As October rumbles along, I'm getting more and more excited about the Schlumbergeras. Sixteen previously-unbloomed seedlings have buds now,1 and most of the plants that had bloomed previously also have buds. It looks like the first bloom this year will be from 082A "Strawberry Madeleine." Which is a fine seedling to begin the season with, and this pleases me.
I've also moved some of the more vigorous 3-inch seedlings to the plant room (the only place in the house where the temperature and day-length requirements can be met), in hopes that some of them might flower. It'd be early: they were sown on 23 February 2014, which makes them about 20 months old now. But it's possible (025 "Clownfish" made its first bloom at 19 months), and if they flower, I should have a much wider range of bloom colors this year.2
I'm also a little excited about some of the repeats from last year, because I should finally be able to answer some lingering questions. Does 030A "Diwali" always stop just short of opening its flowers, or was it just having a tough time last year? (Can 113A "Helper Dog" ever stop opening its flowers? It'd be worth growing, if it would just relax its petals a little.) Can 054A "Helpful Gesture" produce more than one bloom in a year? Will I ever be able to take cuttings from 083A "Psychedelic Bunny?" Are 008A "Frightened Dog" and 008B "Candor" actually the same seedling?
So there's a lot to look forward to, with the Schlumbergeras. In contrast, I'm . . . well, I'm getting sick of the Anthuriums lately.
There. I said it. The actual blooms can still be pleasant, shitty, and everything in between, same as ever, but I've spent a lot of time lately thinking and worrying about the Anthuriums (not to mention taping the Anthuriums3), and the balance has tipped more to Anthurium-related aggravation than Anthurium-related enjoyment.
The timing makes me feel bad, because Denise is okay. This first bloom has a pretty tiny spathe, and it's pink. Now that I think about it, those are both strikes against her, though.
Well, and then there are the brown spots, which I assume are probably thrips-related.
I think I'm talking myself out of "okay," actually. I mean, the leaves are somewhere between yuck and meh, closer to meh:
And the plant as a whole distinguishes itself mainly by being smallish, like the bloom.
So yeah. Actually Denise isn't great. She photographs pretty well (it helps that the spadix is slightly yellow-orange, instead of the more common darker pink), and she could be worse, but she's not great.
So probably not a keeper. I don't know. I shouldn't make decisions about the Anthuriums when I'm angry at them.
The next Anthurium (0380 "Ewan Watarmi") makes me a lot happier, though, so how about we forget about Denise and meet back here on Sunday?
P.S. I think I'm done with the daily posts for a while -- fun though they were, it was a lot of work to keep up with them, and I'm pretty much out of events to celebrate for the moment anyway.
2 I believe that all (or at least most) of the seedlings to have bloomed so far were probably the result of a 'Caribbean Dancer' x NOID peach cross. In all cases, 'Caribbean Dancer' was the seed parent, so that part's pretty easy to pin down, but also most of the orange and orange-pink blooms could be explained by the orange pigment from the NOID peach being expressed at the intensity of the red pigment in 'Caribbean Dancer,' plus a variable amount of the magenta pigment from 'Caribbean Dancer' near the petal bases. And it doesn't hurt that one seedling closely resembles the NOID peach. (061A "Leather Fairy")
The 3-inch plants I just moved have both 'Caribbean Dancer' and the NOID peach as seed parents, plus two others: the NOID white and NOID magenta. So there are five more possible crosses. ('Caribbean Dancer' x white, 'Caribbean Dancer' x magenta, white x peach, white x magenta, peach x magenta) I'm not expecting a lot from one of those (white x peach seems like it could only lead to really light peach, which is tough to get enthused about), but surely we'll see something new from the other crosses.
3 If you're just now joining the program: I'm trying to use adhesive tape as a pest-control method, by sticking it firmly to plants' leaves and then pulling it away, which when done correctly can result in scale and thrips getting pulled off of the leaves too, even if they're too small to see. It is not likely to be effective, and I don't recommend it, but I ran out of actual ideas a while ago.