Wilfred's Family of DR Growers

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

OK, folks! Here we go with a quicker download!

I just bought a dark red this morning, small petals. In a two gallon pot full of really heavy looking soil, mostly peat. It's from Florida. I wonder how they grow them in such dense mix without rotting them?? (Photo once I get a new computer, or fix the old one!)

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Cool new thread! I have some sadness to share. As some of you know some of my first seedlings have been coming into bloom, I had a dark Taiwan Red bloom beautifully and I had another beautiful bloom on the way... Here is a picture of it YESTERDAY...

Thumbnail by PurePlants
Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

This morning, I came out to this... It is hard for me to share my plants with the butterflies at the moment... I hope it tasted good, notice the evidence of little pink poopies and the fat orange culprit who apparently was up for a midnight snack...

Thumbnail by PurePlants
Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Melissa you honor me with your tread, never thought I would have so many friends on this forum, thanks.

OK, You mentioned you purchase a dark red DR in a two gallon pot in a really heavy looking soil, my question is how big is the plant in the pot, if the plant has a very big root system it probably has little space for soil in it, so that means that water would dry up faster, now if the plant is small they probably control the amount of water they pour on it. I've tried different types of soils through the years including heavy soils to see how they would grow in them and you can grow them almost in any type of soil but there performance will vary greatly between soil types and the amount of care given to them will vary as well. one example is that heavy soil will tend to slow down the growth rate since it will be harder for the roots to grow in it, less root growth mean less plant growth, even fertilizing them is more tricky since denser soil tend to hold the salt buildup more than a loose soil type and giving it a greater chase for salt buildup and root burns on them.

Melissa I usually don't like to ask, but can you tell us how much you paid for the plant and how big is it, also how much for shipping and handling, just to let you know some nursery charge you depending on the pot size and not the plant size. just to give you an example; they can have a plant in a 5" plant that sells for $10.00 and than they take the same plant and put it in a gallon pot and sell it for $25.00, what changes is the pot size and not the plant, you end up buying more soil at a high price thinking you got a bigger plant. the difference is the pot size, not the plant size.

Wilfred

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

PurePlants even though caterpillars usually eat only the leaves and buds on the plant, if they run out of them before their ready to transform into butterflies they will eat the hole plant killing it at the end, I should know, its has happen to me. I don't like hurting these little critters but I would remove them before they do more damage on your DRs unless your willing to lose your plant, I had a tree that bare a fruit on it, one time it got a lot of caterpillars on it, well I thought they were only going to eat the leave so I left them alone a week later they had run out of the leaves since they eat them all, well I thought they would turn into butterfly or starve to death and left them, a week later those darn critters had eaten all the bark of the tree off and the tree died soon after that, no more fruit to enjoy from it. Sure showed me that something that looks so harmless can cause so much damage.

BTW, Sorry to see your blooms be eaten before you got a chase to show them.

Wilfred

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

Pureplants, provide them with an alternative food source that they would like better like asclepias, depending on the type of cat. That should deter them from your DR's unless they run out.

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Thanks budgielover, glad you have an alternative that wouldn't harm our fellow critters, they are so pretty when they are adults and they do help nature pollinating, these are one of the creature that work both ways, sometimes they do harm to nature and other times they help nature propagate just like humans do.

BTW, thanks for the Bee photos you placed on my tread, love them, do you know what kind of Bees they are since I've never seen that type of Bees around here.

Wilfred

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks guys! I don't know what else they will eat! They are getting fat and starting to loose their hair so I'm hoping they go into their crysalis soon and I will ensure that they don't have eggs laid there again. :)

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

After they finish there cycle, spray the plant with neem oil as a deterrent from adults laying egg on it. Also works well as a deterrent for other bugs that love to suck the life out of our plants.

Wilfred

Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

PurePlants- Take that caterpillar off and kill it. That is the Oleander moth, It will destroy the whole plant in a matter of days. I have seen them strip a Oleander of all leaves & flowers and was working on the bark. The Oleander moth pollinates the DR but the offspring destroys them.

Tina

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

Wilfred: the bee is one we commonly call a Bumble Bee but I believe this particular one is Bombus pennsylvanicus . Usually non aggressive unless provoked and they tend to work alone or in small groups rather than swarms. I have a few that hang out here pretty much full time.
I have several varieties of bees here pretty much year round as there is always something blooming for them.

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

OMG tbmontserrat!!! I thought it was the gulf fritillary butterfly caterpillar as I have a lot of those butterflies around!!!! I've looked up pictures and the caterpillars do look similar but I see the difference now!!! I feel so used! Thanks for bringing that to light for me and I am going to take care of this issue pronto!!!!

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Good morning everyone, Ohh, I love the new thread. Pureplants, thank you so much for the pic of the cat, I planted two passion flowers a few week ago, and the struggling vine is covered with the exact same caterpillar, I didn't think it would harm my Desert rose, but, today I will take care to elimanate the critters

Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

Jim
Be sure you have correctly ID'd the cat. The Gulf Frit is very similar and it's host plant is the passiflora. Please do not destroy the Gulf Frits.
They do minimal damage and the passi will sprout new leaves.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

OK Budgielover, I'm going to take your word for it, and for now, just keep an eye on them. But if they make one move toward my desert rose I'm getting out the big guns.^_^ I'd research them, but have oodles of Dr. Appts today and just won't have time. Waiting just a few days I don't think will cause any or too much harm. Jim

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

The difference that I noticed is that the Gulf Frit has black spikes whereas the oleander moth instead of the spikes, have tufts of hair.... Like the pic below...

Thumbnail by PurePlants
Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Another pic of the moth below....

Here is a link to the gulf frit catepillar to see the difference....
http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/showimage/1245/

Thumbnail by PurePlants
Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

Here is a side by side comparison. The Gulf Frit on the Left, The Oleander on the right

Thumbnail by budgielover
Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Spiky Gulf Frits killed my Passionvine. There were waves upon waves of little ones. There were tiny cats, little cats, bigger cats, old cats, and chryisalis'sss, all at the same time. The Passionvine had a 'trunk' about 2X the size of my thumb, and the vine was headed out to the street on the thelphone/electric lines, about thirty feet from ground to the end, until the first butterflies found it.

The orange butterflies are really pretty, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

OK, now the two gallon pot DR that I bought. WOW! I'd paid for it, come to this internet cafe, and told you-all about it, then on my way home I got it.

At home, I started digging some of the soil out of the pot, very carefully going around the outside so as to disturb no roots, but to free up the caudex. But there were no roots in the soil! None. Sheesh, I need photos! Roots were wrapped tightly around the caudex. I am of the impression that the nursery people had put the seedling in a 4 inch tube that was a foot tall, and the roots couldn't go anywhere but round and round. Then to sell, they put the now large plant into the big pot with all the potting mix, just before sending it off.

I stopped by the nursery to tell them to put the other DRs into dry, or nearly dry potting mix, because surely, packed in all that sodden soil, the plants would rot. The girl said she'd tell her boss.

OK, the first two DR's, about a foot tall, were $30, then on sale, one for $20. None blooming. ha. Then from a different nursery, the nice red, in that 2gallon pot, double the size of the first three, $30. They said a previous shipment that I didn't see, were all whites. Wilfred, I don't know about shipping. These nurseries here get container loads of plants from Florida.

Oh, this name for this thread was created by Jim. Thanks, Jim!

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Just like I mention earlier on this tread Melissa, some nurseries and some garden center size up pot for the same size plant and charge you more than double just for a little more soil that you can get much cheaper in potting soil bags, Sometimes its so obvious when you look around the nursery or garden center and see a same type of plants in different size pot, you'll notice plants are the same size but pot are are different and the price is also. Always look around before you buy anything, one time I went to a garden center that had a plant that I liked in to different pot size, obviously the one in the bigger one gallon pot was more expensive and the one in the six inch pot looked much better and was the same size plant only smaller pot but half the prise of the gallon pot.

Melisa, they probably included the shipping cost in the selling price since they don't grow them locally in your area.

budgielover, I'm sure that Jamie and all the rest of us really appreciate your knowledge in helping us with those small critters, hope you stay with us for a very, very long time, sure could use your help and knowledge of them. BTW, whats your name budgielover, been trying to find out looking through all your treads, I really like to refer to you buy your name as a friend, that is if you don't mien, if not I'll respect your decision to stay as budgielover and still consider you as a friend.

Well than, I have to say thank you Jim for the honor you have given me my friend.

Wilfred

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Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

Hi Wilfred,
I am no expert on small critters. I just believe in letting nature due her job as much as possible without much interference from me.
My handle Budgielover came about years ago when I used to raise and show budgies (parakeets) and it has just stuck. My really name is Jan and I would be happy if you call me Jan.

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Love your name, pretty as your user name, thanks.

Have to go pickup my boy at school, see talk to you all later.

Take care.
Wilfred

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Fort Lauderdale, FL

Wilfred, I would love to take credit, but I just seconded the idea and it was Melissa who gave it the great name. If I had known how to do it, I would of, but just like my DR I depend on every one else^_^.

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Now What! you both trying to confuse me! LOL! OK than, thanks to both of you, really appreciate it.

Your Friend Wilfred

PS. Jim did you get the seeds yet, think you going to love these, and Melissa when will you get your PC fixed, waiting to see your photos here, your to Jim.

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Fort Lauderdale, FL

Wilfred, I can not convey how very happy you've made me! I've spent some of the morning and most of the afternoon at different cancer doctors, and having an unexpected body scan (where they inject you with radio active stuff, and the whole thing takes about two hours) You can imagine I was feeling pretty low when I got home. And there it was, it arrived safe and sound, I don't know how you were able to manage it. Not even a little bit of earth spilled out. The pods are still attached and seeam healthy. First thing I did was to give it a drink with super bloom, I figured it may be stressed even if it didn'seem like it. Oh, I'm wondering if you got my letter to you sent over a week ago, seems to me that you address may have changed just a bit? I'm a big believer in Karma, and I can not but believe that yours is the very best. I'm one very happy dude thanks to you..... I'm a bit tired so am going to bed now, and will get back to the thread tomorrow. Jim^_^ ^_^ ^_^

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Jim, You have just made me one happy person today, it gives me so much joy when I can make someone else fill so happy, hope you enjoy my gift to you my friend and may you get more seed pods out of this one I sent you, its never has fell me in doing so, I expect it to do the same for you.

Yes, I received your letter, very kind of you, thanks, now go and get some rest, talk to you tomorrow.

BTW, Melissa knew about it, she knows how to keep a secrete, thanks Melissa.

Take Care My Friend,
Your Friend Wilfred

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Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Ok I have an issue maybe somebody can help me with. I have recently repotted an older DR that I bought at a store and lifted the caudex out of the dirt to expose more of the roots. This is the second time in a couple of years that I have done this. The first time I did it the DR dropped all of its leaves but came back within a matter of weeks. I read somewhere that when you repot it should give it a good shot of fertalizer so I did. It has been about a week or two since I have done this, I keep it out of direct sunlight so the newly exposed cuadex does not get burned. I was doing my daily rounds and notice that it was not looking so hot. It has dropped all of its leaves, which I am not completely suprised about but in addition, the newly exposed caudex seems "soft" and not a great color, not completely a root rot color but doesn't seem to be a good color and the littler roots coming off of the newly exposed caudex don't look good either. Did it get too much water? What should I do? Take it out of its pot and put it in dry mix? Help!

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Here is a picture... the last time I raised the caudex it newly exposed stayed kind of a yellow color until it got used to the light/air... this time... it is looking on the brown side and like I said a little soft. We got heavy rain last night but to the best of my knowledge it hasn't received as much water as usual.

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Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Get it out the soil and let to dry out a little, if you can add a little more per-lite to your potting mix before you re-pot it, remember it doesn't have leaves on it now and it can't use evaporate as much water as when it got its leaves on it. see if you can find some SUPERthrive at your local garden center, it will help it recover much faster. its a root hormone that plants produce by themselves but if you give it to the plant ready to use the plant does not waste time in trying to produce it and instead it spend its time producing more roots. If you can't find it locally you can order it at amazon.com

Wilfred

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Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Wilfred, I think I have seen you talk about that stuff before. I have placed an order on amazon for that stuff. I took the DR out of the pot to air dry, hopefully it is not too late. One thing else that I remembered was different was that I did not have as much vermeculite or perilite (as you mentioned) this time. I will keep that noted for the future, thanks for your help!!!

Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Glad I could help you Jamie, and I do hope the damage is minimal if any.

BTW, Vermiculite ( gold colored speckles ) retains water and per-lite ( white colored speckles ) releases water, more air flow. Add per-lite to the soil mix, not vermiculite.

Another thing I forgot to mention, if the plant is really roted in one spot cut that area open so it can dry up and heal itself, it will eventually new skin to protect itself. If you don't do this and the plant is truly rotting, it won't have a chase to get rid of the water in that area and will just keep rotting until the whole plant has rotted away.

Your Friend Wilfred

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Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

Cute lil froggy...

I had a seedling that rotted. I am not sure why because all of the rest were ok but I took it out of the soil and pulled the rotting part out and just left it and it dried up and callused over, similar to how a cutting would. There were some damaged parts on the trunk that dried up as well. I just recently replanted it to see if it would get new roots and come back to life. I should have the superthrive by Saturday, this stuff should be great for that little seedling too!

Thumbnail by PurePlants
Pinellas Park, FL(Zone 9b)

Also, a sidenote, vermiculite has been proven to be a carcinogenic so if you choose to use it, be very careful. If you need an amendment that will slowly release water like in hanging baskets, try the water crystals.

I have had seedlings die off also even though they were in the same pots as others that were thriving. I think it's just survival of the fittest and some seedlings are inheritantly weaker that others. As long as the others are doing well, I don't worry about loosing an odd one here or there.

Deltona, FL(Zone 9b)

I can't get vermeculite at the stores around here anymore, they say that where ever they were getting it from went out of business so perhaps that is why. It has become too much of a pain to try to get it so it is just as well anyway. I have never heard of water crystals. I figured that seedling was probably just weaker than the rest but I never like to loose one anyway... hopefully it will take root and be ok, perhaps this one will just require less water than the rest so I am going to keep my eye on it. I am begining to be able to notice their needs a little bit more, how they react when they need water, or too much water etc. Raising 100 seedlings (at once) has definitely taught me a lot. This forum, everyone's input, especially Wilfred's has been invaluable to me. I appreciate everybody!!!

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Wilfred, her is a pic of one of three of my D.R. where the leaf is starting to fold, this one is in a pot, but two others are in the ground. I'm posting this one because it's the most severe. Any suggestions? Oh, did you grow the one you sent me in that same pot? I'm amazed at how small the pot is for that large a plant, now, I'm wondering if maybe three of mine are in too large a Pot? Before you ask I will tell you that ALL my D.R. are in the sun from sun up to sun down, and if it looks like heavey rain I bring the potted one's on th porch. Jim

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Fort Lauderdale, FL

Here is a pic of another in the pot, bought at the same time months ago, it seems to have no problems, and I do the same for all my D.R.'s, same sun, same water, same super bloom?

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Fort Lauderdale, FL

Last but not least, heres the result of your getting me off my duff and laying down mulch. Jim

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Fort Lauderdale, FL

Is pureplants Jamie? Thats a huge caudex, even if it seems to have gotten soft, you must have done somthing right to grow it that large. Since I'm in the process of lifting mine up 1/3 I will be watching to see how you make out. Jim

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Jim, I'm sort of having a similar problem with one of my plants. Same treatment as two others, but the one isn't looking happy. It'd just started to grow, too. These plants are SO MYSTERIOUS!

Arrghhh, I couldn't find the cord for my camera/computer connection this morning before I came to town to the wwwcafe.

PurePlants, another fabulous photo! Wow!

Melissa

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Hmmm, I wonder if we could talk into Wilfred mentioning on this thread exactly what he is doing with his D.R." every day? For instance,"well folks, today I drenched all my pots, some with bloom buster some with plain water" ,or, to-day I yanked one out of the pot to let it dry out! of course that's not going to happen with Wilfred, I can't imagine him with a plant that's not healthy^_^. Melissa, sure hope you find that cord, I lost mine and had to pay $85.00 for a new one, I was in shock at the cost, but, I checked around and it was the same at all the camera stores. I saw Wilfreds answer to Jamie, and am considering doing the same thing to my folded leaf plant. Why not yank it, let it dry out (if thats the problem) and replant it! Seems to me that it's a good solution, and I will be able to make sure about the drainage of the pot at the same time, maybe drill some more holes in it. Jim

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