My collection, which numbered in the thirties just two years ago, is now down to nineteen individual plants, most of which are 6-8" pots (small) or just jars of cuttings gone wild. I hadn't even counted, in a while, until yesterday as I was tidying up the house and moving some furniture around, and thought, "This spot just needs a plant," and then realized, as I looked around, that I didn't have any extra plants that could be moved!
The Bird of Paradise in the picture above, for example, has come down with a horrible case of Scale (insects). It's had them for years, actually - and they don't really do much damage, as long as you keep them under control (because they're damned near impossible to kill on this particular plant without resorting to using something so harsh that it would kill the plant as well, because of the way they burrow down between the plant's stalks where I can't get at them).
Every couple of months I take it out into the backyard and hose them off, which perks the plant up and knocks the dust off the leaves, too. I give all my plants outdoor showers, periodically (or indoor showers, for the ones that fit into the kitchen sink), but I'd been putting off doing it for the Bird of Paradise all Winter, and it's really starting to show. It's getting a bath this weekend, though.
I really, really want a new Aralia. That's a "Parsley" Aralia above; I used to have two of them, and a small Ming Aralia. Aralias are a bit finicky about watering frequency, and it can be difficult for them to adjust to being moved to a new location/sunlight exposure all of a sudden, as I found out when I lost all three in the same months after I moved them all around. :( Because of how slowly they grow (and due in large part to the way in which they're grown), Aralias are expensive, and hard to find in local nurseries; but I think the next time I come across one, I'll pick it up. I really miss having one around.
I also really miss my old Clivia (that's "clive-ee-ya" with a long I, not a short I like in "ship," by the way). This pic is a yellow-flowered variety that I used to have, in its second year; it eventually doubled in size, and although I didn't ever get it to bloom indoors after the flowers that it came with were finished blooming (it takes lots of work to achieve this, I'm so not up for it), it was a GORGEOUS plant. Evidently it's also really tasty to puppies.
gee, I wonder which one I could be talking about...