The Peperomia graveolens has lost its flower spike. Yesterday morning the spike had broken off the stem and was lying flat on the table. To get a better view, I removed the other plants around it and it looked like this:
The plastic over the table makes it look like a crime scene or something – and maybe it is that: maybe I knocked the spike off and killed the poor thing! It could have happened when I was moving the plant to get some sun, say, or shifting some of the other plants that sit around it. The scar on the stem doesn’t tell us very much, as far as I can tell:
As I said in the previous post about this plant back in January, the flower spike smelled really awful. But the funny thing is I’d been getting to actually like the smell. I could still tell that it was an awful smell; it’s just that after a while I didn’t mind that it was awful and just liked the fact it was there. It was somewhat similar to what happened when I lived in an industrial city which I won’t name so as not to offend its good citizens, but the air there seemed to be polluted by factory smoke every time a sea breeze swung in, which happened every afternoon. At first I hated the smell, but after a while I grew to actually like it. And then when I left that city and came back here to the fresh clean air of the country, I missed the smog smell – for months.
It really seemed like the Peperomia was communicating with its smell, too – if that’s possible, and it probably isn’t. It’s just that the smell only seemed to happen at certain times. Maybe it was wafting on a breeze when I walked by, but it didn’t seem to do that every time, only some times. I hadn’t had time to work out what was going on, or when.
And now I won’t find out if it was going to develop seeds, either. By the look of the thing, it probably wouldn’t have. I don’t know where they would have grown. This was the spike close-up:
The plant was very wobbly yesterday, and it hadn’t been before, so I tipped it out of its pot to see what its roots were doing. They weren’t doing much, but the potting mix was completely dry, and I’d noticed before that the plant seemed to dry out quicker than other plants. To see if it makes any difference, I repotted the thing into a mix consisting of:
– 1 part Searles Premium Potting Mix
– 1 part Searles Dendrobium Orchid Mix
– 1 part Debco Cactus and Succulent Mix
– 1 part perlite
I used this mix because there was lots left over after I repotted some other plants, and I thought, well, why not – I don’t know what I’m doing anyway, so let’s see what happens. I’m hoping this mix will be moist while also allowing air movement while also drying out sometimes but not too quickly. Just everything. For the record, previously the plant was in a pot of Searles Cactus and Succulent Mix, in a small terracotta pot. Now it’s in a larger plastic pot.
Here’s how it looks now, staked into place by two plastic stick-like things I found lurking about:
In my previous post about the Peperomia I mentioned I was going to try to propagate it by planting some leaves. That post was on the 10th of January, but – as of the 23rd of February – the leaves still haven’t produced any signs of growth, or at least not above-ground, and I’m not about to drag the soil off them to check below-ground, or not yet, anyway. They haven’t shrivelled up and disappeared, so maybe it just takes them a while to get going.