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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Springtime under the lights

There may be snow on the ground outside, but it's springtime indoors under the lights!

The grapefruit trees have suddenly decided that it's time to make more leaves again, and both of them are putting out new clusters of greenery from the ends of their branches. They're really starting to get close to the lights now, so I guess it's time to raise the racks again, and give them a little bit more room. these started out as breakfast one morning a couple of years ago, and have grown to a height of about three feet. My balcony doesn't provide the most ideal environment for them, so they've been living indoors under the lights for the last year or so. From time to time, they spontaneously decide that it's "springtime", and produce new clusters of leaves to add to their "canopy".

My Picotee Blue morning glory vine continues to produce blooms - many of them "double" flowers - and it's probably about time to see about putting it into a new, more permanent container. This one was grown from a seed selected from the "unknown, but probably blue" seeds that I gathered form my balcony morning glories in the fall of last year, and they've been making lots of doubled blooms with distinctly pink-colored throats. It has also produced a handful of normal blooms, which I have hand-pollinated, in hopes of getting more seeds from this blue and pink picotee vine, but nothing has taken so far.

I've also got a few new seedlings that have been sprouting under the lights. This is a pair of convolvulus seeds that I planted a couple of weeks ago, to see how well these relatives of the morning glory vines would do indoors under the lights. As you can see, they've been growing fairly well. From the description, they should be "dwarf morning glory" plants, which produce flowers like the vines, but on short little bushy plants. These sprouts are vary compact so far, so that may well be exactly what I end up getting.

Finally, I have a pair of giant moonflower (Ipomoea alba) sprouts. The first of these got a little bit burned by peroxide while I was germinating it. Both of its cotyledons were damaged in the seed, and once they opened up, about two thirds of one was bleached out, and one third of the other. I didn't have high hopes for its survival, so I started a second seed without peroxide. Not only did the second seed germinate and sprout normally, but the original one bounced back, and is growing normally now. Once it had a "normal" leaf open and soaking up the artificial sunlight, it started making a vine and more leaves just fine. It's grown a couple of inches just in the last few days, so it's well on its way to becoming the 15-foot vine that the package said it would produce. The second sprout is just a pair of cotyledons so far, but they've turned a nice, healthy dark green with some purple in the veins, and a growing tip has appeared in the crook between them, so it isn't very far behind the first one.

2 comments:

Kylee said...

Seamus, you make me want to PLANT SOMETHING. Inside.

Kylee said...

Ah, convolvulus! I had those this past summer and the gold bugs loved them. But you won't have that problem inside. Those were the flowers that Ken said looked like they were painted. Very pretty! They don't grow tall at all so they should do great as an inside project!