November 17, 2012

Tiger Trail questions

Regarding a question by Laurie on her blog:  Curiosity of Variegation

I have had this happen before, in years past.  I have not yet found a reason why.
The resulting 'pink babies' look similar to photos of Ellie Gardner, registered by the same hybridizer the year after Tiger Trail.  But they were not the same as a starter plant of Ellie Gardner.  (I did not have Ellie Gardner long, as that is the time that I discovered a thrips infestation and the plant was eventually tossed.)

After Laurie's questions, I photo'd my Tiger Trail plants, and discovered the newest growth was 'turning red'.  The leaf backs were red on the youngest leaves and the top side of the leaf had smaller specks of pinkish variegation.

Photo of typical Tiger Trail (2003) in window light:

Photo of Tiger Trail 2 years ago (2009):
typical look... maybe a bit overall bluish cast to the whole photo... Under plant light

Photos of Tiger Trail today 11/17/2012):  plants resulting from leaf of plant above:
Note older leaf (lower leaf) is white backed, and the newer (upper) leaf is reddish backed.
Also, note the newest growth in the crown facing the camera.  It has smaller specks of pinkish variegaton rather than the larger splotches of white that is seen in the older leaves.

A second 2012 plant:

Note that there is the same difference between the backs on the older leaf and a newer leaf.
Both 2012 plants are under lights when these photos were taken.
Next, photos of my Tiger Trail leaves that are just beginning to sprout:
The three groups of baby leaves are TT, the three leaves you see with variegation are TT.
This is about normal appearance... possibly quite thick stems?  But my house is cool right now, and I notice sprouting babies are 'stalkier' in cooler temps.
Since setting these leaves 9/13/ I think I have only watered them once or twice, since they have been under a dome until a few days ago.

I did change fertilizers since the early years, and prior to 2000, I always ALWAYS grew Tiger Trail in window light, and since that date, they have almost always been under plant lights.

While the pink version is not ugly, I so enjoy the white version, the PROPER version, of TT that I am going to do an experiment... I am going to put the larger plant in a window, and leave the smaller one on the plant shelf.  I will water both with water only, no fertilizer, for several months.  I will also leech the pots, as you would to flush excess fertilizer salts.

The other plants on my two plant stands are normal, or blooming more intensely than usual.  Nothing has changed it's variegation, or color of leaf backs.  Foliage on all may be slightly more 'brittle' than normal.  I seem to break off leaves just turning pots around or lifting them to place in tray of water, etc.  Two of my three Diamond Girl plants bloomed with much less white in the blossom, but the third is normal although the pink/magenta is dark and bright.


Laurie in Maine said...

Well, I trucked in some softer water from moms and will dial back fertilizer to once a month for now, hoping to keep the white/green leaves from going pink. Once they are big enough to separate I'll be sure to try a windowsill for each color and see what happens!

Laurie in Maine said...

Don't know if the water test kits expire or give bad results when it gets's a few years old. For the heck of it I ran the test on our water and mom's was bluer than blue and mine looked about perfect. Of course I did not do the test until I had watered quite a few with mom's water the day before!!
May try an hour less light and nudge a shelf farther below the light... thinking stems should really be longer in some cases.

Laurie in Maine said...

I separated some of the first babies of Tiger Trail last week! ♥ I will be growing MULTIPLE plants for this one!! ♥ Extras of Beca's Pink Crochet will be easily sent off to new homes to make room.(Thinking a tray at the library as free gift: take one PLEASE!) ;)
I even found a very small completely green/white plantlet hiding under the very pink-leafed pot of babies. Left if on mom to grow a little bigger.