Plants – Updates/A Bit of This and That

Several of my past projects are thriving, or at least still growing.  The Meyer Lemon Seed sprouts are deep green and perky in appearance, but growing very slowly.

Growing a Meyer Lemon Tree from Seed

One of my Carambola seeds finally sprouted after many weeks sown in potting soil. I was about to give up on this planting attempt, but saw green just in time.

How to Sprout a Carambola Seed

In a day or two after sprouting the seed fell away and tiny fronds emerged.


My Coleus seeds, sown in January, are showing many colors, but in sync with the carambola and lemon sprouts, growing slowly. This week I will take the seedlings outside to the screened in porch and let them begin the hardening off process. If there is a forecasted frost I will keep them in the garage overnight. Coleus are extremely susceptible to cold temperatures.
How to Grow Small Seeds/Coleus


Are my Morning Glories blue or pink? The stray pink Morning Glory was a fluke, most of the flowers are blue. Unfortunately, in their quest to face the sun, the plants and flowers grew toward the window. I decided they would create a better display outdoors.


I had to be ruthless and cut the vines and flowers off at the top of the pot, leaving many inches of vine to wither on the venetian blinds. The Morning Glory plants will be better for the harsh pruning. Each cut vine will branch out in many directions.


This weekend I gridded and planted a few squares in my Square Foot Gardens. I forgot to take a picture afterwards, so the only image I have is from this morning, taken from my upstairs window in pouring rain.


Happy Gardening my friends!

Plants – Morning Glory Blossom

Morning Glory Flower
Morning Glory Flower

In January, I posted on “Sprouting Morning Glories.” Today the first flower burst into bloom.


The vines are covered with buds. The fact behind this surprising abundance is morning glories grow lush vines in good soil, and produce more blooms than foliage in poor soil. Since each pot has five plants crammed into it, root space is at a premium, consequently the plants feel their survival is in jeopardy and they bloom for seed production, rather than wasting their energy on leaves.


The vines are using my venetian blinds as support and are happily climbing and twining up the slats, strings, and closure fixture.


I was surprised when the “Heavenly Blue” variety of morning glory bloomed pink. This could be due to growing indoors, or it might be the blossom of the one “sport” seed that grew different shaped leaves.

Plantings – Manic Monday Update

This post is definitely a bit later than most. I have a good excuse. I live in New Jersey and already the snowflakes are falling, only the beginning of what they are saying could be a record-breaking snowfall. Hopefully, we will get only about a foot of the white stuff. Are you gasping in disbelief? Only a foot! Am I crazy? No, I’m just glad I don’t live further north where they are forecasting near thirty inches will fall before the blizzard is over. When you compare twelve inches to thirty, twelve certainly seems better!

I was one of those crazy people who drove to the Supermarket at 8:00 this morning. I have a gallon of milk, I have bread in the freezer, but wouldn’t you know it, I needed cat food and the orange juice bottle was empty. I ventured out. In the rush of the crowds, comparable to the eve of a major holiday, wouldn’t you know it, I forgot eggs. Grrrrr….

Anyway, it’s a good day for a quick update on my recent plantings. All are doing exceptionally well. The Heavenly Blue Morning Glories sprouted in less than a week. Hooray! If you look closely at the picture you can see I have a “sport.” One sprout a little different than the others. I will definitely keep this one growing. Who knows? It might turn out to the best morning glory ever grown. I can hope!


Some of the coleus seeds have sprouted too. They grow slowly. It will be weeks before there is a hint of color in the leaves.


The Meyer Lemon Sprouts are still erupting from the soil. As of now, I have eleven sprouts, but there are a least two more seeds ready to burst into leaf. O Happy Day!


Planting – Heavenly Blue Morning Glory


The 2015 seed displays are in place in many garden centers and box stores. The first packet I purchased was Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. I love morning glories; I have grown them every year for as long as I have gardened.

golden tortoise beetle
Photograph courtesy of Flicker and Charles Lam

I plant dozens of morning glory seeds around my front porch. Each year they start off great, develop oodles of buds, and DO burst into bloom, but…they also draw Golden Tortoise Beetles that decimate the leaves, turning all the foliage into shreds. I use only natural pesticides, and since this pest dines on the underside of the hundreds of leaves, it is impossible to handpick them.

Some people think the golden tortoise beetle so beautiful; they don’t mind the bug eating their plants. That might be fine if my main morning glory display was in the back yard, but the vines twine around my front porch. This year, I don’t want to cultivate the swiss cheese effect again. Instead, I’ve decided to grow my beautiful Heavenly Blue Morning Glories in the house this year, and allow them to twine themselves around my sunniest window frames.

The first step in growing morning glories is to soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. The next day, drain the water away. You will notice their hard shell has split and they are double in size.


I prepared the plastic pots for planting by placing a coffee filter in the bottom to keep the dirt from spilling out.


In the bottom 3/4 of the pot place regular potting soil, for the top 1/4 use seed starting soil. This technique gives the seed a good medium for starting, but also provides more nourishment when the roots extend into the soil. This enables the seeds to grow for several weeks without the need to repot several times.


When the seeds are sown cover them with a plastic bag. The bag acts as a small greenhouse. Place the pots near a heating vent or on the top of your fridge. I will update the progress of mine as they grow.

Phlowers – The Garden Blues with Purple


Salvia – Wildflower garden – type unknown


Unknown Bush/Perennial – Anyone with an idea of what this beautiful blossom might be??? Let me know in comment section. I “should-a, would-a, could-a” written it down, but didn’t, and have since forgotten what this plant is named. 😦


Blue salvia




Persian Shield – true name/Strobilanthes


Vitex Bush – Also known as Chasteberry


Larkspur – Wildflower Garden


Verbena bonariensis


Hyacinth Bean Vine


Morning Glory Vine




Nicandra – Shoo-fly Plant (This is an odd plant with interesting pods after the bloom period. I will posting more information about  this flower/bush tomorrow.) Change that…researched the plant a bit and it is the nightshade family, in short, it is probably full of toxins and quite poisonous. I’m glad it is growing out front where the children can’t get to it. Even though I consider the flower pretty…I probably won’t grow again until everyone is much older.