Friday, April 25, 2014

Unexpected Flowers and Many More Seedlings

One of the indoor plants which I at times thought would not make it through this winter is my little curry leaf (Murraya koenigii), brought back a little over a year ago from a trip to San Francisco. It had grown well enough over the summer, but with declining light and temperatures in the fall it stopped growing and soon after got a vicious spider mite infestation against which nothing seemed to help. A little over a month ago the spider mites finally went away - I am still not entirely sure why - so I decided to give the almost completely defoliated little sapling another chance. I repotted it and moved it to one of the warmest spots in the apartment, on an East-facing window sill next to the stove. Soon after it began to start growing again from the tip of the stem. That in itself was very exciting, but as the new flush unfurled over the last week or so, it turns out that it consists not only of new leaves but also a sizable inflorescence for such a small plant.

Flower buds on curry leaf (Murraya koenigii)

The flowers are evidently not going to be particularly showy but supposedly they will be fragrant, similar to those of the plant's more ornamental cousin orange jasmine (Murraya paniculata). I just hope that this development  really means that the plant is recovering, rather than being some last-ditch effort at reproducing before giving up entirely! That, incidentally, is something I am starting to worry about with regard to my osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans), which continues to blossom but has yet to produce any vegetative growth under my care...
Yesterday also saw me pricking out another two batches of seedlings, of 'Old Fashioned Vining' petunia and 'Only the Lonely' ornamental tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris). To make room for them, I began moving some of the other hardier seedlings, such as the Portuguese kale, out on to the balcony to harden off and get accustomed to higher light levels before going in the garden proper. Hopefully the lower temperatures predicted for the next couple of days will not be a problem for them.

Seedlings of petunia and ornamental tobacco, alongside Eritrean basil and rice - the latter in particular is coming along great so far and already beginning to display that intense, almost glowing shade of green I so love about rice plants

I had also run out of cell packs for all of the seedlings, so I re-purposed some egg cartons; I hope the baby plants do not mind slumming it for a bit. Now if only these upcoming couple of cool days are the last ones so even the more heat-loving plants can start transitioning to the outdoors. The young egg plants are really getting sick of their crammed window sill quarters, as is all that basil...


  1. I thought my kitchen window was full of seedlings until I saw yours. Starting a nursery, eh?


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