Before I got rid of the plant which I had brought indoors in the hope that it might go to seed, I stripped it of the leaves which had grown on ‘sucker’ shoots. There were not many, and they were very small. I dropped them onto the bedroom window ledge. Since then, they have gradually yellowed. I do not know why. Some have done so quite rapidly while some have taken their time. Nevertheless, it has happened. We should also recall that a few of the early leaves on the plants in the bedroom turned a lovely colour of ‘golden yellow/brown’ of their own accord. But most of the later leaves did not, nor even showed any signs of doing so.
So what in God’s name is going on with these leaves?
The question which I asked myself about the leaves which went yellow was: “Have these leaves fermented?” I cannot see how that can be so. It seemed to me that they turned yellow in the same way and sense that leaves on trees yellow and fall off trees in the Autumn. They certainly had not been subjected to hot, humid, ventilated conditions, nor had they become sticky.
Acet suggested trying to ‘ferment’ some of the yellowed leaves in the batch of Whole Leaf which I recently acquired by ‘wadding’ them. There is not that much left, but I cannot see how trying to wad a couple of leaves can cause them any harm.
And so I have set to. I have tied two leaves to a coat hanger with string and sprayed the leaves with warm water, without trying to unfold them. After the first spray, and allowing a few minutes, the leaves were beginning to ‘give’. I have just checked a few minutes after the second spray, and they are definitely ‘relaxing’.
Since I am in no hurry to go to bed, in the company of a bottle of red, I think that I shall see it through. So I’ll do a commentary:
17th January 2013.
The leaves have definitely relaxed, and so another spray should be enough. Let’s give it another few minutes.
Wow! The leaves have lost all their brittleness and are now quite supple. Notice the holes in the leaves! Clearly, insects have had a go at them:
OK. I must now ’wad’ them, but I shall remove the midribs:
I’ll cut up the midribs and enclose them within the wad. That should be OK. The leaves are drying very rapidly, so I’ll give them a little spray before wadding them.
The above pic shows me rolling up the leaves.
Wadded. It remains only to give the wad a quick spray with water on the outside and then seal it in a little container and place it on the hot water cylinder where, even though the cylinder is insulated, the temp is quite warm.
This little experiment is very interesting. Will the leaves become sticky? Will they turn dark brown?
Watch this space…………….