Tuesday 25 March 2014

Schlumbergera Opuntioides update

So , whilst you have all been enjoying the return of the sun , I have been in bed with a flu like thing again . Better now and even went back to dance class last Wednesday .
 The last thing I did was pot up the cutting , which is doing fine on the North facing bathroom windowsill ..... and I had put a few of the seeds onto a damp paper towel in the airing cupboard . The thing is , it was too warm in there and I had to keep re-damping the paper towel and I was coming down with the flu and just couldn't keep giving them the attention they required . So I quickly set up the plastic pot inside a plastic bag method . First nuking the compost in plastic pot wrapped in a paper towel. Then dampening the compost by immersing in bowl of boiling water and then leaving to drain away and cool down , before sprinkling those teeny weeny seeds onto the surface.  I also very carefully flicked the paper towel previously dampened seeds in there too .
 Then slipped the pot into a plastic bag and tied the top with a rubberband and this one has been on a warm ,n,sunny South facing windowsill .
So that was two weeks ago .......and today .....ta daa ! Can you see ? We have one newly hatched baby Schlumbergera Opuntioides !  Overjoyed me !
  O.K so you might need to get your magnifying glass out to see it .... (nerdy I know..but some of us love this kind of thing ! )

Sunday 2 March 2014

Schumbergera opuntioides

Today I just want to say thankyou to my kind friends from the British Cactus + Succulent Society Cactus World - Online  , who have generously sent me a huge cutting and some seeds from their own plants of Schlumbergera opuntioides .
 I came across this peculiar plant whilst looking up the Epiphyllums which I love and Schlumbergera especially as I have one now in flower.
  This is unusual in that to look at , you would think it is an Opuntia ...with its typical prickly pear pads ...and yet  it has the flowers typical of a Schlumbergera .
 Schumbergeras are from a group of plants which are epiphytic ..they live up in the nooks and cradles of mossy branches of trees ,hanging down ,n,scrabbling about , getting their nutrients and moisture from the air. ....and yet...this like to be epilithic ..living on rocks, scrabbling about . Opuntias generally like as much sun as they can get ...this prefers abit more shade , like the Schlumbergeras do .
 It comes from within quite a small area in Brazil and is on the endangered species list .
  I have used Levingtons cactus compost with some Perlite mixed in for drainage . I have laid the cutting slighly on its side with very little of the bottom of it actually buried in the soil .....this way gives it the chance to put out roots from the first joint , a well as the bottom of the cutting ...it is supported with a few crushed brick pieces .I will make some more of this when I can since it looks so attractive and displays  or sets off the plant so well.
 Finally to add to the landscape....a nice chunk of Jurassic ammonite ...to remind me that it is epilithic ...and a label .

                                A little pest control friend has already moved in !

The seeds !  Thankyou for such a generous lot of seeds . I will give these a good try !
I need to get a few more bits and bobs from Trevena Cross nursery Breage , such as Cheshunt Compound.....which I have never used before and sounds scary ( and probably expensive )  I will do these in a single pot with plastic bag method later on . For now I have taken three of these teeny seeds and am trying here the germinating them on the damp paper towel method ..not sure this will work ...I will let you know how I get on ! : )