According to our resident green thumb guy, Bryan, the office redbuds were finally big enough to be transplanted into bigger pots a couple of weeks ago. The only thing was, though lush and luxuriant, they were also pitiably weak and floppy from spending their whole lives indoors, protected from wind and temperature spikes and enjoying thrice-weekly watering.
There they are to the right, sharing the window and the beautiful Dumpster view with another coworker's large-scale jade propagation experiment.
To compare: I planted these from seed from the same tree the same week as the giants up above, but they've been outside on the back patio this whole time. They've endured frost, heat, neglect, and not-terribly-regular watering. As a result, they are tiny but tough--the stems are rigid and the leaves are like leather.
Bryan gave me some metro shelves and recommended I take the floppy indoor guys home to my patio for a few weeks so they'd harden off a bit before transplanting. They do indeed seem to have a little more backbone than before.
(I have better pictures of the shelf setup, but I really wanted to show off the 1.75 inches of rain we got yesterday afternoon. The temperature dropped from 100 to 75 in about 20 minutes after the sky opened up. It was great.)
Bryan had become so dedicated to the cause he even came over to the house yesterday to transplant the seedlings into gallon pots so they'll have more soil and therefore moisture to grow in. In exchange we let him hang out with Üter.
Eric and I also cooked him Tandoori chicken and homemade naan on my new gas grill, which I am sure you will read all about in due time; I am deeply in love with it.
So now we just water, and wait. As soon as it cools off this fall it'll be time to put them in the ground.
In the meantime, I just put some Texas mountain laurel seeds in some pots in the front office, and I notice the redbud seeds from this spring are also about ready to pick and plant. Maybe I'll just keep doing this every year until my entire yard is choked with redbuds and becomes a vast cloud of pink for two weeks every March.