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Newbie Gardeners 1st Year Report

15 years ago

It was just about a year ago that I went out, quite disgusted actually, and trashed some Gerber "Garbage" Daisies and replaced them with Cut Leaf Philodendrons, Australian Tree Ferns and Sago Palms. The huge shade trees here were keeping things from growing and the landscape was getting ragged. The Desert Daisy shrubs were next on the list. And then, European and Pygmy Date Palms were added. I wanted something with flowers, but desided to just go green, having no knowledge about what would grow in shadows that at the same time would please my 'science project' mentality.

Then I found Canna and loved the idea that I could divide 'em up and spread them like a desease over the landscape, even in deep shade.

In October 2006, I took the pits from edible dates that I'd bought and consumed prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday and planted them. By February, I had more Date Palm seedlings than I knew what to do with and I had become a novice gardener, but with a vengence. In 2007, I was taking cuttings, dividing tubers and planting so many diffent kinds of seeds that I found myself using plastic 2 liter soda bottles to provide for all these 'experiments'.

And though my inexperience resulted in many failures, there have been a certain number of successes ...


New Additions in first year ...

Palms ...

Phoenix dactylifera -- 50+ from seed

Phoenix roebelinii -- 3 Store Bought

Chamaerops humilis -- 4 Store Bought

Cycads ...

Cycas revoluta -- 7 Store Bought

Zamia fufuracea -- 1 Store Bought

Banana Family ...

Canna Flacida -- 20+ by Division

Canna x generalis -- 7 from seed

Canna Tropicana Pink -- 1 Trade

Canna x indica "Tropicanna" -- 1 Store Bought

Canna unknown -- 1 by Division

Musa acuminata "Novak" -- 1 Store Bought

Strelitzia Nikolai -- 3 Store Bought and from Seed

Strelitzia Reginae -- 2 Store Bought and from Seed

Trees ...

Gingko Biloba -- 1 From Cutting

Hybrid Lemon Cypress -- 1 Store Bought

Bromileads ...

Puya Alpestris -- 8 Store Bought and From Pups

Puya Berteroniana -- 1 From Seed

Puya Sp. -- 1 From Seed

Suculents ...

Aloe Kedongensis -- 1 From Seed

Cactus -- Many from Seed


Fishhook Barrel

Prickly Pear



Iris Douglasiana -- 6 From Rhizomes

Trailing Lantana -- 10+ Store Bought

Other Plants ...

Solanum Peruvianum -- 7 From Cuttings

Bougainvillea -- 3 Store Bought

Casia Alata -- 15 From Seed

Tecoma Stans -- 1 From Seed

Pothos -- 2 rescued from being trashed

Veggies ...

Sorano Pepper -- 2 From Seed

Anaheim Pepper -- 2 From Seed

Many of my seeds failed to germinate because of excessive heat or other conditions.

These include

Jacaranda Mimosafolia

Saguaro Cactus

Echium Pininana

Lantana Camara

Dicksonia Antarctica

Gingko Biloba

Heliconia Latispatha

Heliconia Schiedeana

Rhododendron Griersoniana

Senecio Petastitis

Tabebuia Chrysostricha

Tecoma Sp.

Anthurium Crenatum

Aloe Thraskii

Seeds I currently have for winter sowing and Spring 2008 ...

Aloe dawei

Aloe kedongensis

Alpinia zerumbet

Anthurium crenatum

Capsicum annuum

Sorrano Pepper

Anaheim Pepper

Habnero Pepper

Delonix regia

Dicksonia antarctica

Echium pininana

Heliconia latispatha

Heliconia schiedeana

Iris ( Pacific Coast Hybrids )

Jacaranda mimosifolia

Lantana Camara

Leontopdium alpinum

Musa coccinea

Musa ensete

Musa paradisica var.

Musa rosacea

Musa velutina

Musa zebrina

Puya berteroniana

Puya Sp.

Rhododendron griersonianum

Senecio petastitis

Tabebuia chrysostricha

Tecoma Sambucifolia

What have I learned?

1.) Plants need Sun, but direct sunlight and high temps can kill plants. An understanding of how sunlight and temperature affect germination is vital.

2.) Nitrogen Fertilizers can kill young seedlings. Do not use until plants mature.

3.) Soil type, Ph and drainage can be vital to germinating plants.

4.) Shade Cloth and germinating plants indoors is helpful.

5.) Don't overwater seeds. Avoid Rot.

6.) If you want big plants, don't confine the plants to small pots.

7.) Propogation can be by seed, rhizome or tuber division or by cuttings.

8.) Pay particular attention to seeds that require stratification or other specific conditions.

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