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MACJR

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Tropic Snow starts

 

Dieffenbachia Tropic Snow starts - February 24, 2008

 

In the above picture the cuttings are about three months old, or less. The starts had began shooting up from the cuttings within a few weeks prior to my taking this picture. I wish I had taking pictures on the day I took the cuttings from the main plant, but unfortunately, I had not thought to do so.

 

The next time I have to cut up a Snow Queen, excuse me, a Tropic Snow, I will take pictures and document the entire process, from just before I do the cutting all the way to the adult plants that grow from the cuttings.

Note: It turns out that the plant I have been calling a “Snow Queen,” for many years, is actually called a “Tropic Snow.” The full Latin name is “Dieffenbachia amoena Tropic Snow” of the “Araceae” family of plants. After searching many sites, and looking through my plant books, I have found many conflicting bits of information and names for this plant, so it is seems pretty much impossible to be absolutely sure what it is… short of taking a sample to an expert.

The best sites I could find all show pictures of plants that look like mine and call them Dieffenbachia Tropic Snow. I could find no sites with a picture of a Dieffenbachia Snow Queen, but I did find a site that gives information on both the Tropic Snow and the Snow Queen, and the description for a Snow Queen does not match my plant, while the Tropic Snow description fits perfectly.

So, go figure, one of my cheap plant booklets has a picture of a Dieffenbachia Tropic Snow plant… but called it a Dieffenbachia Snow Queen… which had me misinformed for many years. It turns out that I do have a better book, with the right information, but it has a small picture that I could not positively identify as identical to my plant.

 

From what I have read online, there are 20 or 30 (or more) varieties of Dieffenbachia plants… and they are all poisonous. If you are dumb enough to chew on one of these plants, or get some of its sap in your mouth, your tongue will swell up and your vocal cords become dysfunctional and there is a risk that your throat will swell shut and cause your death by suffocation. This is why the common name for this plant is “Dumbcane” (or Dumcane, or Dumb Cane, depending on which web site, or book, you look at).

 

Needles to say, always wash your hands after handling this plant, I do. There are times when I will rub up against my Tropic Snow and get some sap on me that I do not get washed off in time. The worst that has happened is that I get an itchy patch of skin. Once the itch starts washing does little to help. The good news is that, at least for me, the itch isn’t all that bad and goes away within a few hours.

 

Some sites will warn you to keep all Dieffenbachia plants away from young children (probably a good idea) and pets. So far, I have never seen any evidence that my cats have chewed on my Tropic Snow, or my Dieffenbachia exotica… although, they do chew on several other plants in my indoor forest… and some of those are listed as toxic. Maybe the cats get a high from those other plants, or something, although I have never seen them act high. The plants they do chew on do not appear to cause them any health problems though. Shadow is nearing 14 years old and she has been with me, and my plants, since she was a few months old.

 

 

Tropic Snow starts

 

Tropic Snow starts - March 17, 2008

 

 

Tropic Snow starts - ready to pot

 

Okay, time to plant these in their own pots - January 24, 2009

 

 

Tropic Snow plants

 

My Tropic Snow and one of her offspring - January 24, 2009

 

The big Tropic Snow plant on the left was the top of a plant that I chopped up into cuttings. The smaller Tropic Snow, freshly potted, was the first start to begin growing from that batch of cuttings.

 

The big plant also came from a batch of cutting that came from a Tropic Snow plant that I had back in the early 1990s.

 

 

Tropic Snow, and other plants

 

All packed in now - January 25, 2009

 

The two biggest starts, and a couple mid-sized ones, are now potted. Notice that the third largest Tropic Snow had a new start sticking up out of the soil. That is growing from the same cutting as the bigger plant in the same pot, and had already started before this plant was potted (which was the day before this picture was taken).

 

I am not sure if I actually potted that one plant crooked, or if it settled in the pot after watering, or if one of the cats knocked it out of vertical alignment. The last seem most likely. No matter how many times I get after the cats for getting in the pots, they still do it when they think I am not looking. The cats do damage the plants from time to time, but rarely when compared to how often I catch them in the pots.

 

 

Tropic Snow, and other plants

 

Tropic Snow, and other plants - January 25, 2009

 

 

This scene is already outdated. One, the snow has melted, and two, I gave two of the smaller tropic snow plants (hidden within the mix here) to the assistant manager of the apartment complex. The big Tropic Snow plant, and the two biggest younglings, is still there, as are most of the rest of the plants.

 

I still need to give several plants away and there are six more Tropic Snow plants ready to be potted, and two more cuttings producing starts that will be ready to be potted within a few months.

 

 

MACJR


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Questmaker

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I swear Mac, you have the greenest thumb of anyone I know, my mom included. The plants are beautiful as ever. It's amazing how fast they grew.

MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questmaker

I swear Mac, you have the greenest thumb of anyone I know, my mom included. The plants are beautiful as ever. It's amazing how fast they grew.

Nope, my thumbs are actually a fleshy pink… like the rest of me. 

 

I always have been good with plants though. Even when I neglect them terribly, as I have done a few times in the past, they hang on for me. I do lose a plant now and then, usually from overlooking one while watering and not getting back to it in time, but not all that many nor all that often.

 

This last year I have been spending more time with my plants and it is really showing. 

 

 

MACJR


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nannyjo

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have ONE plant that I haven't killed yet.  That is the best I have EVER done.

You do a wornderful job with them MAC.

Iplanted a pussywillow outside last summer and it was doing fairly well the rest of the season.  I'm anxious to see what it is like come this spring.

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Reply with quote  #5 
Sheesh MAC, gonna have to mount a RESCUE mission for you soon, I think!!!! Great job with them plants. Just be sure NOT to start growing Venus Fly Traps!!! They might grow into ACTUAL man-eating plants!!!!

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MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltcesca
Sheesh MAC, gonna have to mount a RESCUE mission for you soon, I think!!!! Great job with them plants. Just be sure NOT to start growing Venus Fly Traps!!! They might grow into ACTUAL man-eating plants!!!!

I think that if I ever started growing meat eating plants that even came close to cat eating size I would trade them in for something else. 

 

 

MACJR


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waltcesca

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

Quote:
Originally Posted by waltcesca
Sheesh MAC, gonna have to mount a RESCUE mission for you soon, I think!!!! Great job with them plants. Just be sure NOT to start growing Venus Fly Traps!!! They might grow into ACTUAL man-eating plants!!!!

I think that if I ever started growing meat eating plants that even came close to cat eating size I would trade them in for something else.

MACJR



LOL oh sure, throw those monsters on the unwary public!!! Now you 'true' colors are coming out, MAC the MAD SCIENTIST!!! 

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MACJR

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Reply with quote  #8 

 

I had just finished watering my plants, and rotating several of them, and then gone into the bedroom to get my camera when I heard something fall in the dining room/kitchen area. I could see both cats napping, one on the bed, and the other on the seat of one of my office chairs, so I could see that they hadn't done anything. And yes, I actually did look to see if they were both there because they are automatically suspect when I hear anything amiss, such as the sound of something falling in the kitchen/dining room area. So, I turned around and went back into the kitchen to see what had fallen.

 

As I entered the kitchen, I could see immediately what had fallen. It was the BIG Tropic Snow plant; it had broken off at the base, just above where the stalk stuck out of the potting soil. The main body of the plant was laying fat on the floor and there was just that very short jagged stub left sticking up from the soil in the pot.

 

I knew that plant was getting too top heavy and that this might happen sooner or later. I was hoping for later. I had planned to get some soil and another pot for it sometime soon. I guess that had better be tomorrow.

 

All is not lost though. Fortunately, there was very little damage to the rest of the plant. The only noticeable damage, other than to base of the stalk, is to one of the giant leaves. One leaf now has a broken spine near its center, but it should survive this. It is marred for life, with an unnatural bend at the center, but it should still survive to live a more or less normal lifespan (for a Tropic Snow leaf, that is about two years).

 

I have the broken off top part of the Tropic Snow plant wedged into a five gallon container filled with water and large rocks (the large rocks are the wedges). Yes, I had these things handy. I used to have a lot of fish tanks and this was one of the large containers that were handy for water changes, and the rocks were tank decorations (and fish shelters) and have been used for this and that ever since.

 

The main body of the plant should start rooting within days. By this time next week, I should have the Tropic Snow planted in a new pot. The old pot, with the small stub still in it, will probably sprout out a new plant sometime soon, so I will just let that be. I placed the pot in a spot with good light to help encourage new growth. With a root system already established, I suspect that the stub should have a head start and start sprouting within a week or two.

 

After all that, I finally got the camera and took some pictures. I have not had time to look through them yet though. If any of the pics turned out well enough, I may post one or two later.

 

By the way, I still have too many Tropic Snow plants. I definitely need to give some of them away as soon as possible.

 

 

MACJR


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MACJR

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Reply with quote  #9 

Tropic Snow Update

 

The BIG Tropic Snow plant just after the disaster.

 

 

Here the Tropic Snow plant is wedged into a 5 gallon (or thereabouts) container of water. It may not be obvious, but the leaf in the very center of the picture is the one that was damaged by the fall. Before the stalk broke, that leaf was more erect.

 

After this picture was taken I took a long string and wrapped its two ends around the light fixture above (only the very bottom parts of which are just showing in this picture) and used the looped end of the string to prop up the damaged leaf. I will leave the leaf propped up this way for the next several days to see if it will repair itself. I believe that this will increase the odds that the leaf will survive, and possibly, be restored to its pre-damaged shape. I can only hope that this will work, anyway.

 

The Tropic Snow seems to be holding up well so far so, with no drooping leaves, so I believe that the plant will survive this disaster.

 

 

MACJR


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Ariane

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hello Michael !
 
I did not know you had so many plants at home. The room really looks like the forest of Amazonia ! I confess that one of the pictures - the one with the green roots, like bamboos - made me a little scared on the screen of my computer lol.
 
I hope you open the windows at night because plants reject carbon gaz at that time !
 
Ariane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariane
Hello Michael !
 
I did not know you had so many plants at home. The room really looks like the forest of Amazonia ! I confess that one of the pictures - the one with the green roots, like bamboos - made me a little scared on the screen of my computer lol.
 
I hope you open the windows at night because plants reject carbon gaz at that time !
 
Ariane

I usually leave one window partly open. It is probably not a big issue though. The CO2 the plants release at night is probably more than made up for with the oxygen they produce all day long. 

 

So, what about the green starts (new shoots, not roots) startled you?

 

 

MACJR


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