Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jonathan Grows Baby Spiders!

When we last left the subject of spider plants, I had put small plantlets into water bottles (with their tops cut off), to root. I have no soil or pots to put them in, so rooting them in water is the ONLY solution I have to keep them alive, and to keep the mother plant nice and clean before my mother intervened, as she tends to often do.

I have been attentively watching over the small plantlets (almost on a daily basis)- adding water to the bottles so they have all the water they need, rotating the bottles so that each plant has enough light (and grows straight, as opposed to towards the window). I have also placed a fan in my room to circulate the dusty, tenement building air. But on this particular occasion I decided to give them each a thorough evaluation. I wanted to see which plantlets had produced roots and which ones were lagging behind in development. I grabbed the small plantlets, and brought them out of their watery environment.
Even from the photo above anyone can see that these plants have grown many roots (however they have not grown as much as the Plectranthus "Mona Lavendar"). But how would I compare all the plants (I have more than 20!)? I decided to lay them all out on the table to do my work. So I emptied out one water bottle and placed all the plantlets on the table.
I think the best part of growing these plants is the rewarding feeling I feel when I see that some of them have actually grown roots (as opposed to just drowning). But now what will I do with these plants? I decided to separate them into two categories, ones that had a lot of root growth (compared to others), and ones that didn't have much (or any). To do this, I had to empty out both water bottles, and I did.

I didn't notice any dust or herbivores on the plants, but I decided to wipe them down anyway, just to give them a fresh look. Afterwords I made two piles of plants, ones with roots that will soon need to be acclimated to life in soil, and ones which needed to remain in water.
I didn't take any formal measurements, but I did observe that the plants that had more roots tended to be bigger. This is what I expected, bigger plants can capture more light, and thus have more energy to root. So separating them was the first step in finding a suitable place to plant them.

I do not currently have a job so if you want a (bare root) spider plant, please let me know. The spider plants I have are fully green (no white streaks), and they have been grown from asexual (stolon) reproduction, not from seed. I am willing to sell them for very cheap! I am only selling to people in NYC, since it is easy to deliver them in the area (thanks to public transportation). Potted spider plants may become available soon if I get a job, or if I find someone to donate small pots and potting soil (if you wish to donate to the Jonathan's World ghetto windowsill garden please contact me).

So where are my spider plants now? Well I placed them on either side of my Nightmare Before Christmas teapot set next to the window. They all seem to be alive and doing well, but I cannot grow them like this forever.

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