wake up at 6:30. wonder why the alarm is set early. oh yeah. they're re-roofing and i have to move my car before 7:00 or it'll be towed. have a quick smoke, jump in the shower, head to work. early. it's so early i can barely see my monitor -- i'm not usually here when the sun comes in the window at this low angle. using this as an excuse, instead of working i sat down and repotted my jade plant.

all of my plants are doing very well. although they do get bright light, it is still getting on winter and the total amount of daylight is short -- and they should know that and be a bit more dormant right now. but they're all growing well. the jade plant should be in a smaller pot (they like being cramped) but to remedy that, i'll propagate leaf or stem cuttings to add plants to the pot. i recently cut back my miniature roses pretty severely so that they wouldn't be so spindly. the branches are sprouting new buds and leaves left and right. and the kalanchoe is just crazy. it got cut back a lot too, but you wouldn't know it. this plant loves to reproduce! any leaves it drops turns into another plant, i've got a bunch of leeeeetle plants poking their heads up. all of the hens and chicks are established in their pots and most are showing new growth. unfortunately i did lose one philodendron cutting -- it's stem rotted before it could establish roots. so i added a few pieces of charcoal to the remaining cutting's water to help prevent that in the future.

speaking of my plants, i finally found out what the hell one of my houseplants is. i have now succesfully identified them all. the plant in question i had thought was some type of palm, due to it's large leaves on long stems from a woody palm-like trunk. turns out it is a Phlodendrum Selloum. who would have guessed it was from the same family as the little creeper philodendrons i've kept all my life. this plant is big. and i learned a bit about how to repot, remove it's offshoots (i've had the plant for well over ten years and only now has it developed a pup), and propagate by stem cuttings. it's woody trunk is about 1 1/2' tall, and from what i have read, i can just grab a saw, chop off the top 6", put it in some rich peaty soil, and it'll grow roots. what's left of the original stem will grow new leaves. sounds like a plant.

I made my first attempt at air layering last night so that i can reduce the height of my dracaena. it's leggy something fierce. i will node air layering specifically soon, but here's a quick rundown:
air layering is the process of propagating a plant by forcing roots to grow on existing branches before cutting and repotting those branches. where the branch is cut, it will usually grow two new branches. how it is done is as follows; make a slit in a healthy branch, slanting upwards, about 1/4" deep and 1" long. use a toothpick to prop open the little flap you've made. put rooting hormone on the cut and wrap it in moist spagnum moss. surround the moss with plastic (i cut up ziplock baggies) to form a little compact ball on the branch that keeps in the moisture (if you don't see condensation on the inside of the bag, open it and mist the moss). soon you will see roots growing through the moss. then you can cut the branch just below the roots and pot it in a soil mixture appropriate to the plant.
we should see in a few weeks whether or not it worked. i want to layer two of the longest branches, but i don't want to destroy the plant so i only did one until i see whether or not it works. the dracaena plant can be propagated with just small (3" or so) pieces of branch placed in warm wet sand -- one end will form roots, the other will form a new shoot -- but that's basically starting from scratch and i want to preserve the length of the branches.
more later...
Well, i noded a fair amount today -- and was rewarded for it. i feel good. other then that i really only accomplished fucking up my Windows 2000 install. badly. don't mess with sfc.exe. trust me. i mean, unless you know what you're doing (i sure don't, and i'm proud!). oh well, fuck it. the important computer (my development box) is fit as a fiddle.

soon i will head home to frantically clean my house before the man arrives. it's a mess. with my new horticultural hobby i've been spending a lot of time studying succulents and their care and very little time cleaning (although, finding a new and healthy obsession was my reason for taking up a new hobby in the first place). i feel kinda bad about how messy the place is, but not enough to get my panties in a bunch.