Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Invasion of the pond plants

My pond plant order was sitting in a box on the kitchen counter this afternoon when I got home.  There was no shipment-sent email or tracking info, so I actually thought the order hadn't even been processed yet.  Anyway, there were lots of exciting "Live Plants" stickers on the box and warnings not to expose to heat or to leave at the door.  I was relieved to see that it was just one box: the last time I attempted something like this (in the spring, with moss), I ended up with four enormous boxes of plant material.  (Hey, how should I know how to order plants by weight?)  Still, there was a ton of plant material in the box and it was tricky finding vase accommodation for so much.  I'm guessing I'll kill a number of them before I figure out what they like, so please excuse some of the vases, which are temporary.  Disclaimers aside, here are some family photos:

The minimum order quantity on the water lettuce was 6 plants and they sent me two extra (either because they're incredibly nice, because they wanted to make sure at least 6 survived, and/or because these guys grow like crazy and they can't get rid of them fast enough!).  I had only wanted one, or maybe 2 lettuces.  Their roots are absolutely massive.  I had no idea of the scale!  Aren't they cool, though?

Sort of like baby bok choy heads but intensely seaweedy underneath.  Wouldn't it be neat if it was edible?  Hello, indoor water lettuce farm.  Well, I guess my kitchen counter looks like that already....

My second favorite plant is the salvinia, which looks like this:

That's the entire quantity (it fit in a small yogurt container) - a "normal" size.  The leaves look a bit like mini lily pads.  I'd like to see the salvinia in a shallower, wider container.

Finally there's the azolla, which I find kind of underwhelming:

There's oodles of it, too: the amount in these two vases probably represents about 1/15th of what was in the bag.  Know anyone who wants a science experiment?  I'm going to try scattering the lettuces and the azolla around the RBB in various light conditions and see what happens.  Fingers crossed everything doesn't just kick it.

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