Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bombs Away? Nooooooo!

Q. My Fucraea plant has dropped hundreds of little bombs during the last rains –what can I do with them? It seems a shame to waste them

The bombs you mention are the way the Fucraea reproduces –in time each of them can form a mature Fucreae –let’s look at the possibilities and which one is most compatible with the environment:

1.     Plant them around your property
a.         Only works if you have room for the 40+ foot plant –of course since the Fucraea that is producing the plantlets is going to die sometime in the near future you have at least one place to plant one of them.
b.         You’ll be looking at the same problem 40-60 years from now.
2.     Pot them and…
a.           Sell them as house plants
                                                    i.     Fucraea are full sun plants and only those in sunny windows will survive
a.     They get quite large and may quickly outgrow the spots they are placed in
b.     They require much better air circulation than most indoor areas provide
b.           Sell them as outdoor landscape plants
                                                    i.     Better option than 2a but you would require a retail nursery license in order to do so.
3.     Plant them surreptitiously on public and private land
a.           Most Fucraea do not scale well to what is considered ‘classic’ guerilla gardening
b.           Trespassing is illegal
4.     Compost them and:
a.           Mulch them around your replacement Fucraea
                                                    i.     Returns Fucraea specific nutrients to the soil
                                                   ii.     Creates a look that is similar to what surrounds Fucreae in the wild.  
b.           Mulch other plants with them
                                                    i.     Fucreae seedlings are quite fibrous, and their persistence may look ‘trashy’
                                                   ii.     There is a small chance that they might exhibit a degree of ‘alellopathy’, a property whereby the decaying foliage of some plants and trees is toxic to plants and germinating seeds.
5.     Toss them in the trash
a.           Noooooooo...

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