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Moving plants

Posted by bonsaigai NY Zone 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 9:50

Hello All,

I'll bet you think I'm going to mention getting the plants outside for the summer. Not really. In a treatise years ago, Darwin (yes, that one.) wrote of the movement of plants. His work really dealt with growth, geo- and photo- tropisms, mostly. But it makes me observe all plants more closely - Ok... somewhat obsessively at times. However it also helps me understand a better approach tending to their needs.

Has anyone watched their plants over the season? I'll bet you have. I find the movement in Sansevieria most interesting. Right now I'm watching the leaves pull out of each other and shift from one side of the plant to the other. A small rorida, making a new leaf, is showing this. The little leaf is extracting itself from the "left" leaf and repositioning itself to the right side, creating the distichous growth patter for which it is known.

Another plant, this one a kirkii, is folding. The plant is a recent purchase, well rooted, but disturbed. It arrived fully expanded, but is now closing. I assume, the leaf is protecting itself from further water loss. As many are coming out of dormancy, the leaves not only plump up, but unfold.

I mention this because my hallii never did very well in the past. I realized I was watering too little during the winter. It folded, like the kirkii, down the center of the length of the leaf, never really opening in the summer. This past year, with more water, it remained "open" and looks great this growing season.

These clues have helped me grow better plants. While some plants obviously wilt if dry, Sansevieria prove differently. Some wilt, some appear to simply close.

Just a few observations, I hope I'm not too boring... just my inner plant nerd showing again...

NY Zone 6

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Moving plants

Hehe, Micheal! Love that! I have noticed it too...

RE: Moving plants

I appreciate how you enjoy your plants. Possibly the roots of your kirkii were damaged more than you realized causing the leaves to fold. Kirkii leaves are fairly stiff, but it will recover over time. Give it a little balanced fertilizer, a porous potting mix such as area commercial nurseries use, open shade, make sure the soil remains dampish and conducive to root growth, and thats about all you can do.

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