Friday, December 11, 2009

The obvious solution

So, what's wrong in this photo? That's right, the right-hand pot is empty. The obvious solution is to plant something there. Now, I'm not much of a garden designer, but my hunch is another white-flowered plant would probably do the trick. It's the obvious solution. But what have I done the last couple of weeks? Jotted down in my mental 'to do' list the item "get another white-flowered impatiens for the wall pot". And what occurred to me last weekend? That's right, strike a cutting from the other plants, you idiot!

There once was a white-flowered impatiens in the right-hand pot, but it suffered from a disease which I can only describe as 'wilty guts'. It received the same food and water as its mates on the left and it just wilted its heart out and died in mid-November. And so I removed the plant, the potting mix and scrubbed out the pot. And then last weekend it finally dawned on me to take a cutting of the New Guinea impatiens (the one on the left). Being a tropical plant it should love the weather right now. The one in the middle is a 'normal' impatiens, ie, it's not from the tropics.

Roots started to form on the New Guinea impatiens cutting within days in this jar of water. This is it on Wednesday this week.

And this is it on Friday, today. Ready, willing and able – and growing like crazy. As well as the roots in the middle of the pot, if you look carefully there's another clutch of them at the bottom of the jar as well.

With a willingness to grow like that, I decided that the longer I delayed potting it up the longer I'd have to wait for flowers. So into some fresh potting mix in the late afternoon, watered in with some seaweed solution to help it settle in and hopefully it will starting leaping ahead rapidly.

Hopefully, by about the end of January it should be looking the part, just like its neighbours. I'll give it a quarter-strength liquid feed weekly, and hopefully I'll be able to trick it into thinking that it's back in the New Guinea highlands, where everything grows like crazy and the nutrients trickle down daily.

This is the role model for the young 'un – Uncle Moresby, the New Guinean organ donor who kindly provided the vigorous cutting that will grow up to become his nephew, Lae. Hopefully the new plant will be a chip off the old block.

Really, though. It should have occurred to me the moment old Wilty Guts carked it to take some cuttings and replace him quick smart. It was the obvious solution!


Helen/patientgardener said...

Sometimes the most obvious solutions are the last things we think of.

Shailaja said...

Here you are, telling us all about how you found the obvious solution for what had been until now a mind-boggling problem. And here I am, thinking all along, how on earth you have stuck the three pots on the wall!

Jamie said...

Shailaja. It's not glue!
The pots are flat at the back (they're called 'wall pots') and they have a hole in them. I drilled a hole in the brick wall then used a special bolt and nut that's designed to attach things to walls securely. They're really nifty things.