02 July 2015

The Unusual Suspects

Talullah was a complete pain in the ass throughout winter. Through no fault of her own, she turned out to be the most high-maintenance thing indoors. She was totally free of pests and did alright despite the lack of direct sunlight. But she was under constant attack, nevertheless.

Sedum morganianum is itself extremely adaptable and had been relatively easy to study. Indoors in the winter, it needs a lot of light though, in order to maintain the tight, regular rows that it is famous for. Even right beside a south-facing window, it slowly etiolated. The best way to keep its growth compact is to provide supplemental lighting, at least until it has become well-established.

This tendency towards elongation, however, was not the reason Talullah was a pain. The problem was that she developed some form of narcolepsy triggered by her proximity to, well, the cats. She didn't just pass out, either; when she fell, she spilled her brains. S. morganianum, as you know, does not take too kindly to being whipped about. It will tolerate the repeated de-potting but impact is not its friend. I expected all manners of pests attacking this outdoor plant while it is indoors but it turned out to be an entirely different kind of pest.
Third attack. She survived this but a drastic haircut was necessary, a lot of stems were already empty.
When checking your plants for pests, other interesting things tend to show up, as well and not all of them are enemies.

This is one below is one of the most attractive haworthias, H. cooperii. There was a moment of panic when this webbed structure appeared but a few squirts of water confirmed that it is not, in fact, a pest.
Ominous dark shadow stirring inside the web cylinder.
She was wet and very annoyed.
She eventually returned to her digs. She does not harm the plant and if anything, she's probably keeping it free of less desirable crawlers.

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