Thursday, January 13, 2011

Iresine Herbstii (Bloodleaf)

May 2010

Here was another incredible transformation in a short amount of time. The photo on the right is from May or June of last year, after I first bought it. It was a cute little thing, and I barely noticed its transformation. I allowed it to grow long and lanky, despite the fact that it should be a compact, bushy plant. This was due to several reasons: weak Minnesota sunlight, lack of pruning, and rare fertilization. This plant needs a rich, nutritious potting mixture which I have not provided. However, it's grown quite tall! Over two feet high, but spindly. It needs to be staked, otherwise it falls over. I've let it get into a sad state, but have recently been inspired to take a chance on pruning it down. My fear was that it would kill the plant, but I think this one's pretty hardy. Most of my other  plants that grow so readily will easily overcome any abuse/pruning/trauma they've been through.

This plant requires fairly bright light, moist and rich soil, and lots of humidity. It's a tropical plant most often grown as an ornamentals in outside gardens. It loves to sit on a drywell and get a spray with a squirt bottle. It most certainly needs more attention from me, as you can see. It's grown probably another four inches since I took this photo! It measured 26".

January 2011

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