Hot Propagation Summer 2 (And Other Fun Occurrences)

July 8, 2022

At this point, I'm just lumping all my plant stuff together with my life stuff because not enough is going on with my plants or my life to warrant making separate blog posts for both.

The plants are doing well. I mentioned last time that I was considering trying to root some rhizomatous begonia cuttings from the petiole, which I ended up going through with because said begonias were starting to look a bit wild. The good news is that all the cuttings rooted. The bad news is that all the cuttings rooted. I have jars and jars of plants and I have no idea what to do with everything.

A few weeks ago, I chopped the purple plant in half because it was starting to collapse under its own weight. The thing about purple plants is that the combination of soft and fuzzy makes rooting them in water a very risky endeavor, so I had to hold my nose and try to root the thing in soil. Against all odds, it didn't shrivel up and die, and now I have 2 purple plants in a pot!

I ended up needing to do quite a bit of reshuffling on the shelf, so here it is now. Note the jars and jars of cuttings that I'm desperately trying to avoid potting for my own sanity.

The now-infamous shelf with more plants than ever (those jars were supposed to be for food once)

You may notice a new addition to the mess that is the shelf. I actually bought it in May, but I didn't want to say anything about it just in case it met an untimely end 2 weeks after I bought it. It's been a bit now and it doesn't seem to be having any problems, so here's a formal introduction: meet my Begonia amphioxus! I've been wanting one of these for a while, but they're on the pricey end - not overpriced-from-artificial-scarcity pricey, but they cost more than I'm usually willing to spend on plants. I was waffling on it until I saw them on clearance for $15 and immediately knew this was the absolute cheapest I was ever going to get one.

It was significantly bushier when I bought it, but one of the stems turned black and completely died. I had a minor(?) freakout and waited in terror for something to happen to the surviving stem, but it's been pushing out leaves like normal and seems generally unconcerned with the fate of its sibling. I figure whatever happened was probably a byproduct of the plant sitting neglected in clearance, so I'm cautiously optimistic about its future.

I also hauled my golden pothos that I was keeping at home up here in preparation for the move next month. It has a nice home on top of my dresser for the next 23 days. It's been growing like a weed, as pothos do.

In other news, I found this beautiful thing at a flea market a bit ago. (In a kombucha brewery, no less. I don't drink kombucha.) I haven't bought a record in a while, but I've been wanting this one for years. The last time I saw it in the wild, it was 40 bucks. And here I am getting it for 10! I have never had to think about a decision less.

Friday Night in San Francisco by Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucia, and John McLaughlin

This record houses one of my favorite performances of all time, which I'm forcing you to watch and listen to here. I want to roll around in it. I want to eat it.

Another recent acquisition that has brought me much joy are these papercrafts that I got from Roarin Creations on Etsy! I bought the svg templates and used my mom's cutting machine to cut them out (which also means I can make infinitely many if I so choose), but they also sell precut kits. I got the millipede and whip spider and I'm smitten.

Millipede papercraft, buy here

Whip spider papercraft, buy here

The millipede is GINORMOUS. It's almost as long as my arm. The whip spider has a legspan of about 8 inches or so. I cut them out of cardstock and sprayed them with Krylon art sealant, which made them just stiff enough for them to hold a pose (particularly in the case of the whip spider, which has lots of joints you can move around). The actual folding process wasn't overly difficult. It took long enough (and the folds were tiny enough) to make the process fun and meditative without being overly frustrating. They keep me company on my desk now and looking at them makes me extremely happy.

(Did you read the whip spider creature feature yet? Go read it.)

I've been spending my summer rotating my time between work, the lab, and the myriad of restaurants here, which doesn't make for very interesting writing. July begins peach season in Colorado, so I'll be adding "making myself sick from eating so many peaches" to that list. I've been going to the horticulture flower garden to pick up samples and inevitably getting distracted by all the bugs there, so I'll close this out with some of the friends I've seen:

Bug pictures incoming

Unidentified jumping spider having a snack. I can't tell what the snack is due to it being half-eaten.

A very handsome cabbage white (Pieris rapae) on a flower. I forgot to ID the flower because the butterfly distracted me.

A rotund friend on Potentilla nepalensis! Bumblebees are so hard for me to photograph, and IDing this one with the pictures I have is virtually impossible since I couldn't get a full view of her rear.

Not one but two sweat bees, which I think might be Agapostemon texanus!

Ladybug on a clematis. Not even going to try to ID a ladybug. Nope.

Another ladybug on a tree I passed under. Also not trying to ID this one.