Ali Baba

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Ali Baba last won the day on February 17

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  1. Hi Karsty I think you probably abandoned the predatory mites a bit early, it takes a while for them to get going! I'm not surprised you had a random occurrence of mites on the other side of the room. Brevipalpus don't spread very fast, but they are very easily transferred on skin and clothing when you handle plants, and of course if you move plants around... The best way to totally eradicate them is probably to completely destroy any plants with mites and then spray the rest of the collection. I have found that plant oil based sprays are very effective. 3 sprays at 2 weekly intervals will get rid of any new hatchlings from eggs. As it is a contact spray you have to be very thorough, I think you would have to cut off any Nepenthes pitchers in case they act as a reservoir for mites or eggs. Also they love to hide under leaf sheaths, so peeling back any dead sheaths is important. The advantage is you wont poison yourself accidentally If you have an infested plant that you cant bear to destroy, take the smallest rootable cutting, dip it in spray and then remove all the visible eggs under a binocular microscope! Tedious but I have done this with cacti (received with mites and quarantined) and it works. A couple of examples: I have a lovely Phalaenopsis schilleriana which came from the nursery with mites. Un-noticed for a while...then I peeled back all the dead leaf sheaths sprayed it 3 times and it is now mite free and has been for 3 years. No sign of mites on any other orchids, but I am very careful to isolate new plants. I was given a Cephalotus which turned out to have a bad infestation. I took root cuttings (mites don't live on the roots), and carefully inspected them for transferred mites/eggs before setting the cuttings. Now I have a lovely plant. Hope it is going ok cheers
  2. Ali Baba

    Alocasia leaf problem..... (For you Tropicbreeze...?)

    I would say too much sun. Looks typical of sun scorch in its patchy distribution on an otherwise healthy leaf. It doesn't take much sun to scorch an Alocasia!
  3. Ali Baba

    how to get rid of moss

    I think you will be lucky to find any plant which will out-compete Utricularia bisquamata! Virtually all my pots have a bit of this Utricularia , irrespective of how much moss they have.
  4. Spotted [emoji3] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Hi Karsty I've had a good look at the one photo I can see on my PC now: they look like brevipalpus to me: I can make out clusters of oval reddish eggs, and the adults look like brevipalpus. The good news is that they spread very slowly from plant to plant so you may find you can control them fairly efficiently.
  6. Hi Karsty if you have brevipalpus you should easily be able to see the oval bright red eggs under a x10 hand lens in good light Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Ali Baba


    They are annoying beasts, one took half the leaves off a choice pelargonium in my greenhouse this autumn before I noticed. The moths are most pretty though [emoji3] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Ali Baba

    Life after Southwest Seeds?

    For cactus and succulent seed you can’t beat Succseed and Mesa Garden in my opinion, however for the other stuff I have no idea Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Ali Baba

    Sphangnum peat vs sphagnum moss

    I grow my Dionaeas in a 50/50 mix of peat and silver sand , and have done for about 20 years. They grow just fine Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. Ali Baba

    Adiantum peruvianum problems

    Hi Karsty According to my ‘bible’ of ferns (Ferns by Jones) most adiantums are calcicoles and it does sound like your original compost was acidic. I just use a normal JI type compost for adiantum and they do fine (unless I forget to water them [emoji3]) no need to grow them on chunks of limestone. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Ali Baba

    Platycerium from spores

    Just been looking at my spore collection in the fridge, I have about 25 different packets, some of which are over 20 years old, I think I will grow them all out next year to see whether they are viable ( I have grown Pityrogramma from 11 year old refrigerated spores a couple of times in the last 20 or so years!)
  12. Ali Baba

    Platycerium from spores

    Well heres a couple of photos taken with my phone camera down the eyepiece of my microscope! As you can see the sporangia are very dark brown and the spores (a few visible almost in the centre of the second picture) are pale straw coloured. Interestingly not very many sporangia with ripe spores, which may be because it is a hybrid (hybrids typically produce lots of small white spores and a few large typical spores, or none at all), or maybe just drought at the time of formation...Like your superbum, mine is now producing the spore patches on the fronds that will give next years sporangia.
  13. Ali Baba

    Platycerium from spores

    Looks like it. They are very pale though, mature spores of most ferns I have looked at have been brown or yellow. However I don’t know what colour veitchii spores should be (I will check my lemoinii later and let you know Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Ali Baba

    Platycerium from spores

    Yes it certainly produces sporangia although I have never tried collecting the spores. Most accounts seem to view it as a veitchii cultivar , if so it should come true from spores. It has a very plastic morphology, you have to grow it in full sun and keep it dry to get the vertical fertile fronds and the frills on the sterile ones. The Tilly is T. myosura, quite easily grown, and tends to seed itself around Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Ali Baba

    Platycerium from spores

    Brilliant! You will have to move house when it grows bigger There used to be a huge plant of superbum growing in the old tropical house at Kew, I remember it well from my first visit there many years ago. I dont know if it lives in the new glasshouses since built, it's a good many years since I visited last. Here is my P Lemoinei (supposedly a cultivar of veitchii, or a hybrid between willinckii and veitchii depending on which account you read. It certainly looks much more like veitchii than anything else: