Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Newest Venture

I have always had an interest in gardening...but have never been able to keep anything alive. I kill pretty much any plant I come into contact with. Over the years, I've managed to kill a Venus Fly Trap, several cacti, various houseplants given to me by other people, an orchid from my fiance, and tons of others.

But, more recently, for the first time ever, I have managed to maintain a Lucky Bamboo given to me by a co-worker for my birthday a year and a half ago...and a Seagrape seedling given to me by a co-worker 5 months ago. Because of this, I feel very motivated to try some more plants. The co-worker that gave me the Seagrape is going to give me a Confederate Rose that she has rooted. And another co-worker is going to give me a banana tree.

Today after work, I stopped at Home Depot, and I bought myself two little mini greenhouse kits to grow herbs...a little mini window sill flower garden to grow from seeds, and an African Violet. I also decided that it is time to clean out the thing I call a garden in my backyard. It looked somewhat garden like when we bought the house over year ago, but now just after a long winter, it looks awful.

So after I got home, I grabbed my garden gloves, and I immediately began to pull out dead weeds, live weeds, dead plants, dead leaves. I clipped off some dead roses that were still hanging on to the twig I call a rose bush. By the way, if anyone knows what that naked tree is on the right, please let me know.

In this garden, we have 3 hibiscus plants, one yellow, one red and one peach. We have an unknown rose bush, that naked tree that once had leaves on it...and is beginning to sprout new leaves on it's "nubs".

There was some Mexican Petunia....that never did grow full and bushy. They have always just remained weed-like.

I'm not quite sure how to get these darned things to grow. I love the look of them when they're full and bushy. But I could never grow them that way, even though I hear that they are the easiest thing to grow and take practically no maintenance whatsoever. They're supposed to be an invasive plant, but mine never seem to grow at all, let alone wander! But this is basically just an introductory post. I'll post more about my Mexican Petunia ordeal tomorrow.

There is also some kind of palm tree and some kind of red and green leaf plant in the back of that mess that I have yet to identify. But I'm working on it. The tallest of the plants that you can see shooting up there are my hibiscus plants. Tonight while cleaning out the mess of dead stuff, I noticed that my Hibiscus plants have a bad case of Scale. After hours of research online tonight, I found that Scale is basically sucking insects attached to the plants sucking the life out of them. And because of that, they are infested with ants. Apparently, ants enjoy the taste of the "honey dew" that these sucking insects secrete after feeding off of the plant. This "honey dew" is basically bug pee. Yes, the ants enjoy this bug pee so much that they have been known to actually HERD aphids in the same way that we herd cattle! So...my poor Hibiscus plant looks like this:
That is so not healthy. Tomorrow I will decide whether to tackle one of the remedies I read about to get rid of the scale, or to just rip out the plant and get rid of it. The scale doesn't seem to be affecting the plants around it.....it's only this Hibiscus plant. Poor thing. I wonder if I can take a clipping off of a healthy shoot and root it? Guess we'll find out!

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