, but why don’t we all just skip ahead to what I bought.  I’ll concentrate on what has already germinated, to keep this post relatively short.

Some of what I got is common in the sense that you can probably find the seeds at most big box stores.  I haven’t seen any Amaranthus caudatus at nurseries or seed catalogs before, but I have a sneaking suspicion its because I wasn’t looking for it.

I’m not sure of the exact species, but this is a Pachypodium.  It germinated very easily as a hitchhiker in a Schizobasis intricata seedling, and has been growing quickly.  I’m excited to see what it turns out to be! I’m a big fan of the red spines and the smooth green leaves.

Here’s what we are all waiting for!  Brugmansia!  I kind of cheated on this one, because I got these as woody cuttings instead of as seeds.  I did have several that I started from seeds earlier this winter, but somehow slugs got to them and ate them.  Yes, in the house.  Disgusting.  Just another reason to hate slugs.  Anyway, as of now I still have 8 brugs, and hopefully I can keep it that way until I get these cuttings in the ground in a few weeks (cross your fingers).

Crescentia cujete, or the Calabash Tree, is a new one for me.  It’s native to Central and South America, so there’s no question of it’s hardiness.  It doesn’t have the largest of leaves, but it does produce a unique gourd-like fruit and really has that tropical feel to it.  It gets a little bit bigger than I would like and it is fast growing, however it sounds like it adapts to life in a pot fairly well.  Luckily for me, it germinated pretty well, around 85-90%.  I’ve got about 25 more seeds, so hopefully I will be able to find homes for them.  I don’t need an orchard.  At least, I don’t think I want one.

No seed project of mine is complete without cannas.  I don’t know what color these will be, but I’m guessing red based on the color of the last batch of seeds from that particular supplier.  The cannas sprouted 2 days after planting, which got me questioning myself germinating them in February.  I’ve got 10 more waiting to be planted.

I branched out this spring, and tried my hand at cactus.  I looked into the Sonoran Saguaro, because if you can’t have big leaves you might as well just be oversized overall.  The growth rate on the saguaro is really slow, so I opted out of that one.  It turns out the Argentine Saguaro (Trichocereus Echinopsis terschekii) blows it’s northern cousin out of the water for growth rate.  Some places I’ve read have claimed a foot a year, but I’ll be the judge of that.  I bought 50 seeds, and I think about 99% of them germinated in 5-7 days.  This one should be fun to repot later.

I didn’t start it from seed, but I thought this would be a good occasion to spotlight the very cool new growth on the Christmas Cactus (Zygocactus truncatus).  Each new stem starts out a bright pink, and gradually turns orange, and then yellow, before reaching a nice deep green as a mature segment.

I couldn’t leave this post without including the burgeoning buds of the Improved Meyer Lemon.  About 2 weeks ago, it started developing bundles of flower buds on most of the leaf nodes.  Now, it seems like they could burst open at any moment.  I can’t wait to have some  fresh lemons!  I’ll just have to hand pollinate, because there aren’t too many pollinators in my house.  At least, I hope not.

4 thoughts on “Brace yourselves… w̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶ SPRING is coming

  1. That little Pachypodium is the cutest!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, glad find yours. We Portland area garden bloggers have a Facebook group and we get together twice a year for a plant exchange. Let me know if you’re interested in joining!


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