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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Egyptian starclusters and Felonious felines

Egyptian starclusters and Felonious felines

Most of the Egyptian Starclusters that I ought a few months ago have grown well especially considering that most of them were just cuttings that I had been given along with a couple plants that were growing.

Assorted Egyptian Starclusters (Pentas lanceolata)
I have six colours now although sometimes I am not too sure and you could argue that there are eight as there is a slight difference between two of the darker pinks and two of the darker purples. I have not included the other two as the difference was to slight.

When these plants are well developed and in full bloom they are quite stunning.

Above are some of the reds and pinks in a bed with Ti plants of which you can see one. They were actually only meant to be there temporarily as I was waiting for them to become established and then use them to get more cuttings as I want to plant a large bed of them.

Above is another lot in another bed which are also supposed to be temporary since that bed has Beehive gingers, Torch gingers and Indonesian Wax Roses which once they attain their full growth will be large and overshadow them although ... they are on the sunny side of that bed so I guess they will be ok.
Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (White)
I have sort of started on the large bed of the Egyptian Starclusters but will most likely have to make cuttings and plant them directly into the ground. I do have a handful of plants in planting bags which I propagated from cuttings I took earlier but they took a while to grow and I think that rather than waste time planting the cuttings in planting bags only to transplant them it would be better to just plant them straight into the ground. That way I don't have to go through two periods of careful watering as first the cutting and then the transplanted cutting go through shock.

Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (Dark Pink)
The only problem is that I will have to be vigilant and make sure they are well watered and that the cuttings do not dry out. The cuttings I stuck directly into the current beds only got some evening sun and the cutting I grew in planting bags were initailly grown in a nice shaded spot before being gradually exposed to full sun.
I transplanted some of those in the area where the large bed will be and those plants went into a bit of shock, withering alarmingly but they are recovering now. So ... the idea of planting cuttings directly might not be wise.

Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (Lavender)
 On the other hand I think that part of the reason that the plants that I transplanted had problems getting established is because I planted them in 100% river sand which while it makes for excellent root development and survival of cuttings ... when you transplant them the sand just falls out and there is little or nothing around the roots.
Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (Red)
I suppose I could root them in sand then transplant them into a soil/sand medium and let them grow until they are bigger and ready to transplant into the final positions ... or ... I could just plant them without removing their bags. But that is a waste of bags and prevents good root development so I am not keen on doing that.
Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (Dark Pink)
Anyway the big bed I am planning on will probably have sections of single colours as well as sections with a mixture. In front as edging I'm thinking of using some zepheranthes. At the back which slopes up a bit onto a rather over grown part of the property I want to have a screen of Heliconia psittacorum proably a mix of Andromeda, Golden Torch and Lady Di or some other variety I have been trying to get hold off.
Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (Lavander)
The screen of Heliconias will serve to deleinate the bed, provide a sort of frame for the Egyptian Starclusters as well as act as a barrier to keep the overgrown part of the property from encroaching on the Egyptian Starclusters and well ... they will also effectively screen the overgrown parts from view.
Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (Pale Lavander / Pale Blue)

Grass grows so quickly here and although we planted most of the property with banana trees in the hopes that the shade will keep the grass down, a few weeks after the grass was cut and the banana trees planted the grass was already two feet high. Now it is a jungle again.
Pentas lanceolata - Egyptian Starclusters (Light Pink)

I planted some Talie and other trees also to create shade and keep the grass down but they are slow to grow. I have quite a few Moso'oi, Fuafua, Talie and Tamaligi seedlings that I want to plant but am worried that if I am not there to keep any eye on them some over zealous grass cutter or tree hater will chop them down.
I also have finally germinated some Orchid tree seeds of the Pink Orchid tree I planted here a couple years ago and would like to plant those too. The big problem is that it is vital that these trees are never pruned if you want them to keep that perfect "umbrella" shape. Once you start cutting branches they start sending up new branches and you end up with an ungainly mess of a tree.

Rocky sleeping on top of Zepheranthes

Rocky pretending to wake up. Note the stretching of the toes

Stoney comforting Rocky after Rock got a scolding for sleeping on the seedlings

L=R Ninja Cat Clan Kittens: Pebble, Rocky and Stoney

Rocky sleeping on the seedlings 5 minutes after having been told off

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·         Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters):

·         The Blood of  Souls (language, translation and etymology) :

·         Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) :

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