The Progress of the Stinky Spike Durian Plant No. 1

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that my first little durian seed went from germination to plantlet and is now (I think) quite a proper little plant. It still has leaves that you can count on both hands but this I hope is only the start of what is to come. I realize that it is difficult to give a proper perspective of how much the plant has grown, so I’ve compiled a short series, which I name the “September Series” (although the first photo starts at the end of August) to illustrate the changes taking place within a relatively short space of 4 weeks. This is pretty much the fastest change that I’ve seen in SS No.1 and feel that it is worth noting. In order to provide you with a bit of perspective, all the photos are intentionally taken from the top view approach, which gives you an idea of the plant relative to its coverage of the soil.

Durian Plant SS No. 1 TV 270809

Durian Plant SS No. 1 TV 270809

At the end of August before Merdeka Day, I left it over the celebration weekend unsure if it was going to make it. The original leaves that had developed within the seed kernel were totally brown and dead, forcing new branches and leaves to form at the sides of the stem (tree bark?).

Durian SS No. 1 TV 150909

Durian SS No. 1 TV 150909

Of course, I returned to find the durian plant alive and still slowly growing. But at this point, you will recall that I was worried about the soil drying out and proceeded to cling film part of the pot to prevent excessive dehydration. But the plant still has to breathe, hence the slit in the cling film to give it vertical growing space.

Durian Plant SS No. 1 TV 250909

Durian Plant SS No. 1 TV 250909

The marvellous little thing surprised me when the leaves opened and displayed how broad and long they could be. The small fragile leaves stay very tight and closed during growth but once ready, open up into leaves as long as 4cm and 2cm in width. Not bad at all.

You can see that I decided to remove the cling film but it was a tentative decision and I left the cling film on ths side initially as I wasn’t sure if the soil was going to dry out quickly. The reason why I took it off was because I had accidentally over-watered it, and my pot doesn’t have drainage holes at the bottom so water was collecting in puddles at the top which gave me great distress….

Durian Plant SS No. 1 TV 300909

Durian Plant SS No. 1 TV 300909

So far so good, we made it to the end of the month without SS No. 1 keeling over! The soil has dried out quite noticeably and I’m refraining from watering it for another few days so that it can soak up the rest of the water underneath which I can’t see.

It is quite obvious now that the durian plant is gradually spreading out its area of soil coverage and will soon occupy more than 50% of the Top View. I’m waiting to see how long that will take and keep you posted.

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