Flowers of Petrocosmea nervosa

Monday 3 January 2011

A New Growing Year

Well here it is 2011 and a brand New Year to look forward to. One of my New Year's resolutions is to look after my plants better. I have made steps to do this during the last few months of 2010. I now do not keep weak plants in the hope that they might recover. I now compost them and although I still hate doing this it is the only way.
I have plenty of new to me Streptocarpus coming along in the propagation department. Petrocosmeas that I have received from friends all over the globe, Sinningia seeds are coming along nicely. I am not usually very good with the seeds I sow apart from a batch of Streptocarpus seeds I planted a couple of years back. I gently nurtured these seeds expecting Crystal Ice and when they bloomed I had big disappointment with the flowers. They were split and distorted nothing like i was expecting. I think in a way that put me off of growing from seed. I and a few others in our forum  recently acquired some Sinningia seed from a friend in the U.S.A. Well that has aroused my interest in seed sowing again as we are all eager to see these little beauties develop. The rate at which these seeds are sprouting may mean that the whole globe may be covered with beautiful Sinningias by the end of the summer.
Petrocosmea are now starting to again look very nice, especially P.minor after her long spell covered in blooms. She started looking a bit tatty with all the flowers going over but now I have removed the, no seeds pods were found, drat and double drat!!! She is looking top notch. I have tried to pollinate all of the Petrocosmea I had in flower but no luck with seed pods at all.  I will try again this year when hopefully nature will give me another shot.
My African Violets have continued to bloom away in this horrible winter we have had in the South West of England. We had below freezing temperatures for weeks on end and had a couple of weeks with snow on the ground. It was awful walking on the icy pavements and was safer walking in the road. I have a lovely AV Starstruck that is so beautiful. Wranglers Swinging Blues is so impressive I am delighted with the length of time that the blooms have been on the plant. AV Storm's Eye is another brilliant performer and will try and propagate some more this year.
I have no Streptocarpus in flower at all at the moment. I find it difficult to keep their conditions just right, a fine balance between too much water and not enough. Luckily they don't seem to mind too much when they go limp and I give them a little drink again to perk them up.
Well to all the Gesneriad growers out there......Happy New Year and good growing x

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