It’s been a while since I updated you on the progress of the durian plant named Stinky Spikes No. 1 (or SS No. 1 for short).
SS N0. 1 has grown somewhat but not quite at the rate which I would think befitting for a tree. Then again, it might just the the species of our little plant, it is a rare Tauwa, otherwise known as a “old tree” in local speak, ot a tree which has been cloned and hybridized by farmers for optimal growth and fruiting. This little durian plant is sure taking its time. To be fair, it has grown somewhat, the crown of it has exceeded the height of its pot, but it still looks quite fragile and tentative to me. Not sure if I ought to be doing anything else right to make it speed up.
This little plant already gets a fair amount of water, you can see that the soil is rather wet and soggy. At first I was concerned that perhaps the roots didn’t like a too wet environment. These rainforest plants do need well drained soils, but then again, SW rationalized with me that the forest floor is shaded and does get heavy monsoon showers which makes it soggy and often waterlogged. Don’t durian plants survive there too? Yes, I suppose they do. So, my watering hasn’t stopped, and SS No. 1 gets watered just like all the others.
You can see that it’s leaves are nice and green, and there are some new fresh leaves that are about to open up at the top. I have it on the balcony but not directly exposed to the sun, it is still somewhat shaded although I’ve been thinking about whether it ought to get at least a few hours of blazing light a day just to dry up the surface of the soil.
The reason why I haven’t been putting it out in the sun, if you recall, is because the last time I did that, I accidentally fried the baby leaves, which turned a complete brown and died. The dried up dead leaves are still present (although you can’t see them in this phot0) on the inside, which serves as a reminder to me that you can’t expose anything that young to too much of anything or it’s going to get killed before you know it.
One of the problems I’ve been having is with the little black flies which look like gnats. They’ve taken up residence in the soil and flit around the plant in the daytime, night time I think they reside in the loose soil. I’m not sure how to get rid of them, I’ve been trying to kill them (manually) and also attempting to scare them away by using citronella, none of which have been successful. Am now thinking of new ideas to get rid of them, including the use of fire (candles, not anything larger) and see if the flies may also be attracted to water (death by drowning). I apologize to any of the buddhists reading this site, but I would like to keep the plants bug free and in as much of a controlled environment as possible.