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Thread: P. parviflora journal.

  1. #33
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    We're still in the 70's & 80's for the next 2 weeks but I'm sure a Bermuda high is on the way with it's 85-90 degree days.

  2. #34
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    6/30/08- Plants 1, 2, and 4 now stink! Yes, they now have a distinct smell to them… it's not too bad and not too strong, though. I also reported that these plants were sticky a couple entries ago. Well, now they are really sticky. The "dew" is now almost like sap and is now difficult to remove from my fingers with just water.

    Over the last couple of days I have noticed that the larger plants, mainly 1, 2, and 4 have developed some sort of damage. First, I noticed a couple of brown spots develop on a number of leaves. This was about seven days ago. Over the last couple of days though, I began to notice that the brown spots became holes. This was and still is very prominent on the younger emerging leaves. At first, I thought it might have been sunburn or just some natural occurrence, but today I found the perpetrator: Caterpillars!

    I do not know the species of caterpillar (moth/butterfly), but I do know that these like to hang out and munch on the grapevine and numerous flower plants that are located around my house. Luckily, the damage to the devil's claws is not significant. So far, I have found only two caterpillars on the devil's claws. The damage is mostly scattered and very minimal, the holes being only around a millimeter in diameter. Based on how big the holes are, I am guessing that the caterpillars find the sticky, hairy leaves unfavorable.

    Now the question is how do I fight back? Even though the plants have suffered very little, I am still going to take action to prevent further pests. The easiest and most effective way I can think of is to go chemical on their little behinds. The thing is, I have not read anything on how devil's claws take insecticide. So, I will have to test and see how they do. Here is my plan… I have a systemic insecticide from Ortho that I use on my CPs. It is effective at killing chewers and suckers. Here is a link to it for those of you that may want the specs. The product is called Ortho's Systemic Insect Killer. It is 8% Acephate and recommends 3 tablespoons of the concentrate per gallon of water for "other insects" such as caterpillars.

    Since I don't know how the plant will react to this treatment, I will have to run a test application first before treating all the plants. I will choose an affected leaf on one of the older plants and treat only that leaf. To mark it I will tie a bright yellow string around its petiole. Then, I will spray the insecticide on the leaf surface and below the leaf as well. I will apply the treatment once the patch is no longer receiving full sun, which is about 7PM today. After this treatment, I will wait a couple of days to see how that individual leaf responds to the insecticide. I will probably wait for 3 to 5 days. If all goes well, then I will proceed to treat plants 1, 2, and 4. I'll report back here at that time.

    Let the games begin.

    7/1/08- (Morning) Well, I changed my experiment just a tad bit once I got home yesterday. Instead of applying the treatment to one leaf I decided to treat three leaves. Two of them were caterpillar-damaged leaves from plant #4 while the other was undamaged (healthy) from plant #1. I applied the insecticide liberally on the top and underneath the leaves. This morning they seemed fine.

    More good news rolling in... I am expecting plant #1 to flower soon; either today or early tomorrow. It has finally developed the signature flower stalk most of these plant have. Once mature, the plant's main stem will form a Y shape. At the point where the main stem meets the two secondary stems (in the center of the Y), a tiny cluster of premature flower buds form. Once the plant is old enough a thin stem (flower stalk) will grow from this point, taking up with it the tiny flower buds. From here flowers will begin to grow and eventually bloom. Plant #1 is experiencing what is described here. The stalk is already a couple of inches tall and one flower from the cluster is on the verge of blooming.

    7/2/08- Two days have passed since I applied the insecticide. The three leaves showed no signs of harm. Today, I found a handful of caterpillars on the large plants. As of today plant #4 has suffered the most, but the overall damaged is still minimal.

    Because of the additional caterpillars and lack of damage signs from the insecticide, I decided to go ahead with the full application ahead of schedule. Again, once the patch was no longer receiving full sun (~7PM) I filled up my spray bottle and got to it. Plants 1, 2, 4, and 5 were fully treated. The other plants were not treated because they are still too small and have not shown any signs of damage. I tried to spray the foliage thoroughly, but avoided the flower clusters in order to prevent damage to them.

    7/3/08- (Morning) The treated plants still seem fine after yesterday's full application. This morning, I went to check on them briefly and saw them leaning over towards the morning sun as usual. I really hope the systemic will work well. As a precaution, I will be doing a repeat application to all of the plants (including the smaller ones) later in the month.

    We have finally entered July and are in the midst of summer. July is known for bringing temperatures that get to 100F+ day after day after day here in the high desert. This month will allow me to test the heat tolerance of the plants on a continuous, long-term level. Hopefully, they can tough it out.

    If I see any reaction to the treatment, I will post it here in this post. Otherwise if all goes well, I will post another entry sometime later as a new post. Thanks for reading and have a great 4th of July!
    -Joel from Southern California


  3. #35
    dude...cut down stream not across radjess331's Avatar
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    this is great tracking info lol....and alot of help....
    my seeds just started to germinate....i have a total of 6 lousianica or howeer you spell it lol and 2 parvifloras....
    PaRtY hArD rOcK'n RoLl We'Re ThE ClAsS yOu CaN't CoNtRoL ThE gUyZ aRe HoT ThE GiRlS aRe FiNe We'Re ThE ClAsS oF 2009!!!!

  4. #36
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    7/3/08- (Afternoon) Plant #1 has finally flowered. I went ahead and hand pollinated #1's flower. I crossed it to itself. This time, I used a Q-tip to pollinate. I used the same method as before: insert and wiggle.

    7/5/08- The older plants (1,2, and 4) are growing lots of flower buds. It's quite exciting. The flower from #1 fell off sometime during the day.

    7/6/08- #4's first flower is now in full bloom. In addition, #1 now has a second bloom. This gave me the first opportunity to cross-pollinate the two plants. I used a Q-tip again. Since the patch is running out of open room, especially in the back where the older plants are located, I found it difficult to pollinate them. I had to kneel awkwardly in order to prevent my clothing from coming in contact with the sticky leaves.

    In the end, I go it done. The process was fairly simple. I just inserted the Q-tip into the flower, avoiding the stigma at the top. Once inside, I wiggled the Q-tip around the anthers, getting pollen onto the cotton. I took it out, again avoiding the stigma, then went straight to the flower on #4. I then rubbed the Q-tip on the stigma. I repeated the same thing except took the pollen from plant #4 and applied it to #1's flower.

    I can see that from now on, it will be too much of a hassle (and simply repetitive) to post whenever a plant gets a new bloom and describe what I decided to do with it. So I will only mention general observations and post the date when a plant gets its first flower. As far as pollination goes, you can assume that I will cross two plants whenever possible, and if only one flower is open at the time, I will self it. We really don't have many bees out here, so doing it by hand will be the way to go.

    I also want to see if the flowers will self-seed. Sometime in the near future, I will test this and describe the test and results in a future post.

    7/7/08- I know I don't have much evidence to support this, but I am going to go ahead and say that the average length of time a flower stays in bloom is about 2 days (based on what I have observed thus far). I should note here that the sepal cluster and stigma remain on the flower stalk after the flower falls off.

    Excellent news today! I think I may have my first fruit coming in! The flower from plant #1 (from entry 7/3/08) fell off shortly after I pollinated it (recall that I "selfed" it). Today, I noticed the stigma that remained there looked a bit strange. It seemed to have lengthened and gotten thicker and green towards the end that is attached to the plant. The stigma-end is still white (now turning black and dieing off) and seems to be attached to the emerging fruit. I may be mistaken, so I'll update on what happens. For the meantime, here is a sketch of how it looks like:





    I am also going to go ahead and say that the insecticide treatment was successful. I have not noticed any additional caterpillars on the plants. Of course as the leaves grow, the tiny holes stretch and it makes it seem that there is more damage, but this is not the case. The only possible reaction that I noticed was that a couple of the lower, older leaves on the plants turned brown and died. This may not be a direct reaction to the insecticide, though. I will apply another treatment on 7/13/08.

    Another thing I want to mention is that plant #10 is still in its original pot. I think this is the longest I have gone without moving a seedling from the pot to the ground. It has been 21 days since it germinated and it is still growing well in its pot. Currently, it just finished growing its second pair of true leaves. Its roots must be jamming the base of the pot, but I think I will keep it in there for now.

    In other news (I swear I'm running out of transitions here), I pulled out plant #14 from the patch. It was starting to bend and stretch as plant #6's leaves were blocking out the sun to it. #14 was one of the surprise germinations from a couple of entries ago. As #6 grew, it blocked #14 and thus, 14 became leggy. In the end it was like a parasitic twin to #6 sucking up its water and nutrients, so today I pulled it out of the ground like a weed. It came out with a couple of roots intact. My younger brother wanted it, so I gave it to him. He planted it in one of his planters.

    Now I want to mention the rest of the seed that have not germinated (from both batches). Up to today, I have kept all of them in full sun and have watered them daily. Today, I decided to dig them up to see what was going on with them. Most of them were dead. The outer seed coats were still present. However, the endosperm and embryo had turned black and mushy on most of them. Only two seeds that seemed healthy remained. I kept those in their pots and threw the rest out. So much for that…

    Lastly, I want to mention the weather again. Hot hot hot! Here is the forecast for my area for the next couple of days.
    7/7 Monday: 102F
    7/8 Tuesday: 110F
    7/9 Wednesday: 108F
    7/10 Thursday: 108F
    7/11 Friday: 99F

    Again, thanks for reading. I want to get some pictures up soon. …keeping my fingers crossed for that first fruit.

    -Joel
    -Joel from Southern California


  5. #37
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    7/9/08- The heat is on full blast right now. My yard thermometer read 111F when I placed it in the sun today. Despite this heat, all of the devil's claws don't seem to mind at all.

    I can confirm now with 100% certainty that the possible fruit I saw a couple of days ago on plant #1 is in fact its first claw! It is developing pretty fast. The style and stigma are now very dry looking and shriveled. More flowers are popping up on the big three, so hopefully more claws will appear soon.

    I updated the data table, added additional data columns, and rearranged it a bit:




    As you can see the big three (plants 1, 2, and 4) are nearing 3 feet in diameter!

    EDIT: Hmmm the picture came out smaller than the original, so here is the bigger version:
    -Joel from Southern California


  6. #38
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    In contrast, I have 7 seedlings and the biggest one tops out at about half a foot! Is there enough time in the growing season for mine to flower and do the claw thing? Do they need to be transplanted to the ground for insulation or root space?

  7. #39
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimscott View Post
    In contrast, I have 7 seedlings and the biggest one tops out at about half a foot! Is there enough time in the growing season for mine to flower and do the claw thing? Do they need to be transplanted to the ground for insulation or root space?
    I wouldn't worry Jim. They will accelerate in growth once the main stem splits in two (for the Parviflora). Personally, I would transplant them to the ground or a very large, deep pot if I had the chance. These things get very top heavy and limiting their root system would leave them at risk to topple under their own weight once mature. I don't think insulation at this point is an issue, although it might play a role once colder weather sets in...

    I am going to keep one of my plants (#10) in a pot and see what happens in terms of growth, flowers, fruit, etc. I am guess that if kept in a small pot, the plant itself will remain small (or smaller than average).

    Good luck!
    -Joel from Southern California


  8. #40
    dude...cut down stream not across radjess331's Avatar
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    well i had almost all of my plants die so i put them outside under a shade cloth and watered them and a few came back.....and actually they look better in the full sun then they did inside
    PaRtY hArD rOcK'n RoLl We'Re ThE ClAsS yOu CaN't CoNtRoL ThE gUyZ aRe HoT ThE GiRlS aRe FiNe We'Re ThE ClAsS oF 2009!!!!

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