STARFISH PLANTS

Not to be sold in New South Wales under DPI restrictions .....

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Starfish Plants

The Starfish Plant is a leafless, glabrous, clump-forming succulent perennial. The four-angled stems are usually prominently sharp-toothed, with a soft tip, grey green mottled purple in full sun. Each stem can reach over 25cm in height. It produces a starfish-shaped flower with a carrion smell that has yellow colouring with purple blotches.

Restrictions

According to the NSW Department of Primary Industry, the Starfish plant, otherwise commonly known as the Carrion plant is a weed, and a threat to Australian biosecurity because it has naturalised in semi-arid regions where it out-competes native grasses and herbs. It is easily spread by fragments as the plant will grown new roots wherever it touches soil, and is known to spread from old garbage tips and refuse areas.

Until next time, cheers
Petra

Sources: https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Details/352


PESKY PESTS

Mealybugs, aphids, cabbage moth larvae and more.....

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Mealybugs

Mealybugs are insects that mainly occur in warmer climates including greenhouses. They attach themselves to the plant with a powdery wax that look like tiny, fuzzy white beads, and feed on plant sap, which is why they are a threat to health of succulents and cacti. Mealybugs are usually found in roots or other crevices such as at the base of the foliage. Plants kept indoors, under shelters or less exposed to the elements seem to be more susceptible to mealybugs.
A mealybug infestation can be insidious, and therefore tricky to spot and act until it has inflicted at least some damage. Foliage will often begin to desiccate, and turn brown at the base.
Eradicating a mealybug infestation, depending on how bad it is I suppose, start by removing the affected foliage if you can see it. Hose off the plant either while still potted or, if you suspect or see mealies in the soil, uproot the plant first. Hosing should remove the mealies and any badly affected leaves. Re-pot the plant with fresh soil if necessary, and spray with appropriate pesticide.

Aphids

Aphids are extremely destructive pests and thrive particularly in temperate climates. They are capable of multiplying extremely rapidly, infesting plants quickly, removing sap from stems, leaves and flowers. In doing so, aphids can also transmit plant viruses causing potentially more harm. Plants suffering from an aphid infestation typically have decreased or stunted growth, wilting, curled or mottled foliage, yellowing or browning and death. The removal of sap creates a lack of vigour in the plant, and aphid saliva is toxic to plants.
Recognising the presence of an aphid infestation is vital before they can inflict too much damage, therefore regular inspection of the plant, particularly where there are fresh stems, shoots or flowers, helps to eliminate these pests.

Cabbage moth caterpillars

Cabbage moth larvae a small and green usually found on the underside of young leaves. As they grow into caterpillars, they will chew holes in the succulent leaves, growing rapidly and devouring foliage causing extensive damage to the plant's leaves and fresh growth.
Check for cabbage moth larvae and cabbageworms during early spring, or when you spot the white cabbage moths flying around in the garden. Seeing holes in foliage is also a good indicator of the presence of these pests. Use an appropriate insecticide such as Pyrethrum, and spray both the top and underside of leaves generously to deter or kill cabbage moth caterpillars.

Until next time, cheers
Petra

Sources: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com; https://en.wikipedia.org


CRASSULAS

Crassulas are one of the most common and popular succulents...

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Until next time, cheers
Petra

Sources: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com; https://en.wikipedia.org


FRIEND OR FOE?

While not the most endearing or friendly plants, cacti are one of nature's true wonders....

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They are highly evolved succulents that have adapted themselves to endure the harsh conditions of full sunlight and drought. The spines are actually evolved leaves, that perform more than the function of warding off herbivores and other pests. They provide some shade as protection from the sun, and also reduce water loss enabling the plant to survive in dry, arid conditions.

Now, some might say that cacti are simply spikey ball shaped plants or paddles that you can't touch, are a pain to re-pot and are generally just unattractive. Well, that may be true, however sometimes the most plain and unassuming cactus produces the most magnificent flowers! This is why I love them, and collect them, because with just a little bit of care an attention, every spring my cactus collection comes to life and rewards me with brilliant yellows, pinks, magentas and oranges.

Until next time, cheers
Petra


COLOUR MY GARDEN

Pigfaces colour water-wise gardens every spring...

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Hello and welcome!
Wow! These plants never fail to amaze me. They are commonly knows as Ice Plants or Pigfaces, when not in bloom they are a clump of worm-looking fleshy leaves trailing over rocks, hanging over the edge of retaining walls or trimmed into neat little bushes. If you walk past one, you probably wouldn't turn and look again...until it flowers!

Oranges, reds, yellows, purples, pinks, white, their daisy-like flowers will cover their foliage and suddenly an average rock garden is bursting with colour! They are fantastic plants, because they are hardy and drought-tolerant, so perfect for Aussie gardens, they can be pruned or allowed to trail, and demand little attention.

So perhaps, consider these pretty plants for your garden, because come spring, they will not disappoint!

Until next time, cheers
Petra


UP AND RUNNING

Hello and welcome! After many weeks of work, Petra's Pot Plants is finally online!

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I absolutely love the colour schemes, boxes and picture carousels, squiggles and lettering. With my mediocre html skills, I certainly would have never made it this far, so thank you to my awesome web developer!

I have always loved these plants. When I was given my first cactus as a gift, I immediately thought I wish I had more. As the years went by, my collection of cacti and succulents continued to grow until I was running out of space on my mother's front porch. I then began to scatter offcuts and fallen leaves under the rose bushes, and lo-and-behold they kept growing! I'd forget to water them, and yet they thrived - perfect!

I never thought of myself as a green-thumbed gardener, but then, you really don't need to be as these plants will stay happy with only occasional attention and pampering. Planting a few short stems, even without roots with eventually yield a basket-full of fleshy leaves, a garden of bright yellows, reds and even blues, and the best part is spring, when they surprise you with spectacularly bright coloured flowers.

So why not look around and see if something catches your eye. Happy browsing!

Petra