Balcony Garden Update

The eggplant and green peppers are doing well in their planters. Now that the serious summer heat and humidity is here, they’re growing quickly. I’m sure they have doubled in size in the last two weeks.

The Queen of the Night plant (epiphyllum oxypetallum) is a weird looking thing. I keep chopping it back whenever it sends up a stick that never seems to stop growing.
Notice the maidenhair fern that is also growing in the pot. They’re volunteers, and testament to the fact that there’s some kind of symbiotic relationship with plants and soil fungus. I have had no luck keeping maidenhair fern alive in pots with ordinary potting soil; the mother plant has died despite all my efforts. The aged bark mixture that the Queen of the Night is growing in seems to provide exactly the right conditions for the spores of the fern to germinate and grow. I found the babies in the pot this past winter, and decided to leave them alone.

Another inhabitant of this plant is some Spanish Moss. It loves the humidity and is continuing to grow just hanging there on one of the “branches” of the plant.

Here’s a pic of one of the two flower buds on the Queen of the Night (the location is shown with a yellow arrow in the larger picture). It’s about an inch long. In the next 4 to 5 weeks it will continue to lengthen, curve up, and then one night in the wee hours, a spectacular fragant flower will pop open. It’s quite an event.

For anyone who’s ever wondered what sweet potatos (or yams — I can’t tell the difference) look like, here you go. I had no idea what to expect. A couple of months ago I had a tuber on the counter that started to bud, so I thought “what the heck”, cut out the eyes, and threw them in one of my big containers. It seems to be a vine. It’ll be interested to watch as it grows — I’ve never seen a sweet potato plant before. I wonder if it’s growing more yummy yams for me underground.