A New Leaf

If you want to know if a plant is happy,

check out its new leaf.

I have been watching my new elephant ear, ‘Frydek’ for the past eight days.

I wasn’t sure if it would like the its new spot up against the house.

Its first new leaf has expressed approval of the new location.

It came up furled, as usual.IMG_0831

Then a few days later, it started to open

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and show its colors.

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Then it drooped a bit in the rain.

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Now it is standing up big and strong.

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The new leaf is twice as big as the leaves that formed when it was in the pot.

Frydek likes its new home.

I wish I could “turn over a new leaf” in just eight days.

FLOWER

Cover Your Ears

Well actually, by now it is really cover your tubers.

Elephant ear leaves got bitten off by the first freeze.

Now, it is time to protect the mama tuber and her baby sidekicks(pups).

I sometimes dig some up to store inside my workshop, but since it is all ready full I am risking losing some of my Colocasia collection.

I did bring in some baby Coffee Cup /Colocasia escuelenta shoots earlier.

I only have one bunch of Mojitos now, so I covered them really well.

Be sure to not only mulch around the stems, but also between the stems.

There have been years when I did not mulch at all.

What usually happens is the big mama turns to pink mush, but some of the deeper baby tubers survive. These take years to get as big as they were previously.

Don’t forget your bananas. They should be in a ring of mulch also.

Cover your ears. Here comes winter.

FLOWER

 

Creepy Coffee Cups

Just when you think you know a plant, it morphs on you.

The Coffee Cups/West Indian Kale/Colocasia escuelenta was unhappy.

I moved it.  It loved the new spot beside the small pond.  More sun, more water…

I loved it there too, until the leaves turned into “Coffee Cup Caterpillar Crappers.”

Then the Yellow Jackets started using the leaves as their levy. They hold water you see.

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Then came the creepers. Long skinny purple arms reaching out in all directions.

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One even grew down into the fish pond.

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Since when do elephant ears have runners?

Oh well.

I love them for their swirly venation

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and their purple stems and ribsIMG_4885

and how water beads up on the leaves

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and how the curled up new leaves look like closed umbrellasIMG_4887

and the heart-shape of the leaves

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and that the baby leaves have a blue hue.

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I just love this plant, despite all its quirks.

I am glad, because it looks like I will have many more.

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FLOWER

Coffee Cups Caterpillar Crapper

This is NOT how I intended this to turn out.

I have been very pleased with the new placement of Colocasia escuelenta/ Coffee cups/ West Indian Kale near the small fish pond.

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I intended to write a post about moving plants until you and the plant are both happy.

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Well, now there is a third party involved.

The oak tree above is full of munching little caterpillars.

If you look up, you see naked limbs.

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If you look down, you see feces.  Now the water in the cups has the color of coffee. Yuck!

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So thus the name of the post, in honor of Thomas Crapper of Chelsea. The owner of an early lavatory manufacturer in London.

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My OCD self keeps flushing the leaves with water.  No pun intended.

FLOW

 

Art on Every Leaf

I love all Elephant Ears/ Colocasias.

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I have many varieties.

 

My favorite is Mojito.

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Every leaf is a different mosaic of blacks and greens.

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No two leaves are alike.

 

 

Even the tiny leaves have beautiful patterns.

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They thrive in shade or partial sun. They love water.

So lovely. So easy.

Mix it up with a Mojito.

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FLOWER